Strengthening the motivation (especially non-weight!)

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  • This topic has 8 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 4 months ago by Jasper G..
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    • #12228
      Caroline
      Participant

      Hi, Gillian and Everyone

      The stumbling block I keep tripping over is Motivation, which I realise is really basic. So, apart from the difficulties of controlling eating, I’m also feeling stupid for not having internalised the very first step in the journey!

      The thing is… I very much enjoy eating, especially (of course!) those highly-rewarding and highly bad-for-me foods. One of the top pleasures of my life is enjoying meals out at restaurants (remember those?!! 😉) and meals at home too. Eating is something I look forward to, whether in a ‘big’ way like a meal out or in a ‘small’ way like a cookie at a coffee shop. Now, I know that I need to lose weight for my health—and looking better as a result, with people noticing, is a big reward too, if I’m honest!—but I have this childish feeling that if I control my eating in a way that will achieve better health, I’ll feel utterly deprived, empty and have much, much less to look forward to.

      I’ve done the list of non-weight motivations (as well as weight-related ones!) for the first week, of course, but honestly the non-weight ones don’t have much traction with me. They don’t compare with the pleasure of eating! My blood-sugar is unhealthily high and my GP said I’ll be diabetic if I don’t cut it back and preferably lose weight—so I certainly have that as my motivation, and it’s the most significant one for me, I think. Though if I get worried about it I tend to want to reach for something to nibble to cheer myself up!! (Self-sabotage, but there’s no point in not being honest about it.) Anyway… does anyone else find that it’s super-hard to keep motivated? Any suggestions about how to strengthen wobbly motivation?

    • #12229
      Sophia G.
      Participant

      Hi Caroline, Just to say that you are not, not, not stupid for not internalising the so-called first step. It’s not actually the first step,is it?

      My understanding is that it’s part of a large picture, one of the 3 main themes. It’s written first in the way that list is presented, and yes it’s the first thing Gillian presented on this course, but it’s not like it’s the first step really.

      Motivation in anything in life is really important, but in this respect other overlapping things are just as important to remember too.

      None of us here is stupid just because we have problems in this area of eating. I’m always amazed the way we tend to put ourselves down because of this problem, when in reality we are very capable people, running our families, often with good jobs, good relationships, sorting the mortgage, the rent, whatever, all that.. and then there’s this one hated area of eating and weight and all this where we fall down, and then we think we’re complete failures but really we really are not.

      For me, and most of us here I imagine, this difficulty is the major challenge of our life to date, especially if we’re a bit older like me and it’s so long term. So it’s like holding an egg up in front of our eyes, where it’s so close it looks enormous because it blocks everything else out of sight.

      Whereas in reality I bet you are a really very capable and successful in life woman. I bet you are.

      I wouldn’t want to comment on the other things you say about, as I feel I can’t really clearly know enough – I’m not thru the tunnel yet, and I really don’t know enough to comment.

      But you’re in the right place, in this group, under Gillian’s highly expert and experienced wing, to address this stuff. This is the best place you can be right now.

      But I do remember something Gillian said recently on this forum, to the effect that you can still have your weight loss motivation, and add on other motivations too. I would sit down with a piece of paper and make a list of other motivations. I find this helps me think about things. No one ever taught me how to think. Lists and stuff helps me.

      And remember we are all do small steps, baby steps, when we start this work.
      And you may feel different in a day or two, or an hour or two, or in 10 minutes! Things change so fast. Our emotions change so fast. I first came across Gillian’s approach some years ago, and it has taken me a while to accept some stuff, to really engage in some key techniques. Sometimes it takes a long while, and then things click, like when you learned to drive or etc. You may make a breakthrough tomorrow, or today, or in one minute from now, and then everything will be better, rosier.

      Just making one ‘small’ realisation can make all the difference, to know you are moving forward, even if seems slowly.

      I hope this is okay and not inappropriate. As I said, I don’t feel in a position to make suggestions much, but I do feel ok sharing what I just did.

      You certainly have some physical challenges, and worries, from what you say.
      But you are aware of it all, and you are Here, on this really good course, which is in itself really miraculous really, considering how much useless and downright daft stuff there is Out There, and yet we somehow all found our way here. And took it seriously enough to sign up and pay up, which is a commitment in itself to this approach even if we are finding the hard places, which is where we will break through eventually.

      So I would just hang on in there, and try to engage in some way here that will help you, which you are in fact doing by following the forum and watching the videos.
      You very much are on the journey, so please don’t call yourself stupid, when you’ve tracked down this important approach, looked at it, considered it, and signed up to it, on the computer you capably worked, with the cash which you very capably gained. Sounds pretty damn intelligent to me.

      God, sorry this is so long. !!

      • This reply was modified 4 months ago by Sophia G.. Reason: typo
      • #12245
        Jasper G.
        Participant

        Sophia G Thank you so much for this encouraging post. It has helped me a lot. I will read it again and again ! Thank you

    • #12231
      Caroline
      Participant

      What wonderful encouragement! Thank you, Sophia! I really appreciate all you say. You’ve reminded me that there are aspects of this course which I’m already managing to act on, and every step in the right direction is a win! And yes, I’m really pretty competent professionally and socially; it’s just eating that is my bugbear and now I’m working on that, thanks to Gillian and you all here.

      I agree that bits click into place, not necessarily in order, and Gillian’s wisdom about baby steps is really helpful.

