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Trying to Lose Weight? Lose Your Girly Thoughts.
Goals are good. There is nothing wrong with having weight loss as a goal, but how you go about fulfilling this particular goal will make 2014 either a great year or another year where you start out strong and fizzle fast.
How About Losing Some Stress?
Yes, stress. Those extra pounds did not come from nowhere. You are probably a stress eater. This means when you feel stress, you do something to relieve it, and that may mean eating or drinking to just calm down. When you feel stressed, you feel you deserve that brownie; it has your name on it, doesn’t it? After all, desserts is just stressed spelled backward!
Consider this scenario: You’ve had a really bad day at work. You deserve a beer or that glass of white wine . . . or two. As part of the eating frenzy that is a family dinner, your kids want spaghetti—seconds, even—and if they’re going to have seconds, you will as well.
Stress is a given in your life. But to lose or reduce it, you need to figure out what is stressing you.
Dieting Stresses You Even More
If you are a stress eater, if you eat as a way of calming yourself, dieting only increases your stress because you are taking away your stress reducer. This is why diets do not work. Dieting increases your stress. You are now in a no-win situation.
The Stress of Girly Thoughts
Focusing on reducing a negative way you are dealing with stress is one strategy. But a strategy with an even bigger pay-off and no back-end payout is to reduce your stress level. And what stresses women out? All those societal messages—those girly thoughts—that tell us we are:
- too fat
- too young
- too old
- too aggressive
- too smart
- too boring
So is it any surprise that you take solace in something that gives give you immediate satisfaction, like eating or drinking? But what if there was something you could do that would accomplish the same thing? Something that would calm you down, give you satisfaction, with no calories?
Challenging Your Stressful Girly Thoughts—A Zero-Calorie Solution
Learning to talk back to that negative inner dialogue where your girly thoughts are found is one way to do that. How does this work?
- Identify what is causing you stress. If it is your girly thoughts, then name them. Naming something for what it is gives us power over it.
- Don’t let a thought determine how you feel. Don’t feel if this, then that. Having a negative girly thought, or any negative thought, does not have to determine how you feel. It is, after all, just a thought.
- Tell your girly thoughts to take a hike. You can choose to not indulge a negative thought about yourself. Instead you can: Tell your girly thought to get lost. Treat your girly thought lightly, thanking it for its wisdom but saying you’re not interested. Invite yourself to think of something else, something more pleasant, such as a massage or sitting on the beach.
None of us can control what pops into our minds, but we can control what we allow to be there rent-free. We can control what we think, and by doing so we can reduce our stress, cut down on our stress eating and drinking.
Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, is the author of: The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (HCI, 2013), and Out Your Girly Thoughts . . . Embrace Your Strength (coming in April 2014 from HCI). She is speaking at the Best Start Resource Centre 2014 Annual Conference in Toronto Feb. 26-28.