I am beginning to get in touch with why, in the past, I gave up on my sincere efforts to release the weight.
We’ve all been there. I would begin a new plan, or exercise, starting off with high hopes. I would make lists, buy the right food, and execute it all with perfection. Until…something happens that triggers a misstep. Then? The chatter in my brain becomes a cacophony of berating and judging.
The self-recrimination fills my head. I move forward, only this time it’s with less enthusiasm, or perhaps a little dread that just maybe, this is history repeating itself.
Every time this happens, there’s a chipping away of confidence and integrity. I would have a little less faith, and a little more trepidation. With every occurrence, I reinforced all of the negative stuff about me. Not enough willpower. Not enough discipline.
With each and every violation or failure, I would be filled with disappointment until….
I would chuck the whole damn thing.
In retrospect, going off the rails was a protective act. Why do something that makes me feel bad? Why set up disappointment and upset and endless frustration?
Then came an epiphany.
What if, when I broke a rule or promise, I simply dusted myself off and moved on? What if I stopped taking the deep dive into beating myself up and making myself wrong for making a mistake? What if I simply reset and re-committed? What if I just cut myself a break and kept going?
Removing the self-recrimination from the equation along with the all-or-nothing mentality has brought relief. Don’t get me wrong: All is not magically healed. I still have moments when I kick myself for not following the rules, but I now spend a lot less time dwelling on it. If I go off course, I simply correct. Removing all the berating and torture has opened up a new way of thinking about this journey. I can still be incredibly hard on myself sometimes. But I bounce back a little more quickly and I recognize that any time spent dwelling on the misstep is utterly wasted time. And what’s even more apparent? It’s a huge distraction. It’s sabotage. It serves no purpose other than to make the effort feel so unrewarding or unpleasant, that the only way to end the suffering in the past was to chuck the goal.
The more I forgive and forget, the easier it is to keep going. Because, who wants to continue behavior that feels bad? Who wants to face endless berating or downright punishment? So simple and yet, this was truly a big A-HA for me. My failures in the past were simply a way to protect myself from the judgmental, negative chatter, to escape from feeling bad.
When I remove that from the equation, those missteps become momentary setbacks rather than a reason to stop. Instead of giving up, I am letting go of beating myself up.
Now….If I make a wrong turn…….
I don’t end the trip.