      Thank you hugely for taking the trouble to write such a thoughtful post, Sophia.

    • #12232
      Louise
      Participant

      Sophie, had to comment and say how brilliant your post is!

      Caroline, as a practical tip, I found three things helpful for Non-weight Motivation:

      1. writing down Non-weight Motivations most days – these changed from day to day and reflected how l was feeling, so it might be physical (oh, I haven’t had a migraine this week, or feeling more energised in the afternoon), emotional (I want to feel normal around food, or I feel much happier when I don’t overeat) and practical (at one point, I worked out how much I had spent on junk food and it was around £200 a month – so over £2000 a year, enough for a nice weekend break). And so on. But the important thing is that you have your own ideas about what is important.

      2. Every time I thought about my weight, size or appearance – even just looking in the mirror to see if I had lost weight – I balanced that with a Non-weight Motivation. My mantra was ‘Weight is not my problem: overeating is’.

      3. I wore the same, slightly baggy clothes every day – a series of long tunics and trousers with elasticated waistbands. No one ever commented on my weight loss, although people did say things like ‘oh you look really well’, or ‘your hair looks nice today’. I think I do look well, and it’s not because I have lost weight (although I have). Disguising it helped other people to notice my Non-weight benefits, instead of focusing on my size.

      Finally, as Sophie says, there are three legs on this chair! You talk about how much you enjoy food, including unhealthy food, and that you feel deprived at the thought of having to give it up. But you don’t have to stop eating sugar,desserts, junk food etc. It’s your choice. If you don’t like the benefits of eating less,you can go back to the food you love, with all the consequences of that of course. And you can only decide on that choice in the moment when you feel the desire for that food.

      I hope this helps a bit, but remember, it’s your choice and your reasons that matter. Good luck!

    • #12233
      Gillian
      Moderator

      What fabulous posts from Sophia and Louise – thank you from me. It was a treat to read them.

      Caroline, I just want to add that we all start off in very different places with this work. For many reasons, including childhood as I mentioned in the last webinar, but also dieting history, nutritional education, and many other factors. It’s not a competition and best not to compare yourself with others.

      It would seem that you’d do well to revisit the videos – especially 1.4 and 2.3 – but all of them will be good to review, and take your own notes. As Louise described in her previous post, “Some ideas from experience” – I know you saw it because you thanked her.

      Your question, “suggestions about how to strengthen wobbly motivation?” is for you to consider that: YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANY OF THIS; YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT LESS, EVER, AT ALL. Then (and only then), if you have any motivation at all, it will become apparent.

      Do let me know what other questions you have, maybe for the next webinar on Sunday? It can be such a significant step forward for you to figure out what is your next question!!! Maybe you have a question about this post? Ask away!

    • #12240
      Caroline
      Participant

      Louise, a huge Thank You to you too for your super-helpful post! I love your mantra ‘Weight is not my problem: overeating is’. I think I’ll adopt it myself. Wonderful. I’ll be coming back to your and Sophia’s posts for encouragement and inspiration, and I really appreciate them both.

      Thank you, too, Gillian! Yes, I’ve been re-watching the videos as the course goes along, and have loads of notes by now. On the second and third times round, different points leap out, so it’s always helpful to have another go at them.
      Thank you, as well, for the reminder that I don’t have to eat less ever! It brings it home to me that I strongly want:
      to feel in control of this area of my life and not let my addictive desire rule me;
      not to go on feeling ashamed when I look in the mirror;
      my knees not to hurt;
      to avoid diabetes and the associated medications and effects of it.

      So… onward and upward! Baby steps (thanks again for the reminder, Sophia!)…
      And again HUGE THANKS to you, Sophia and Louise, and to you, Gillian! Gillian, if I figure out any further questions, I’ll be sure to ask them!

    • #12241
      Esther
      Participant

      Hi Caroline,
      Thanks for your post. I totally understand your feelings that if food and having treats is taken away what will there be to look forward to and enjoy, especially during lockdown!

      I have thought exactly the same as you for a long time. I have always said that come 7pm in the evening when my daughter has gone to bed it is my time to sit in front of the TV and relax and eat what I want because I deserve that and its the thing I enjoy and that helps me relax.

      However, after doing this course once already and now for a second time its making me realise that if I am really honest with myself I am not sure that is really true. This course has helped me really dig into my motivations and its made me realise that whilst I enjoy TV I actually find its not stimulating enough and that’s why I have to eat at the same time.

      The reason I say this is that realisation came as a shock to me because I really believed I enjoyed it. I think sometimes our brains can tell us we need to do something and its not always right. Its made me think that I need to try lots of other things to see if there is something I really enjoy. Something that may have me so absorbed in it that I don’t even think about eating!

      Maybe there is a hobby or interest out there for you that you will enjoy more than eating.

      Sorry for the long response. Just thought it might help.

    • #12242
      Caroline
      Participant

      Hi Esther
      Thank you for that thoughtful post! What you say about’digging into my motivations’ is really helpful. That will work very well alongside Louise’s suggestion of writing down non-weight motivations most days and letting them change and develop.

      And it’s fascinating to learn that you discovered that eating wasn’t the essential treat that you’d taken it to be. Encouraging words!

      Again a massive Thank You to all of you who’ve replied to this thread. It’s all a great help and I appreciate it more than I can say.

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