But recently, she’d started overeating, and couldn’t seem to stop.
“My wedding is in two weeks!” she wailed. “At the rate I’m going, I won’t even fit into my dress.
I feel awful physically, but even more, I’m scared that all the work I’ve done over the past year will be wasted. How do I get back in control?”
As we sat down over coffee, I started by reassuring Tanya that she was NOT going to gain all her weight back.
I was confident that she could stop her current pattern and get back to the healthy lifestyle she’d followed so carefully over the past months.
“First of all,” I began, “I want you to know that you are NORMAL. Often people will do great for a long time, the hit some major stress and suddenly feel like they’re losing it.
Whether you’re facing a big event such as your wedding, your need to feel emotionally safe, nurtured and in control goes sky high.
Other stresses such as doing your taxes or applying for a new job can have the same effect. During times like this, what you need is some emergency intervention for your spirit.”
Here’s what I suggested to Tanya. Every morning, put on a “Healthy Day Hat.”
Then each day, do at least 5 things that will help you label your day as being a “healthy one.”
1. The magic glass of water
Each morning, start the day by drinking a glass of water. (That’s one down already.) This immediately demonstrates that it’s a healthy day.
2. One healthy meal
Eat a specific breakfast that you can count on as being healthy. (eggs and toast, oatmeal and fruit, etc.) After you’ve eaten ONE healthy meal, you’re more likely make good choices for the other meals in your day.
3. Do a little bit of exercise
Even a short walk or a few minutes on a treadmill will work. I like the idea of pushing yourself to do 10 minutes. Then you can either stay with it and keep going, or quit for the day. Either way, you’ll feel like a success.
4. Eliminate the food fix
Every time you head for the refrigerator or cupboard, but know you aren’t hungry, immediately STOP and tell yourself, “It’s not in here!”
Remind yourself that what you really need (nurtured, calmed, etc.) is NOT going to be fixed with food. Sure, it’s kind of soothing, but in the long run, you’ll just be upset and feel worse.
5. Instant nurturing
Make a short list of things that will calm or nurture you, such as sitting down with a cup of tea or a diet soda and forcing yourself to slow down a bit. Or take a 5-minute walk a couple of times a day.
By doing these 5 things, you’ll hang the “healthy day” sign over your head, and it will inspire you to stay with your diet or maintenance program successfully the rest of the day.
If it helps, actually wear a hat of some kind to remind yourself of your healthy day. This photo at the beginning of this post was taken at a restaurant in Colorado where they made each person a hat with their name on it.
I love this hat, and it makes me feel happy to look at the photo. I don’t own the hat any more, but today, I’m pretending I’m wearing it to remind myself of my healthy day.