What is the first step on the road to making a change? For me, it always begins with the awareness that I am unhappy in my current situation. Maybe that’s a pessimistic approach to change, but the thing is, I am likely to stick with something that’s working even if there might be a better option out there. It isn’t until it stops working when I find the need to make a change. When it comes to losing weight I’m no different. Trust me, if eating a half pint of ice cream every night while snuggling on the couch made me feel amazing for 24 hours, I’d have installed a freezer and a drawerful of spoons underneath the corner seat of my sectional by now. And if Ben & Jerry’s had figured out a formula that when mass-consumed gave people all of their necessary daily nutrients and six-pack abs, then Vons would never have to have a 2 for $5 sale on ice cream. (Sidenote: I would totally pay a lot of money for said ice cream formula, Ben & Jerry, so get crackin’ on that.)
Thus we have the first Mental State of Weight Loss: Dissatisfaction. What do you feel like when you are here? Well, you see the reality of your situation and you are not pleased with yourself. You wish you were different. You wish you could change. You lament the fact that you cannot change into a different person with different habits over night. One could remain in this mental state for a long long time. One could even be consumed by this mental state because this state is so full of negativity and mean thoughts and doubt and comparisons and self-defeat. But the good news is that this is the first state. And the first leads to the second, so if you acknowledge that you’re here, you might be able to move on a little faster.
But until you’re ready to move one, here are some things you can do whilst hanging out in Dissatisfaction:
1) Research different weight loss approaches. Gather easy recipes to inspire healthy cooking. Read magazines and blogs to see how other people are tackling the same changes you’ll be tackling and then feel worse about yourself while you compare your busy-no-time-to-cook-let-alone-set-a-beautiful-tablescape-and-take-a-picture-of-it life with the seemingly glossy blogger life of skinnier people than you. Oh boy.
2) Pay attention to your thoughts so you can hear the way you are talking to yourself. Because you are mean and you should know that about yourself. Meanie! This will be important later down the line, so just start noticing.
3) Wallow. Hey, it’s an option that we should acknowledge. And one that is not as detrimental as it sounds. Wallowing will let you feel what you’re feeling, and that is not a bad thing at all. Misery loves company, so try wallowing with a friend, it could potentially speed up the wallow, but also beware–company feeds Misery like wind to a fire. So wallow with others at your own risk. Or rather, choose your wallow-buddies with care. Some may help, some may hinder. In your heart of hearts, you know who is who.
4) Get really angry. Anger is motivating. Go ahead and be mad at yourself for a minute. Be mad at whoever else you need to be mad at–maybe some skinny bitch you don’t know like Rose Byrne. Rose Byrne could handle my anger from afar. Be mad at some Oreo cookies and be mad at the muther-effer who brought them into the house (that may be you, so be prepared for that self anger again). You’re going to be angry at some point, so you might as well get it over with.
5) Prepare your Last Rites Binge. See below.
I would be remiss if I did not talk about the Last Rites Binge. You all know what I’m talking about. Not just my Weight Watchers out there but my Master Cleansers and Juice Cleansers and Atkinsers and Jenny Craigers and Paleos and Clean Eaters and even you well-adjusted-regular people out there too. Once you have realized your dissatisfaction, you will soon thereafter be planning your last meal. Often times your last weekend. That last container of cookies, that last order of Thai food, that last bread basket, pat of butter, pancake breakfast, or whatever you think you won’t be eating for a long time. And you are gonna eat and drink and cram as much of it into your body as you can stand until…
Congratulations! You have completed your Last Rites Binge! That was remarkably easy to consume so many extra unnecessary calories, wasn’t it? Now, you are at the height of Dissatisfaction. You are stuffed and uncomfortable. Your pants don’t fit and even your knees are fat. Your KNEES are FAT! You are winded walking from your car to the entrance of Target where you are headed in a desperate search for spandex that will make it over your ass and fool people (mostly yourself) into thinking you are wearing real clothes (you are not). Your mood is in the pits. You are fed up (this is where that angry #4 from above comes in handy). You’re ready, so very ready to feel even an ounce skinnier than you do in this moment.
Well, you’re in luck. Because here you are. You made it. You’ve taken yourself from Dissatisfaction to the Last Rites Binge and you have come out the other side and are now deeper into Dissatisfaction. Believe it or not, this can be good news. Because now you are so deep into Dissatisfaction that you are ready to try and pull yourself out of it. You are determined in fact. And now you are ready for the next state: The Initial Commitment Surge.
Doesn’t that sound promising?