Christmas is just around the corner and I wonder what your thoughts are about your weight as the festive season draws nearer. Are you feeling in control and positive about not overeating and putting on weight over the festive season? Of are you thinking “Oh well it’s Christmas, everyone puts on weight over Christmas….. the diet starts in the New Year!” If you are someone who has worked hard during 2012 to lose weight, then the latter set of thoughts will definitely ensure that you start 2013 feeling miserable and having to repeat your weight loss efforts all over again. Yes, it is true that Christmas brings a lot of temptation to over eat and drink, but that doesn’t mean that you have to self sabotage and give in to these negative thoughts.
Life would be much easier if we never thought a negative thought wouldn’t it? However, that is un realistic. If you have been overweight for a long time, there is a part of your thinking that is probably familiar, because it’s been like an habitual thought and it’s the voice that says things like “Oh why bother!” “I’m never going to lose weight” or “Oh just another piece of cake won’t matter!” It’s the negative part of you that has probably helped you to become overweight in the first place!
So as we approach the festive season, if that negative voice is loud and clear in your head, here’s how to take back control, so that you have a wonderful Christmas and have a better chance of starting 2013 in a slimmer, healthy shape:
1) Generally, when you try to ignore these negative thoughts, they can often end up getting louder and more prominent in your head. What then can ensue is a battle of wills between this voice and the part of you that desires to lose weight. (You know the angel and the devil on your shoulder syndrome!) Rather than trying to ignore it, practise noticing these thoughts calmly; notice when they come up; what they are saying (you will probably notice a pattern e.g that they always come up when you are stressed, or when you are watching television or in social situations).When you notice this voice, acknowledge it’s existence and say to it “Ok I hear you” Thank you for your input and I have decided that I have had enough cake” or “Thank you for your contribution but I am actually not hungry now” Try to calmly give a counter voice that is decisive and see what happens.
2) Another option if this voice is very persistent, is to just sit quietly and watch it as it babbles away at you with its negativity. Just notice exactly the phrases it is saying to you. Are you for example saying “I want another piece of cake” or “you want another piece of cake” – whose voice is this in your head? Is it yours or does it belong to someone else, perhaps a parent, loved one or friend for example that is always encouraging you to overeat, or may have done so when you were a child?
3) You could start to think of your mind and this negative voice as just another organ of your body: like when your tummy rumbles for example and you could just say to yourself “Oh there it goes again!” Over time, this will lessen the impact of that negative voice.
4) Another option is to just view these negative thoughts like those annoying internet pop up adverts, which distract you and try to grab your attention when you are getting on with something else. Try not to criticise your negative thoughts or even yourself for having them, just think of them as annoying noises that need to be turned down. Just like you would an internet pop up ad, you can imagine just clicking that little cross in the right hand corner of your mind and shutting them down.
It may be hard to believe but that negative part of you with it’s negative voice and thoughts, most probably has a positive intention. It may be trying to help or protect you in some way; often it is an out of date piece of mental software that hasn’t been upgraded whilst you have grown up. If you find that your voice is persistent and continues nagging at you and sabotaging you, then another way to work through this with hypnotherapy and NLP – which are very “mind” based therapies. Just remember that whilst what it is saying to you is negative it is actually trying to help you in an unconscious way, it just hasn’t learned that what it is doing is perhaps out of date or unnecessary!