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Turnip the Beet! Nutrition and Wellness

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self talk

Recipe for Disaster: Mixing Negative Self-Talk with Eating Behaviors


I have been promoting mindful eating a lot lately and it's been a popular topic especially with the holiday season underway. Although a fairly simple concept, it does take a little practice to be fully aware of your eating habits and to alter any that may otherwise be destructive to your long-term health and well-being.

So, what's next? If you feel like you're already aware of your hunger cues and the meaning of 'mindful eating' but you just can't seem to stick to your New Year's resolution or a healthier eating plan, you may be a victim of negative self-talk which encompasses a variety of distortions or false beliefs. By changing your self-talk to be more realistic then you will be able to reach any health goal, simply by believing in yourself!

Distortions in your thinking can impede your progress!

Take a look at this table, do any of these thoughts or beliefs sound familiar to you?

Type of Distortion

False Thought or Belief

Labeling/mislabeling

"I ate both desserts…I'm such a pig!"

Discounting the positive

"I'm following the diet now but it probably won't last long."

All-or-nothing thinking

"I ate those cookies. My diet is ruined."

Jumping to conclusions

"I have tried to lose weight before but failed, so it's not worth trying again."

Should statements

"I shouldn't eat (insert food here) because it's 'off limits'."

Emotional reasoning

"I'm feeling upset so I deserve an extra helping of this ice cream."

Magnification

"My friends must think I'm a complete failure since they saw me eating that candy bar and I'm supposed to be on a diet."

Overgeneralization

"I didn't stick to my diet today; I will never be able to lose weight!"

If any of these examples sound familiar to you, don't feel bad. The mind has to be trained and if you have been thinking this way for years or even decades your mind will automatically want to put a negative spin on your situation. This is true for any aspect of life, not just eating habits.

Below are some examples of how you can change your negative self-talk into more realistic terms.

False Thought or Belief

Realistic Thought or Belief

"I ate both desserts…I'm such a pig!"

"I am human. I can try both without overeating."

"I'm following the diet now but it probably won't last long."

"I may not be able to stick to my diet all the time, but I am making progress in changing my eating habits."

"I ate those cookies. My diet is ruined."

"Eating a few cookies does not ruin my diet as long as I don't overeat them."

"I have tried to lose weight before but failed, so it's not worth trying again."

"If I believe in myself, I can accomplish anything. Even though I wasn't successful in the past, I must keep trying."

"I shouldn't eat (insert food here) because it's 'off limits'."

"No food is 'off-limits' but some I should eat on an occasional basis and not every day."

"I'm feeling upset so I deserve an extra helping of this ice cream."

"I tend to overindulge when I'm upset so I'm going to find hobbies that don't involve eating to boost my mood."

"My friends must think I'm a complete failure since they saw me eating that candy bar and I'm supposed to be on a diet."

"My friends love and support me and they won't judge me for what I eat."

"I didn't stick to my diet today; I will never be able to lose weight!"

"Losing weight is a process and it takes time to change habits."

By changing your inner dialogue, you will forever have your own personal cheerleader by your side. Start your day by focusing on what you're doing well or what you like about yourself and repeat it throughout the day. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • I love and honor my body
  • I am beautiful inside and out
  • I value quality over quantity
  • I will live a long and happy life
  • I work hard to keep myself healthy
  • I am a good role model for my friends and family

 

For more on mindful eating, check out Mindful Eating: A Conscious Approach to Health.

For an irresistible yet guiltless eggnog recipe, check out Recipe Rescue: Homemade Eggnog.



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