Three Steps to Resolving Your Guilt (Three Part Series)
PART 1: The Pre-steps & Step #1
Do you ever feel guilty for working on your weight loss goals? You feel like other people might think you are being selfish or that you spend too much time on yourself? Or you have your own conflicting opinion that you should spend more time working on something more important than losing weight? Or you might even feel guilty about the reason you are trying to lose weight?
Especially during a global pandemic, you might be thinking: Why am I still worried about weight loss during a time like this!?
This is perfectly normal and figure-out-able.
The first concept to dig into and understand is that GUILT is a feeling and feelings come from thoughts. Feelings don’t come from other people or circumstances. And this is great news because if it comes from your thoughts, you have the power to change them.
Your THOUGHTS drive your Feelings. Your FEELINGS drive your actions/inactions. Your ACTIONS/INACTIONS drive your Results.
Thoughts -> Feelings -> Actions -> Results
There are no right or wrong feelings and beating yourself up over feeling guilt does not serve you. But recognizing which thoughts/feeling are NOT SERVING or SERVING you (to effectively drive the actions you want to take) is a skill worth building. For every feeling, being able to notice it, process it, and then choose deliberately to move forward is the name of the game.
“You Are Here”
Before you move onto the 3 steps to resolving your guilt, spend some time getting to know your current thoughts and feelings and actions and results. Write them down. Notice them without judgement- you are simply getting to know yourself better so that you can move forward. Awareness is where every journey begins.
If you have a lot of guilt, you will probably notice thoughts that contain the word “Should” or “Shouldn’t”. Interesting, huh? It’s because somewhere deep in our beliefs we think there is a right or wrong way to do things that have been shaped over time by our conditioning and past experience.
Consider a few questions: What if there was no right or wrong way? What if there was no “perfect” time or “perfect” scenario? What if other people’s opinions are just theirs and you don’t have to take responsibility for them? (Because in reality this is true…) What if everything that happened up to today was meant to happen that way and there was no other way it could happen? This is a great one for people who spin stories and reasons/excuses based on their past.
Phew! Now, don’t rush this step. It’s a lot to take in, but if you are embarking on a journey, knowing where you are on the map is super duper important. And once you get good at this step, this is a skill that you will keep using throughout the journey! Being present with yourself, taking a look at your thoughts, realizing your thoughts lead to your feelings which drive all your actions is vital! And doing this with curiosity, not judgement, is another meta skill that will serve you well.
Begin the Journey
Sorting out your thoughts about your weight loss journey is imperative for you to reclaim your peace of mind and make deliberate decisions about what this journey looks like for you.
This is your life. This is your journey. You get to design it.
Here are 3 Solutions to Resolving your Guilt that will be discussed in this 3-part series:
- Developing your goal & compelling reason
- Developing your emotional fuel
- Deciding what to think about other people’s opinions and your opinions
Step #1: Developing your goal with a compelling reason. If your goal and your compelling reason is well laid out, clearly defined, and coming from a place of love for yourself, then guilt has much less leg to stand on.
If you look back at your thoughts leading to guilt about weight loss, my hunch is that there is a lot of indecision and conflicting thoughts and desires. Making deliberate decisions and being committed to a goal gives your brain clear DIRECTION & PURPOSE. You spend less time with going back and forth, less time questioning your motives, less time questioning if “this is a good time”, and less time worrying. In other words: Less time indulging in GUILT.
Goal Development– the SMART Goal concept (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) is still a great tool to use for goal development. But be sure to WRITE IT DOWN. That’s one of the things most people skip.
Compelling Reason– You will need to ensure your compelling reason is what will compel you forward when you get in the thick of it and your reason to even start in the first place! When you hit rough spots, obstacles, fail, receive pressure from the outside, want to quit, your compelling reason will need to be the strong vision and purpose that keeps you going.
When Martin Luther King said “I have a Dream…”, he had a VISION and REASON.
Now, here me out on this one caveat… Make sure your reason is not to “FIX” yourself, make you more worthy, or that making it to any goal will “Make you a happier person.” These are NOT going to serve you. You are already a complete person, not broken. You are already worthy, period. Your happiness comes from your thoughts, not because a circumstance changes.
You change your weight just because you want to.
Your compelling reason does not have to be altruistic or make sense to anyone else but you. What motivates you? What will get you through?
Here are just some examples: I want to lose weight to improve my health & enjoy my retirement as an active person; I want to lose weight because I want to challenge myself; I want to lose weight because I love myself and want to take care of my body; I want to lose weight to improve my fitness and reach new levels; I want to show my kids that you can set a goal to get healthier and reach it; I want to rock my favorite jeans again and feel lighter
As with the SMART goal, WRITE IT DOWN! Put it with the goal so you have it in the same place. Review it DAILY throughout your journey.
The next two blogs will cover the next two steps! I can’t wait to share it!
Note: If you believe you have an eating disorder or health problems, see a doctor before starting a weight loss journey. That may even help you develop a compelling reason as well. Just wanted to make sure that is somewhere in this blog. 😊
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