I've been a bit mad at myself lately, because while everyone else in my weight loss group is achieving their goals beautifully, I've been gaining weight.
With a history of being an emotional eater - it's a struggle to not respond to that by having a really big binge - sometimes I've lost the struggle, and had the binge. Would you believe that hasn't helped?
My training as a journalist leads me to go ask questions about things I don't really understand, so I turned to the book Weight Loss for Food Lovers, by psychiatrist Dr George Blair-West.
In Chapter 14: Sabotage-proofing through setbacks, I found some information which I think will prove quite helpful.
According to Dr Blair-West, "Our unconscious is not particularly complicated or sophisticated, but it is sly and crafty (much like refrigerators and pantries really!) Its greatest power comes from stealth, from staying below the radar so that we are not aware it is at work until it is too late, until we have blown the diet and allowed our old habits to re-establish themselves."
Apparently, I'm waging a guerrilla war with my own subconscious.
The idea is that my subconscious has the task of keeping me safe. It does that by keeping things familiar. What worked before ought to work again. The problem is that for me, and many other people who struggle with their weight, what worked before didn't really work after all.
So, until my subconscious learns that the habits I'm trying to develop actually will work better, it's going to find ways to try to sabotage my efforts to change.
The response - to be on the lookout for what is hiding in the forest.
When I have a setback, I have to say, well, that was interesting, what can I learn from it? I need a plan - so that when that same (or a similar) situation comes up again, I'll have an appropriate response.
Because I'm always starving in the afternoon - and tend to eat from afternoon tea time to dinnertime, what I've learned is that I can't let myself get hungry in the afternoon. The possible solution I need to try is to eat a more substantial lunch - preferably with low GI carbs, with fibre and protein - all of which help fight hunger.
For me, I'm also tired at that time of day - so going for my nap as soon as I get tired, avoiding the tendency to eat to overcome fatigue, should also help. Well, I'll give it a go. I'll let you know what happens.