I’ve been thinking hard about my inability to lose weight.
Stress is usually the reason I offer when I think about my inability to get consistent results.
But I think that’s only a partially true – I can’t restrict my eating because stress is also my number one excuse for shamelessly indulging in my favorite treats: chocolate and candy.
Now it wouldn’t be fun at all if I couldn’t reward myself by eating what I want, would it? It’s just too bad there’s so much stress in my life at the moment that I’m “forced” to indulge almost all the time.
It’s true that stress really makes it harder to stick to an eating plan. My problem is that if I’m under pressure, I usually give in without putting up a fight of any kind and a voice in my head says I will give in to the temptation anyway. It’s useless to resist!
I’ve learned some cognitive therapy techniques in past, and I was finally frustrated enough to put them to use. All habits – like my stress/emotional eating – have both benefits and disadvantages, which is why it’s so difficult to give them up.
Here is a cost-benefit analysis for continuing my stress eating habit.
|I can eat whatever I want
If I have stress, I can indulge without guilt and restrictions
No need to use my energy to figure out other ways of coping with stress
I don’t need to feel like a failure in weight loss – I don’t really fail, it’s the stress!
I don’t need to be bothered to follow any kind of eating plan
It’s rewarding to eat candy and chocolate
I can avoid thinking about my problems for a moment
No need to use energy to find something else to do that would be rewarding
|It’s more and more difficult to find nice clothes that fit me
I don’t like the way I look, so I have to keep avoiding mirrors, photographs and clothes shopping for the rest of my life
I’ll probably get fatter as time goes by
The pleasure I get from eating candy lasts about 2 minutes – is it really worth it?
My problems don’t get solved
My stress levels don’t really lessen with eating
Sooner or later, my stress eating has health consequences and I’m forced to diet anyway
Theoretically, if I think the disadvantages of stress eating are bigger than the advantages, I should be motivated enough to do something to my habit. I wish.
Comparing the advantages and disadvantages of my stress eating habit like this at least reveals that the habit doesn’t make much sense: it doesn’t really relieve stress, solve my problems or improve my life in any substantial way.
A couple of minutes of pleasure is all I get, and a muffin top of course.
What is your number one weight loss excuse?