Mindset Health

Struggling With Two Steps Backwards

When it comes to health we’re all on different journeys. Sometimes you’re winning, moving forward and making progress, other times you’re astounded by you’re inability to get going or keep going and just keep reversing back to start line.

Health looks different to all of us, sometimes it involves being more consistent with the nourishing stuff whilst others times there’s a need to reign things in and relax controlling behaviours relating to food, health and exercise.

What’s common to both situations is stepping out of your comfort zone. Ditching the crutches and moving forward unaided.  The changes required take many forms but all involves addressing behaviours you rely on, resort to or struggle to gain a balance with.

The most common tend to be :

  • Eating too much sweet stuff and processed foods
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Excessive caffeine consumption
  • Not exercising consistently
  • Not exercising excessively
  • Comfort eating
  • Not eating enough
  • Losing weight
  • Gaining weight
  • Perfectionism and striving to please
  • Saying yes when your body says no
  • Fixing stuff with pills

There’s many more, all different as you can see, however, the same thoughts, fears and beliefs often exist.

Deep down you have an awareness change has to happen yet you may feel powerless to achieve it or doubt your ability to sustain it. Soon guilt gets in on the equation as you repeat behaviours that don’t serve you. Guilt isn’t an emotion anyone likes dealing with so you head back to your comfort zone, which usually involves something on the list above, the cycle continues.

It’s also easy to become a master of procrastination and justify delaying in positive ways, like the fact you’re sorting out others first and will get around to you later.

So what’s the answer here? There isn’t a simple one but the following might help:

1) Add Before You Eliminate

Perhaps consider if you need to add more resources before you take away that which you depend upon. Resources could be nutrient dense foods, more sleep, more fun, kinder thoughts and more time relaxing. Building yourself up first decreases your reliance on the thing you wish to change. 

2) Remember It’s NOT Your Fault

You have to ditch the guilt because it makes it tougher to change. Remind yourself it’s not your fault, you’re simply following a pattern your brain has become conditioned to or you’re responding to experiences or your environment. Human beings are hardwired to seek comfort and escape when the going gets tough. The next point will help you establish what factors are limiting your ability to change.

3) Ask Yourself These Questions

Why it is so hard to change? What causes the negative emotions or stress that lead you to backtrack? What’s missing that causes you to have these ‘needs?‘ What’s present when don’t you need them? Spend some time finding answers to these questions.

4) Reframe Change

Be realistic and choose one thing you’d like to change. Either an easy win to give you the confidence to tackle bigger change or as the saying goes:

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

Basically do the tough thing first (and maybe early in the day). Just make a start. Re-frame the process as an adventure into the unknown where you will discover and learn so much about yourself. The example I often think of here is heading out for a run, usually the hardest part is sticking your trainers on and heading out the door, once you get going you wonder what the fuss was about. Don’t overthink or be intimidated by change, just make a start.

5) Motivation In Numbers

Sometimes you need a mentor or community to help you stay on track and accountable when things get tricky. Ask those around you for help and consider talking therapies or a support groups. We can also help if you need and Fitter 365 is a great place to get started surrounded by a friendly, non-judgemental bunch all on a similar journey to you.

Good luck with your journey and get in touch if we can help at all.