It’s early February, we’re all a little plump here in the Northeast. And here comes the Super Bowl, with it’s guac, chips and chili. And wings. And cookies. And Italian heroes, meatball parms, pizza and ice cream. It’s a food orgy.
My clients are annoyed, bothered and irritated by extra pounds they are carrying. And we talk about it, because it’s something that’s on their mind that they want to change. Here’s how the conversation goes:
Q: What’s the benefit of keeping the five pounds?
A: I get to drink wine, eat chocolate, cheese and enjoy dinners out.
Q: And what’s the benefit of losing the five pounds?
A: I feel better in my clothes. It’s not a big difference, I’m really the only one who sees it — it just bothers me.
Then we do a Cost Benefit Analysis. Is a bathing suit body in the winter more beneficial than chocolate and cheese? If so — bye bye chocolate. But if hiding a couple pounds under a sweater for the cold months, then cutting back on the high-cal intake in May is more your style, you have my blessing.
If a client isn’t motivated to make change, change isn’t going to happen. The next step is to accept the situation as it is (and enjoy the food). And if you’re more motivated to eat high cal foods (in exchange for the extra weight), then be active in that choice.
Here’s the main point: Whether or not my client loses the weight, I want them to lose the agita about weight loss. I want them to lose the anxiety, stress and aggravation. You want chocolate? Have chocolate! Just promise that you’ll eat slowly and take pleasure, real pleasure in that chocolate.
As for the Super Bowl, if you plan to do it up, do it up! I’m not saying throw back a 6 pack and gorge thyself, I’m saying go into the party looking to enjoy. Think of the things you’re looking forward to indulging with, and enjoy that experience. Take pleasure in taking pleasure.
The mental game that my clients are playing — the guilt over eating, not eating and losing 5 pounds; THAT guilt and negative self talk is what’s most important to me as a coach. I’m all for losing weight and feeling good in your clothes. I’m just not for the amount of anxiety that goes with it.
When you give yourself permission to enjoy food, instead of feeling guilty about eating it, here’s what happens: You actually enjoy eating. You have less guilt and more pleasure. So the guilty binging stops. When you stop telling yourself you can’t have the food, you can take time to enjoy it, and then….
You might just indulge a little less. And when you indulge less, you might end up losing those pesky pounds. But not because you’re willing yourself to do it with negative self talk, but because you’ve stopped battling yourself.
Let me know how this works for you and have a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday!