Warning ~ Detour Ahead

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In my last newsletter to my inner circle, I shared that I was struggling with a moment of self-sabotage.  You might think, really?  You seem to have it all together!

And if I have ever given you that impression, I am truly sorry. Because I am here to tell you, even the most strongest, powerful and organized person doesn’t have it together at times.  We all have moments of self-sabotage.  What happens after that moment is what sets others apart in the someone else’s eyes.

I think it’s extremely important to understand that when we set out to do something different or make changes in our lives that it doesn’t start with the action and end with the result without a few bumps or detours in the road.

Nope, the action is started and you might stay the course for a couple of weeks, then old habits start to creep in and all of a sudden you find yourself on a different path than you intended.

Maybe you are killing your action for a whole month and out of no where you get a horrible day dropped on you or you  have been delivered some very terrible news.  Suddenly you find yourself actively indulging in your favorite comfort food.

Or let’s say your action makes you feel a little uncomfortable because for once you are focusing on yourself.  You start to feel a bit selfish and because you don’t like that uncomfortable feeling you begin to shift your focus to someone else.  Now you feel better, but also carrying around the heaviness of now allowing yourself to take care of YOU!

You see old habits, bad days and feelings of uncomfortableness are normal.  Everyone has the same experiences.  Not one single person set out to make a big change in their life and nailed it the first go round.  I’ll repeat that not one single person!

We all slip but it’s what happens after that slip that changes the course.  You can continue on the detour and get so completely lost that a year has gone by when you finally find yourself at the starting point again.

Or you can turn right back around get back on your path that you intended and strongly desire.  The ones who get back on the path are the ones you see making it look like they have their shit all kinds of together!!

Too Restrictive and No Flexibility

If you are one that can go two weeks with your action, but then start to slip and see the old habits creeping in, ask yourself some of questions.

  • Am I being too strict with myself?
  • Can I really sustain this behavior over the long haul?
  • Do I have any flexibility in my plan?

Being too ridged and restricting yourself will always lead to old habits coming back.  Let’s say you set off on a new diet program and you are really into it for the first two weeks, but it doesn’t allow for any sugar or starchy foods.

One of your co-workers brings in some of your FAVORITE donuts.

Bam!  

You are hit with anxiety, your will power has gone into overload and you find yourself getting weaker by the minute.  Next thing you know you have devoured three donuts and you hang your head in shame :(.

So what if you turned the situation around?  Your co-worker brings in your favorite donuts and you have not put them off limits? Instead, you will allow yourself to have one donut, if you actually want it.  This is the time to check in with yourself and ask, do I even want the donut? I mean I can go to the store and pick one up anytime.  Why am I making this donut immortal?

Now if you actually feel like YES I want the donut, then allow yourself to have it.  Take the first bite and enjoy it, take another bite and enjoy it.  Now do you want to finish it? If you are truly enjoy it then finish it and enjoy every bite.  Now a wave of satisfaction comes over you.  No need to polish off the rest of the box!!  Move on with your day in the way you had planned.

It’s when we put things off limits and have no flexibility that we set ourselves up for failure and self-inflected guilt.  And honestly that sucks!

Dealing With Emotions

Let’s say you are doing very well with your action but you have the worst day you have experienced in a really long time.  Now you are in search of comfort and when you reflect back on the day you realized you put a massive dent in your co-workers candy jar, had a few more drinks than normal and finished the day swimming in the largest bowl of pasta you could find.

The guilt sets in, you are calling yourself weak, fat and stupid.  And because you just had that negative conversation with yourself you find the need to be comforted again.  Next thing you know it’s been a week of this nasty viscous cycle.  You think what’s the point, I have complete ruined my strong track record :(.

Let’s look at the flip side of this. First recognize that we humans comfort ourselves with food.  We have been doing this since the day we were born, it’s instinct.

Here are some tips to help you stay the course and remove the guilt:

  • Recognize the emotion.  Stress, hurt, anxiety, overwhelmed, etc. You must recognize and acknowledge what you are going through first.
  • Be in control of your choice of comfort.  Instead of ending the day of indulging in anything and everything that passes your face, stop and choose one thing that you will fully enjoy.  And have it!
  • Be comforted.  Let your choice comfort you and enjoy every bite and leave any guilt or shame out of this experience.
  • Choose one healthy choice that will help eliminate the problem or emotion.  Maybe it’s a hot bath, leisure walk, talking out the problem with a loved one or if something needs to be addressed, then address it.

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Taking Care of Yourself

Maybe for once you gained the strength and courage and decided you were worth your own time and energy.  It was time to make some big changes that you have desire for awhile now.  And you actually started prioritizing yourself!!

But soon you start to feel guilty at times that you have chosen yourself over your child or partner.  That guilt grows stronger and you start to put yourself on the back burner and before you know it you are back where you started.  Except you feel like a little part of you died in defeat :(.

If you relate to this, please read and leave as a stronger person.

You are 100% worth your own time and energy and you MUST put yourself first before you can fully give yourself to anyone else.  Understand no one else is going to take care of you, it’s your right and obligation to take care of yourself.

How To Put Yourself First Without The Guilt

  • Value your time.  Put that guilt in the trash can and let it go!
  • Acknowledge the importance of your time.  Understand that by putting yourself first, you are able to fully give your attention and care to others.
  • Embrace the feelings.  When you make time for yourself and you feel accomplished, embrace those feeling like sunshine hitting your face. Soak it up!!
  • Stay firm with your choice.  At first you might get some resistance from your family or loved ones.  Stay firm with your decision, soon they will understand how it benefits them too!

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You will most definitely experience the detours.  Change is messy, it’s not a start and finish line.  But if you understand that and take a moment to stop and recognize once you have detoured, it’s so much easier to turn back around get keep going on your desired path.


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