Wanting to drink more water but realising at the end of the day the bottle’s still full but there’s a stack of coffee mugs on your desk. Saying you are going to work out 3 times a week only to realise by Friday, you’ve done nothing. Telling ourselves we’re going to stop getting on the scales day in day out and letting a number determine our day!
Habits…we all struggle with them and changing habits, particularly health-related ones are tough! We need to learn how to work with the part of us that’s in resistance and have compassion for ourselves until we do- we will always struggle. I know because I’ve done it both ways and I have seen many clients struggle- it’s probably the area that I help the most with.
So, I used to be obsessed with looking a certain way, so much that I forced myself through soul-destroying eating plans and overtraining. But, even when my body looked great, it wasn’t enough! I still felt empty, not good enough and I was terrified of putting weight back on that I felt under constant pressure, I worried about food and I was just miserable.
Now I’m slim toned and healthy, I even think I look better now than I did when I forced myself through all the training and diet plans, I now eat what I want and train when I want in a way that feels good to me!
So what’s changed? I invested in myself. I worked on my mindset and I learnt to love and accept myself and my body, even the parts that were hard to accept in the beginning. I discovered how to care for all parts of myself instead of shaming and blaming them. Then I practiced over and over learning a new way to treat myself and therefore new beliefs and new ways of behaving. I let go of the damaging belief that my appearance or body shape was responsible for making me lovable or good enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a big work in progress in many areas of my life and in many ways, but my experience of my body has changed dramatically. Overall I’m so much happier and better off for it and reparenting that part of me, for that area of my life helps me grow in other areas too.
How can it work for you?
You start by setting your goals for changing a habit in a way that serves you, rather than leaving you feeling like a failure. Often traditional goal-setting set us up to fail in 3 ways:
👉🏼They are too specific
👉🏼The time frame is too short
👉🏼We set too many.
Basically, we have high expectations of ourselves, we expect to be like a machine and forget we are human and therefore not perfect, things will happen to derail us. This means we feel like a failure, not good enough or ashamed when we cannot keep up. So inevitably we don’t reach the goal or we sabotage it.
So try a new way of goal setting (I’ve used the example of the goal of weight loss).
Find out what it means to you.
What do you hope losing weight will give you?? I could be feeling good and sexy in new clothes, maybe having more energy. Good, now dig deeper and think about what that would mean to you? Maybe it’s about feeling attractive and feeling energised so you can enjoy each day and live the life you long for.
Identify the part of you in resistance.
What habit or belief is going to get in the way? Or what part of you doesn’t want this goal?
Make an agreement with yourself to work WITH this part rather than against it and keep your focus on what the goal means to you, not the thing. ie feeling good and having energy, remembering you are only human and you will slip up.
Listen to the energy of your words…
…and use invitation rather than need. Say or write your goals more like ‘I would like to invite more energy and invite the experience of feeling good in my body’ vs ‘ I will lose 2 stone by May’. You are opening yourself to experiences rather than putting limitations on your life.
Validate and support yourself as you take action on your goal.
Have compassion and understanding when you fall off track, rather than kicking your own ass. As this will only cause part of you to resist what you want more and sabotage you.
If you would like my help with your body image or any other habit that’s bothering you now and getting in the way of you living a full life, I’d love to invite you to book a free discovery call with me, to help you to change that habit for good and get yourself feeling like you again.