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Archive Monthly Archives: January 2019

instant gratification

The Problem With Instant Gratification

instant gratification
© Sue Harper | Dreamstime.com

I Want It Now

Instant gratification – when you want what you want and you want it now. This comes up for me just about every day. When I desire to eat something that is not on my 24 hour plan I frequently struggle to say why I want it. My brain says, “I just want it.” And for too long I have given in to that desire. What I forget in the moment is that I’m giving up long-term satisfaction. I’m giving up the joy of reaching my weight loss goal. It just doesn’t feel as important in the moment when faced with the brownie, or the french fries, or whatever else I’m desiring.

Delayed Gratification

Learning this skill means that I learn to be uncomfortable in the moment. I learn to say no to the desire and just feel it without acting on it. The result is that I can satisfy a true desire down the road. I gain the satisfaction of numbers moving the right direction on the scale. I gain the result of improved health. I gain a sense of pride in sticking to my goals and making progress. I gain the benefit of being an example to others. This satisfaction is truly fulfilling and is a sign of my inward growth.

power of your mind

The Power of Your Mind: Lose or Gain, You Decide

power of your mind

Photo source: ID 50918170 © Lucas Cerdá | Dreamstime.com

In the Beginning

I feel like I’ve been heavy all my life. But I was a normal weight in my childhood. Once I hit puberty I started to get what my family called the Baker Butt. I was developing into more of a pear shape. Once, when visiting my Grandpa, he joked, “Wide load!” while making the noise of a truck beeping as it backs up. It has stuck with me all these years. I loved my Grandpa dearly so that probably made it even more painful. I know he didn’t mean to hurt my feelings.  

I began to feel like I was a lesser person. It amazes me now that I could let moments like that define my self-worth. I want to go back and tell that young girl to shake it off.  I want to tell her that she was perfect just the way she was. I still struggle to tell myself that now.

The True Story

The truth is I was a healthy weight at that time. I joined the Marine Corps at 20 and maintained a healthy weight throughout all those years. Towards the end of my military tour I had my first baby and I struggled to lose the baby weight but I was still within the guidelines.

And yet my brain tells me that I was always overweight. It’s so interesting to look back at pictures and realize that I have been telling myself stories all along. Over time my thinking drove my feelings which drove my behavior and made my view of myself reality.

Over time I gained weight until, in 2017, I was 100 pounds overweight. I have some medical challenges like hypothyroid, a medication that can cause weight gain, and a sensitivity to carbohydrates. I realized I can't continue to use those things as excuses. I'm learning that my thinking plays an even bigger role in my own story.

Think Better Thoughts

I started learning about how powerful my thoughts were and how they created the results in my life. Here's an example of a thought model illustrating what I mean. The first model is how I was thinking. The second model is how I'm learning to think. (To learn more about how thought models work check out this post on Brooke Castillo's Self-Coaching Model)

Old Model:

Circumstance – my Grandpa’s statement

Thought – I’m fat

Feeling – "less than"

Action – eat my feelings

Result – gain weight

New model:

Circumstance – my Grandpa’s statement

Thought – I am worthy

Feeling – confident

Action – feel my feelings, even the negative ones

Result – stop overeating, lose weight

Be careful what you tell yourself. The mind is a powerful thing. It likes to believe all your negative thinking and then it sets to work to make it come true. What if you thought better thoughts?