By Kat John
If you’re anything like me, you’ve had some not so great habits and patterns when it comes to food. Back in the day, I was the carb cutter, skinny-me-tea drinker and the to the extreme calorie counter. It’s safe to say I was pretty unhappy, had massive anxiety around food and body obsessed.
This type of fear around food led me to set weight goals that were unrealistic and to be reached in a short amount of time. No matter how many carbs I cut, teas I drank or calories I counted, I didn’t reach my goal. I was tired, grumpy and my body was in stress mode.
A mindset like this led me to self punish (even more). I’d restrict even more calories to the point where I chuck a wobbly, throw in the towel, state aloud (often) that, “this is too hard”, and binge. With the binge came self-loathing, self-hatred and a deep feeling that I had failed. And so this cycle went on for a decent decade.
Loving my body has been one of the most difficult journey’s to date and I’d say it has for a lot of us. Food and me have only found peace until recent times and it was due to a shift in mindset. I grew tired of hating my body, punishing it, bingeing and punishing it some more. It was one of those moments when you simply have had enough of the same pattern, the outcome it produces and how you feel as a result. Often it’s in those moments where you and so done with how it is, that a breakthrough takes place.
I stopped constantly shifting the weight goal posts and instead chose to focus on being a well-being; someone who took interest in how to truly nourish my body and discover what it truly needed to function as best as it could. Below are the main steps I took that just might serve you if you’re in a self-punishing cycle.
Choose an end result that actually serves you
If your original outcome has been about setting unrealistic standards and is creating anxiety around food, constant checking of your weight and comparing yourself against others, then it’s time to set a new end result. You want to choose an end result that is for your greatest good. One that will serve you, that is sustainable and takes you away from letting your thoughts rule how you behave in ways that don’t have your best interest at heart.
For example, if your original outcome is to be as skinny as you can before summer, you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be in a self-punishing cycle. Look to shift it to something like, I choose the end result of treating my body with love and respect, or, I choose the end result of nourishing and taking care of my being.
How are you going to make that end result happen?
Once you’ve created a new end result, now you want to ask yourself, “what is my next best step to move towards this outcome?” In other words, what are you going to do about it? For me, I reached out to a health coach who helped me look at macro nutrients and why they were important. As a result, I started to eat carbohydrates again, balanced with protein and fats. Slowly but surely the anxiety I had around carbohydrates started to ease because I was now informed. And, it was serving my end result of being a well-being.
Maybe your next best step is to seek external support or advice, or to change up your physical routine. You will know the answer and it’s up to you to go and follow through on it to serve your true end result.
It’ll feel hard sometimes, and that’s okay
As you follow through on your next best steps and head towards your new end result, your mind may play tricks on you and tell you things like, “this is a waste of time! This will make you fat! This isn’t going to work! This isn’t going to get you what you want! This is taking too long!” Thoughts like these are very normal and to be expected. When they come up, notice them, say g’day to them and do your best not to fight them. Write them all out in your journal to clear them out of your head and feel the feelings that come with those thoughts. Maybe it’s frustration, annoyance or irritability, it’s all okay and welcome.
Having thoughts and feelings such as these doesn’t mean you’re failing, or that it’s not going to work, or that you’ll actually get fat. These are mental traps we set ourselves up for that can lead to self-sabotage. And if you fall off the wagon, no worries. Reset, remember why you’re choosing this new way forward and try again.
When you set end results for yourself that are in your deepest favour, they usually aren’t quick fixes. The results you want to see happen hard and fast (like skinny-me-tea days) are behind you. This way forward is slow, steady and sustainable which means there is a higher probability of your new habits locking and loading in for good! It took me 6 months to shift my mindset the old ways of wanting change now, to respecting the saying that all good things take time. Go easy on yourself, be gentle and be patient in your new approach.
About: Kat is an authenticity coach, keynote speaker and the multi-talented host of popular podcastREAL RAW RELATABLE.She has shared her experiences with childhood sexual abuse, bulimia and drug addiction, along with chronic pain and brain surgery and is dedicated to supporting others to manage their thoughts and worries in order to make space for the inner wisdom inside all of us.
Kat has spent 16 years developing her mind and treating her body with kindness and respect. She’s keen to drop some authentic tips and techniques to keep you going during our life-changing 8-Week Program. You’re in good hands! Take a wander over to Kat’s website to learn more about her experience and teachings.