There will be times on your weight and health journey that feel like the whole world is working against you. We all go through these challenging periods that produce discouraging thoughts, but you can’t let them distract you from your wellness goals. The choices you make daily affect not just your mental health, but also your physical health – including your weight. That’s why it’s important to get back in the driver’s seat and regain control.
Strategies to Fight Discouraging Thoughts
Reflect on the Learning Opportunities
Each time you make a poor decision or fall into temptation, don’t beat yourself up for it. Instead, try to see it as a learning opportunity vs. a failure. If you have a bad day at work and go home only to binge on ice cream, challenge yourself to reflect inward and ask these questions:
- What emotions may have influenced my behavior?
- Could I be handling stress more effectively?
- What can I do to prepare myself better for next time?
Find Alternative Solutions
Not everything will go according to plan, and that’s just the way life goes. Busy schedules, family responsibilities and other factors will get in the way of your best intentions. For instance, a long work day and your child’s soccer practice might make it impossible to go to the gym one night. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that you can’t work out and the night is a wash, ask yourself, “What other choices do I have that can benefit my wellness?” These could be:
- Going for a long walk during soccer practice or after dinner
- Doing a guided home workout before bed
- Fueling your family with a nutritious dinner
Seek Out Support and Community
Social ties are rejuvenating. When you’re feeling down, a friendly face or voice can help you see the bright side. They can be the accountability you need if you are struggling with factors that affect your weight, such as emotional eating or committing to an exercise routine. They can also lift you up and inspire you, or just cheer you up when you need a smile.
Seek support and community from your family, friends, or even a local or online support group. If you need help that is a little more structured, try finding a counselor or licensed mental health professional to support you too.
Your journey with weight will sometimes feel like a roller coaster. This is to be expected, so you have to learn to roll with the punches. Even if certain factors are out of your control, what IS in your control are your thoughts and your choices. Keep both your short-term and long-term goals in mind and let them motivate you when the going gets tough.