Do we sabotage our success by soliciting negative feedback?
Staying healthy isn’t just about eating right or physical activity. It’s also about openly enlisting the support we need to help with weight loss.
In other words, the classic question, “Does this outfit make me look fat?” isn’t doing us any good. Instead, it feeds a negative cycle that often starts in our own minds. How do we combat this negative cycle?
“First, we need to become really clear about what we want,” says Marsha Hudnall, owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run. Only then, when we’ve discovered what our needs are, can we communicate them to others.
What type of support works best?
- A daily phone call with a close friend?
- A long walk after a difficult day?
- A romantic dinner with your sweetie at least once a month?
Knowing the type of support you’ll need makes it easier to plan ahead for times when you’ll feel overwhelmed or discouraged. Make a standing date for dinner or call a group of friends together. If they’re not getting the hint, tell them directly what you need and why.
We can’t expect others to know what we need when we aren’t clear ourselves. When we slow down and think, we may start to see how often we sabotage ourselves by looking for external validation. When we become aware of these old patterns, we can reframe them into newer, healthier ways of getting our needs met.
What do we mean when we ask “Do I look fat?”
- What kind of answer do we want?
- Will we believe the answer we’re given?
In other words, does the answer make a difference in how we feel? Most of the time when we ask that question and we get a positive answer, it doesn’t stop the negative thought from coming back. Concentrate instead on positive self talk and realize that someone else’s opinion is not really going to make you feel better at that moment.
Build on Positives
Instead of thinking to yourself “this person never offers to help me,” or, “why do I always have to make the plans?,” take the initiative and lay the groundwork for yourself. You’ll be happy you did. It’s about taking responsibility for our own needs.
“We can’t always count on receiving what we need from other people, but we can learn to consistently give ourselves what we need,” says Marsha. “If we aren’t able to validate ourselves, no amount of external validation will compensate.”
Read more about how to stop sabotaging your weight loss success from the Green Mountain archive of original articles and get the support you deserve to achieve weight loss success.