Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Roller Coaster: Weeeeeee!

Guest post by my wonderful friend Karen who blogs over at Cr8tivecontent.

Tis the season to be jolly and to be grateful, for last minute shopping, for Christmas cookie food comas and for the love/hate relationship with food to spiral out of control.
First, let’s make it clear that food is not the enemy. Indulge. Partake. Drink and be merry. The truth is, for some of us, it isn’t that easy.
Let’s face it - holiday eating can virtually unravel every effort and sacrifice we made and shatter most of the self-esteem and confidence we’ve built up in the previous months. Its almost as if all the pounds lost, the hours logged in the gym, and money and time spent on food and meal prepping was all in vain. A treat turns into a meal, then it turns into an all day eatingpalooza and before you know it, weeks have gone by.
 Suddenly, we snap back to reality. We dust the sugar cookie crumbs off our shirt, wipe chocolate from our mouth and resolve to make RESOLUTIONS to end all RESOLUTIONS (cue Gladiator music).
“I’m going to take the stairs whenever possible.”
“I will walk to work unless it rains.”
“I am going to buy all new workout clothes.”
“I will do boot camps till I puke. If I puke I’m doing good, right?"
"I will punch myself in the face everytime I eat somethng bad."
STOP! Before you go any further. Before you make a resolution. Before you set another goal.
Dig really deep and ask yourself WHY AM I DOING THIS? There have to be reasons why so many of us put ourselves on this roller coaster of emotions.
In Alan’s post Why I Keep Going?, he goes beyond the usual reasons – to lose weight, to feel good or too look good, etc. Those are good reasons but they don’t fan the spark that burns into the fire of what keeps us going.
Our motivation has to literally have us jumping out of our skin we want it so badly. Otherwise, we are merely wishing and hoping, hoping and wishing.
Alan’s core reasons:
1.Vanity – Nothing wrong with that. We live in a very visual world.

2. Family - To ensure he is there for them whenever and however they need him.

3. Future Family - This is probably the anchor, a family of his own, where he can give his best because he is at his best.  

Looking at Alan’s reasons this is what we need to do to help control the yo-yo effects of establishing a new fit identity. The achievement of our goals need to be life or death, as important as the air we breathe or we won’t be successful.
In the next few weeks, if we can answer the following questions we can MASTER our food impulses because we UNDERSTAND them better and we now know WHY we must succeed.

1. Chart your relationship/associations with food throughout the major stages of life. Not all associations are bad but some are. What was/is food to you?

2. Write down why you think your life would be better if you were in better shape.

3. Make two columns marked pleasure and pain. If you do achieve your goals, what pleasure and what pain will you gain? If you do not achieve your goals, what pleasure and what pain will you get?
Hard to believe, but we have been wired to derive pleasure and comfort in eating patterns, even if destructive. If we can change those associations, and visualize them as real consequences we have a better chance. For example, for Alan the mental image of leaving his family to go to the gym or dreading a visit to the doctor, are practically unbearable.
 We encourage you to write your answers in a journal and share whatever you are comfortable with in the comments. Though our paths may be different and we started at different times, our journey is the same.

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