Stop the cycle of failure
07 November 2011, 11:56
The evil diet cycle
There is no use in saying you want to lose weight, stop
smoking and drinking, and introduce exercise into your life if you have no
solid plan and don’t really know if you are actually going to achieve your
goals. So many women always start a healthy eating plan only end up heavier and
more disappointed in themselves than before.
It’s a vicious cycle that must be stopped dead in its tracks
before your health you’re your own worst enemy.
Mary Ovenstone, life coach to the 2010 Adventure Boot Camp
Challenge finalists, shares her thoughts on lifestyle change. She believes that
a psychologically healthy person is someone who loves and accepts themselves
the way they are, but at the same time wants to grow and evolve.
These two ideas can seem mutually exclusive at times but
straddling the two legs of this paradox is what brings us a sense of personal fulfillment.
It is important, however, for us to understand how to change. To begin to make
a lifestyle change, we need to have accepted ourselves enough to feel we are
worth the effort involved in changing old habits
What must I do to change for good?
• You need to be
very precise about exactly what change/s you want to make. For example: how many kilos you want to lose,
that you want to completely stop smoking, that you want to exercise three times
a week and for how long, how much wine you want to drink and on which days a
• You need to be
clear about your attitude and the circumstances in your life that support your
• You need to ask
what you get out of these experiences and what the pay-off is.
• Then you’ll need
to work through the pay-offs and replace those needs with healthier
alternatives. For example: going for walks and communing with nature when
feeling empty inside, doing some deep breathing when feeling anxious, calling
friends if you are lonely, etc.
• Once you feel you
are ready, you then need to positively choose and firmly decide on the new
• You must make a
choice, not because someone else said so, but because you chose it, that way
there is no one else to blame or to rebel against and there is no turning back.
Each time you feel you are wavering, you need only remind yourself of your own
• You need to
envision yourself with your new habits in place. What will they look like,
dress like, speak like? Who will you surround yourself with? What will it feel
like to have this new habit in place?
It is a good idea to create a positive affirmation that
describes how great you will feel with this new habit in place. Example: “I
feel fit and look great in my sleeveless summer clothes.” You can use this
affirmation to remind yourself of this new feeling whenever you want to fall
back into the old habit. If you fall off the wagon, you can remind yourself
that you are worth the effort and get back on track. No amount of guilt
feelings will help - just enough positive self-regard to stand up again.
It takes about three months to change habits and make a real
life change and it happens one day at a time. Along the way you can encourage
yourself each day by saying: I lived according to my new plan one more day!