Recapping Weeks 7 and 8 of Kathie J. and Larry’s weight loss journey
Since Weeks 7 and 8 took place over the holidays, it was the perfect time for Kathie and Larry to investigate their emotional triggers. At this halfway point of State of Slim, I asked them: “What emotions lead to behaviors that don’t get you where you want to go?” We’re going to keep working on this over the second half of the class because this isn’t a skill you use just once — it helps you develop emotional resiliency.
Emotional resiliency is super important for all of you who’ve made New Years’ resolutions. You may be doing really well right now, but you will hit a bump in the road. We all do. Life happens to us. Do you have the skills and strategies to cope with bumps in the road?
One reason so many people struggle with weight is that they eat when they feel a negative emotion. Dealing with the negative emotion is hard so they eat to numb it. But it doesn’t work very well and it’s short-lived. As a society, when we feel a negative emotion, such as anxiety, pain or sadness, we try to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Heaven forbid we should actually feel anything!
Our goal in State of Slim is to figure out new coping skills to deal with them so that we don’t turn to food.
What Brings You Joy?
Look at the interaction between your feelings and behaviors. Do you eat every time you feel stressed, bored or sad, for example? Begin to notice when you eat — or any other behavior you wish to change — and the emotions associated with it. Take note of this relationship between food and feelings so you know what you need to fix.
You can then figure out a plan to substitute other behaviors for eating (or any other behavior you want to change) when you feel emotional distress.
To figure out these substitute behaviors, I have everyone write a list of things that “fill their cup” or brings them joy. This could be anything from hiking outside to listening to music to reading to painting to going out with friends. The possibilities are endless — it just has to be an activity that boosts your emotions that isn’t eating.
Once you have this list, you build a plan to substitute one of these activities for eating (or any other behavior you’re trying to change) when you feel a negative emotion.
This is a super important strategy to be able to live your best life.
The Number One Thing That Can Throw Off Your Weight Loss
One reason I think people fail at weight loss is that something comes your way and it totally throws you off. Maybe you got sick or injured, something happened in your family, or you lost your job. It takes forever to get back on track, if you ever do.
Sometimes it seems like we’re the only ones up against these bumps in the road. But they happen to everyone and they bring those negative emotions for everyone. The difference is the people who have high emotional resiliency can make it seem like they don’t have bumps in the road. They absolutely do have those life challenges, but they have developed the skills to get through them instead of letting them stand in their way.
People with high ER keep their cup full all the time — they never let it get empty. They actively pursue activities that bring them joy so they don’t feel compelled to turn to food when life gets tough. When you get really good at this, you begin to see these bumps as good because they make you stronger.
Support Larry and Kathie and Sign up for State of Slim
We just finished Weeks 7 and 8 of State of Slim, and I’m so proud of how Kathie J. and Larry soared through the holidays and are starting 2019 in a great place.
Keep supporting Kathie and Larry. They’re doing a great job. This is hard work. It’s not, “Eat this diet and work out.” It’s lifelong change and your support helps them so much.
If you’re interested in going through a 16-week transformation like Kathie J. and Larry, visit State of Slim online to sign up for some small group classes. There, you can also request to see me for a one-on-one consultation in clinic at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.
Make a “fill your cup” list. Come up with the things that give you that emotional strength, that make you strong. Make sure you’re doing those things, either once a day, a couple times a week. Never let your cup empty out. When you’re feeling one of those negative emotions that makes you want to eat, go to that list instead of going to food. Just try it.