When the news of the Coronavirus broke, you may have felt the control you had over your life and diet slipping away. Fast forward to when Ireland first went into lockdown and your anxieties may have amplified! Although you cannot control what’s going on outside of your house – you can still control what happens within your four walls, and how well you do on your diet plan.
You’re doing ok on your diet, then you find yourself stuck at home with the whole family and a fridge full of temptation. In between trying to finalise important work reports, the kids are moaning for some more snacks. You quickly reach for a bar of chocolate to stop them moaning, then out of the blue that little voice kicks in: “One won’t hurt…”. The chocolate calls to you. “It’s fine,” reasons the little voice, “just eat one chunk of your favourite bar…” You tackle some difficult tasks and, before you know it, most of the chocolate has gone. “Well, you’ve blown it now,” the little voice scolds. “You might as well give up worrying about being good. Nothing works because you’re just not in control of your eating.”
What were you thinking?
One won’t hurt… How can a chocolate have a voice? You own that little voice – it’s your unhelpful thinking, prodding you with seemingly rational words.
Before you know it Really? How can that be? Of course you knew it, you put every single chunk of chocolate into your mouth! No one else was pulling your strings.
Nothing works You can’t control yourself, stop beating yourself up as you’ve gained another half a stone. Just because you’re stuck at home, you don’t have to visit the fridge, the bread bin, the treat cupboard so often…
So what can you do about it?
The truth is, you DO have a choice over everything you eat, over everything that goes into your mouth, and over whether you listen to your own inner voice. With LighterLife you learn E + R = O. That’s Event + Response = Outcome. Most people live their lives as if E = O (Event = Outcome).
This chocolate bar story is a prime example of an E = O life: “If only I hadn’t been on lockdown at home with temptations around, I wouldn’t have broken my diet.” Yet this denies the huge importance of R – your Response. You could have said no. That feeling of being ‘out of control’ comes from not being aware of what underlies that urge to overeat, the inner voice that drives it.
Once you recognise why you turn to food, you can work on more helpful ways of managing these situations, thoughts and feelings. So next time the kids are shouting for a snack, remember that no one – and nothing – can force you to eat them. You have the power to own your own choices; you are always in control. It’s time to embrace your personal power!