Today I want to talk to you about motivation and mistakes, because mistakes are inevitable, especially if you’re on a weight loss journey. We are all going to make them. Whether it was yesterday, whether it’s today, tomorrow or in the future, we’re going to make mistakes.
I want to let you know that if you make a mistake or if you veer off, if you have a bad meal, or if you have a bad day – it’s okay. Because you know what? You’re still you, and that decision, that action, doesn’t define you. What we’re seeking to do is add frameworks around our behaviour, and tools in your toolkit that will support you in achieving your goals, and if you’re on a weight loss journey – your weight loss goals in particular.
However, if you do eat your own chocolate biscuits, or someone else’s – it’s okay.
Professor Grant Schofield spoke about filling up your fridge and emptying your pantry. Why? Because we know that if the pantry is full of delicious chocolate biscuits, that increases the risk of us eating those delicious chocolate biscuits. The first goal should be not to eat your own chocolate biscuits. And the second goal should be not to eat someone else’s chocolate biscuits. But I’m here to tell you that, yes, that should absolutely be your goal. However, if you do eat your own chocolate biscuits, or someone else’s, it’s okay. We can easily fall into a downward spiral where we start thinking, “I just started having one, then one led to two and two led to three. I might as well finish the packet”. And then “Well, since it’s been so bad, I might as well go open up the fridge and have a beer.”
We have these little narratives where we think we’ve made one misstep, it’s okay to make the second and third and fourth.
With mindset and mistakes, the first step is the acceptance that they’re going to happen. That’s fine. Just because you make one misstep doesn’t mean that you have to make a second, or a third. We’re going to put these frameworks around us to try and support us because we know that consistency compounds. It compounds in life. We see it everywhere. The most common one is in terms of compound interest in financial savings. When you save over time, the interest compounds on itself and grows to be a much larger number than what it ever would have been otherwise.
Consistency compounds in our diet, because eating a healthier diet over time generates healthier behaviours and a healthier diet continuing forward.
But consistency compounds in life as well. It compounds in relationships. You can think of it like making a call to someone out of the blue every now and then, versus the continued connection that you can have when you’re in daily contact with someone, building on that relationship over time.
Consistency compounds in weight loss. It compounds in our diet because eating a healthier diet over time, generates healthier behaviours and a healthier diet continuing forward. It generates in our exercise and our choices, because once we start making those choices and living that healthier life, we’re likely to lead a healthier life going forward and make those decisions again. But we’re all going to misstep and we’re all going to make mistakes. And it’s okay.
So, if you’re trying to lose weight and if you’ve made a mistake – it’s okay. Just jump back on that horse. Keep riding. Keep galloping forward. Don’t use it as a reason or an excuse to let yourself off and think, “I might as well give up this challenge”. To err is to be human and it’s entirely normal.
If you’re doing great at the moment and you’ve got that momentum going, have a bit of a plan for when you do make a mistake. Don’t punish yourself. Don’t get into that self-dialogue, that narrative in your head, that is telling you to give up. Get back on that horse.
Dr Carlo Bellini is PreKure’s Lead Coach. He teaches the coaching component in the Health Coach Certificate.
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