Oh. My. Gosh! The Super bowl food was soooooo good! Wasn’t it!? We made grilled steak, chicken, bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers, tater tots, keto tortilla chips, guacamole, and a veggie tray. For dessert, we made air fryer breaded Oreos, and air fryer Nutella filled donut bites, and maple and glazed donuts. With the desserts, we should have stopped at the Oreos, because the rest of the donut variations were mediocre next to those!
Leading up to the feast, I had done about a 21 hour intermittent fast, and then broke my fast with this delicious meal. The most liberating part of this day was that I didn’t have to log my food for the whole day (One of my indulgence meal rules is “no food journaling” for the indulgence meal)! Ahhhhh… sigh of relief! Taking a break from the rigidity of the process feels so good!
Of coarse, I did end up eating too much! My tummy hurt, and my head was pounding from all of the sugar. I made a mental note, in the aftermath, to remember the physical discomfort of eating way too much. Maybe next indulgence meal I can pull that stored memory and use it to apply a little bit more restraint in my food consumption.
But… none of that is what I actually want to emphasize in this post.
Where I find I struggle the most is the next meal or the next day following the indulgence meal. It can feel like quite the chore to re-embrace the strategic mindset after allowing yourself free rein on the indulgence type foods. I know I’m feeling it today. We still have some leftover Nutella donut bites, and it’s taken a number of pep talks to not take a snitch! In addition to that, it’s required a little bit of work to remind myself to log my food intake in my food journal.
The beauty of what I am about the share with you is that it can apply to you whether you had an unplanned binge, you’re coming back from vacation and need help letting go of vacation eating mindset, or you need help “flipping the switch” after your indulgence meal. So here we go.
Weight loss efforts take some serious concentration, right? It’s nice to have an end goal, but it is in the baby steps we take which help us to reach the final outcome that we want. It’s also while we are in the midst of our journey that we come across a million little distractions that can cause us to break our concentration (i.e. indulgence meal, birthday parties, feeding the family foods different than you feed yourself, going on vacation, unplanned treats, etc.). That’s just life. The key to success is in our efforts to constantly (and quickly) refocus our concentration back to the process.
Let’s talk Strategy
Here are three strategies which can help you to improve your concentration on your weight loss efforts, and quickly re-embrace the strategic mindset:
I want you to talk to yourself! No wait, hear me out! Self-talk is essential to your success! When we are feeding our mind with positive thoughts, we can increase the confidence we have in ourselves. You might give yourself some motivational self-talk which will focus on increasing your energy, effort, and positive attitude. Try repeating the following out loud: “You’ve got this”, “Come on, push yourself a little harder”, “I can make it to my next meal…”.
Or you might give yourself some instructional self-talk which focuses on technical or task-related aspects of performance to improve execution. “It’s not that much extra work to log my food intake, I can do that.” “I can say no to this food right now because it’s not in my plan. I can have it at my next designated indulgence meal.” “I can choose to eat veggies with each meal, even breakfast.”
By feeding ourselves positive thoughts, we are taking a necessary step which will affect performance. Thoughts are so powerful. They can either make or break the trajectory of our course. Shakespeare said, “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
You guys, I do this all the time! I know I’ve mentioned a handful of times in these posts that I’ve had to give myself a pep-talk. I firmly believe that positive self-talk can drive us to accomplish great things. We make it through so many obstacles as we mimic The Little Engine that Could, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”
Routines are an essential aspect of maintaining concentration on the tasks which will lead to our weight loss. A Routine will also help you transfer your focus away from the non-strategic thoughts and actions, and towards the thoughts and actions which will help us see success. Having a routine in place enhances the probability that you will avoid being distracted. Routines help us create that habits, or allows our behavior to stay automatic, which will ensure our success in weight loss. Routines also give us a sense of control. Regardless of the circumstances we face, the pressures we feel, the distractions we come across, we can still take control of our weight loss by going through the routine.
I can personally vouch for the strategy of making routines. Since I’m, now, almost six weeks into my journey, habits have been created. This process feels WAY more easy now than it did in the first few weeks. It’s far easier to say no to the foods that I used to eat mindlessly. Routines have given me a liberation from my destructive food addictions. I know that I talk about feeling liberated at my indulgence meal. But the freedom that I feel because of the routines I’ve set in place far outweigh the moment of liberation that comes with the indulgence meal. I do feel in control now. I’m no longer giving myself a chastisement in the mirror at the end of the day because my actions didn’t line up with my values.
Self-Monitoring is an important tool which requires one to be completely honest with themselves. It places a mirror in front of us and helps us observe our behaviors. This “mirror” shows us how we are doing compared to the goals we’ve set. We are then encouraged to work harder to reach these goals. We can apply the tool of self-monitoring by journaling when a behavior occurs, the conditions we are in when the behavior is displayed (How we felt? What was happening? What triggered our response?).
A twist on this is Positive Self-Monitoring. This happens when we observe only the positive aspects of our performance at the time. “Okay, I stayed within my calorie goal for this meal”. “I got three workouts in this week”. Often times it might look like, “I only had one bite of the dessert when I wanted to eat the whole thing.”
We all need a pat on the back, and positive self-monitoring provides that. We are able to be kinder to ourselves and, in turn, our self confidence grows. I’m all about each of us implementing some major self-love as we are working to be the best version of ourselves. For more on mindset and self care, here is a great site with additional info.
So there you have it. Three new tools to add to your belt that you can use when you are ready to flip the switch back into a strategic way of eating. As you move out of an indulgence mindset and into a strategic one, these tools can get us there. So go ahead, give one or all of these a try!
That’s it for today. Talk to you soon!
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