Inevitably in our weight loss journey, exceptional phases of life happen (both positive and negative) that put a ton of pressure on our ability to apply our typical daily weight loss strategies effectively. I see my clients unconsciously grasp onto this idea that they need to apply weight loss exactly the same way during these exceptional circumstances. This creates a ton of self-judgment and tension during those exception times, creating this perception of failure.
What’s needed is not to 'try harder' or ever think you are falling off anything, but rather to develop different habits. The first is one of anticipating these exceptional times as a normal part of the weight loss journey. The second is to adjust expectations by flexibly switching to an exception protocol when circumstances change.
Exception protocols and plans are unique to you and the circumstance right now. We don't want to force the typical strategies for weight loss into exceptional times. Weight loss has to fit into a fully dynamic life with typical weeks and many different exception times. Our weight loss strategies must be flexible and adapt to flowing between those times. This will help you be consistent and experimental rather than just falling into all-or-nothing thinking that you fell off the wagon.
1. Look at the calendar and identify at least one exception time happening over the next three months. How will you know when you are entering this exception time, and when will you know it's over? Mark the calendar.
2. Create your exception plan by identifying what expectations need to change. Project yourself into that time by thinking about your days and needs in DETAIL and comparing and contrasting what you typically do/don't do with how that will change during the exception time. Write out your adapted expectations one by one and then gut-check that you are making this EASY and DOABLE (meaning able to be done).
3. When thinking about the extent to which you want to stay attached to weight loss during this exception time, remember that the Pareto Principle of integrative weight loss is to follow your internal hunger and satiety cues to know when and how much to eat. Everything else we do supports that foundational practice.
4. Decide what your re-entry will look like so that you can make the transition easy and flexible as you shift back to typical circumstances for weight loss.
Visit me @thriveinmidlife on Instagram on the episode 33 post and comment with your ah-ha's, takeaways, homework, and/or questions from this episode, and let’s keep the conversation going.
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