I find our mind to be fascinating. Not like I know much about it scientifically, but my mind is constantly blown when I learn more and more how our mind is the #1 thing that makes or breaks our health journey. It comes before what we eat, the exercise we do, the way we sleep, all of it. If our mind ain’t right… our body won’t be. So let’s talk about the mindset struggles that hurt your relationship with food.
Why is our mindset so important?
If you’ve been here a while, I talk about this stuff a lot. If you haven’t been here for a while? Hi, I’m Kelly. Read more about me and my story here.
Basically, our mindset runs the game. It dictates:
- the way we see food
- the way we see ourselves + our body
- how we deal with adversity
- the food choices we make
- the exercise choices we make
- how we handle stress
- how we cope with our emotions
… and that was only me typing for 15 seconds. There is so much more to it. When our mindset is off, that is when the problems arise.
We turn to food.
We stop exercising.
We grab the Ben & Jerry’s to deal with our stress.
We keep eating ‘because we screwed up.’
The two biggest mindset struggles are: the all-or-nothing mentality and overgeneralization.
The all-or-nothing mentality is pretty much what it sounds like. Where you live in an all-or-nothing state: you are either eating ‘perfectly’ on your diet, avoiding all the carbs and sugar while hitting the gym 5 times a week, or the complete opposite. You are eating everything under the sun, have zero regard to your hunger and fullness cues, and you are a food vacuum until your next stint of ‘perfect eating’ starts.
Mind you, it could be days, months, after the next holiday. Yikes.
Overgeneralization is making a really, really broad determination over one single thing that happens. You may be thinking ‘I don’t do that,’ but I promise you, if you’re here… you do. And it’s all good! That was me too.
Here’s what I mean:
- Eats one cookie: ‘I can’t ever stick to my diet, wtf is wrong with me’
- Has a snack after dinner: ‘I screwed up, I can’t do anything right’
- Doesn’t survive a whole 30? ‘I’ll never lose weight’
When you have thoughts about you NEVER be able to do something from one tiny instance, it completely screws up your progress. Because you hold onto the notion that nothing will ever work out for you, you’re destined for failure, and you end up eating more and more.
Have these mindset struggles? Here’s what to do.
When it comes to all-or-nothing thinking, you need to practice getting out of it. (Thanks for the obvious, Kel). But a way to do this is to actively work on eating foods that cause you to think this way – think the foods you love! Having smaller portions during the day and keeping yourself out of that deep, dark rabbit hole is what will make you normal around food over time.
For overgeneralization, a simple fix is to change our language. Realize, without emotion, what just happened. Take the above, for example. You ate a cookie, you had a snack at night, and you didn’t make it through a whole 30 (shocker: rarely anyone can). It’s not that big of a deal. When we take the emotion out of it, it becomes a lot easier to deal with the one-off situation than thinking the world is freaking ending.
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