you might even find some amazing things along the way
“By referring to previous struggles and using them as reasons for not getting on with your life today, your assigning responsibility to the past for why you can’t be successful or happy in the present. The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into reality.”
– Dr. Wayne Dyer
I’ve heard from some of my clients in the past that they are afraid to even try to lose weight, because they’ve tried before and failed. They’re afraid of judgement from their friends, because what if they try and don’t succeed, then everyone will look at them as weak, lazy, and having failed. The thing is though, you’re letting the past and everyone else dictate what you can and cannot do. And the only purpose that’s serving is to keep you where you are today, which is overweight, unhappy, and self-conscious. You’re avoiding the pain of failure and replacing it with failure to try. And so you’re still in the same place that you’ve always been and it’s getting you no where near happy.
Don’t let past failure in losing weight have so much control over you and be the reason that you don’t try. Everyone will fail at least once, if not multiple times, on their way towards success. It’s the only way you learn. I’ve “failed” so many times on my way to regaining control over food and eating and I often wanted to just forget the whole thing and not even try, but I realized that I was even more miserable without trying, so suffering the possibility of failure and judgement from others wasn’t as bad. It was the choice between taking the “easy” road of staying sick and depressed, in order to avoid all the painful feelings that would come up, or doing the work to feel comfortable in my body again. The trick for me was to look at these failures as “flops”, rather than something so finite (flop has a softer and friendlier ring to it, don’t you think?). And to come up with my Victory Vision.
I often talk about writing a Victory Vision. This is an honest and heartfelt statement that you write to yourself about the things that frustrate and piss you off about where you are today. Seriously, I want you to get mad when you write this and think about all the things that you feel helpless over and what that’s doing to you. How does it make you feel and how unhappy are you feeling that way? Do you hate how you keep saying that you’re going to stop overeating, but then don’t, or are you upset that food has such a hold over you that it’s the first thing that you run for when you’re lonely or need comforting? Are you sick of living a life of yo-yo dieting and staring at the numbers on the scale or your imperfections in the mirror? What does it feel like to put on a dress and hate the way you look in it? What’s it like going into a dressing room and not being able to find anything that you feel good in? What makes you cry? Do you want to get rid of these things and feel better about yourself and have more confidence? What are these things doing to you mentally, emotionally, and physically? Write it all down and get it out there. Then, using the present tense, as if it were true already, I want you to describe what your life is like after you’ve gotten rid of all these problems. Write about your happiness, your confidence, your strength, and anything else that reaching your goal means to you. Make it as real as possible, so that you’ll want more than anything to get there.
You’re the only one that can change your life, so stop letting the past have such a hold over you. Stop avoiding failure and pain and start tackling these problems, because the only way out of a tunnel is through it.