What does your brain think about when you are heading into a challenging food situation? Have you ever really listened? Often there is a stream of thoughts that are quite subtle. It is easy for them to go unnoticed. But these thoughts can make the difference on whether you successfully stick to your plan or if you struggle.
“Am I going to have some ice cream?”
This week I noticed some of these old thoughts coming back which made me think about how simple but powerful they are. I was taking my kids for ice cream and noticed I was having a bunch of questioning thoughts about whether I would have ice cream or not. Thoughts like; “Am I going to be able to not order ice cream” or “Will I stick to my plan?”. These were passive thoughts which acted like I had no say in the process. They were treating my decision to eat or not eat ice cream as something that would just happen to me.
I used to have these thoughts all the time. And they never served me. Almost universally, they would end with me giving in and eating the food in question. Followed by me feeling frustrated at my lack of willpower. If I was successful in not eating, it felt like a really struggle that I had to get through.
These thoughts were undermining my confidence without me being aware of it. I blamed myself and my willpower when all it really was was my thoughts.
“I don’t want any ice cream right now”
The great news is that this sort of thought is easy to change once you notice that it is there. Just changing the thought to sound more confident makes positive decisions easy to make. Confident thoughts treat the eating as something that is directly in your control and empowers you to be in control. I changed my thoughts in the situation to “I won’t order myself an ice cream because I don’t like how it makes me feel”. I felt calm and in control in the store and left feeling good with no hint of deprivation. No willpower needed. Just a change to what I was thinking about.
Go from Passive Questions to Confident Thoughts
The first step is paying attention to the thoughts. Find the ones that aren’t serving you and weed them out. Change them slightly to be more confident and in line with your goals. Get through one situation successfully, without all the struggle and watch the momentum build!
Listen to this weeks podcast for more tips about finding and changing these tricky thought patterns.