Habitual thinking patterns can easily undo the best of intentions when it comes to eating. Because they have become habits, these thoughts play out unconsciously, which makes them so sneaky and difficult to change. A perfect example is the all-too-common self talk that proclaims “I blew it.” The obvious (but not really very logical) conclusion is “. . . so now it doesn’t matter any more.”
This is probably the single most damaging pattern of thinking in the quest for better health, a better weight, a smaller size, etc. It initiates the cycle of guilt and disappointment, which never sets the stage for motivation moving forward. Argue with me if you like, but I think you know I am right!
I had a reminder last night of how ridiculous repetitive habits of thinking can be. It did not have to do with eating. It had to do with sleeping, but the concept is similar.
I have been having trouble sleeping well through the night lately – very frustrating! It seems that it is hardest to get back to sleep when I wake up around 3am. It’s interesting, but hardly a reason to think that it should be any more difficult to get back to sleep than if I wake up at, say 2am instead. The problem seems to be getting worse whenever I see a time starting with “3”!
I began to realize that I have been telling myself, “It’s that time. I will now have trouble falling asleep again.”
Last night I saw the lack of logic – not to mention science – in my developing thought process. I actually saw the humor in it when I woke up, looked up at the clock and saw that it was not just 3:00, or 3:30, but 3:33! I laughed to myself, thinking I was truly screwed if seeing a “3” on the clock in the middle of the night meant no hope of sleep.
Now I am debating whether to hide the clock or just be aware of the ridiculousness of this thought pattern when I am faced with a dreaded “3” staring back at me in the middle of the night. I think I’ll hide the clock.
We can’t really help it that thoughts pop into our heads, but recognizing negative patterns are forming – or have been there for a long time – allows for the chance to challenge the logic and perform a slow exorcism of the not-so-supportive thought patterns.
With the New Year on the way, what a great resolution! How about resolving to challenge some of the negative thought patterns? It sure beats the tired, worn-out eating resolutions so many people recycle every January 1.