How to NOT fall off your Wagon!
Have you ever said, “I fallen off the wagon I’ve got to get back on again”, or something along those lines? If you haven’t said this yourself, I’m sure you know people who have. I used to say it all the time, but now that kind of terminology makes me feel quite uncomfortable.
If you use that phrase a lot, it’s also likely that you often yo-yo; maybe you’re on or off a diet or eating plan, or a good and bad way of eating. You wonder what will work, you give it a go, but you’re not sure how long to try it and this can take over a lot of your thinking. Perhaps you got on a new wagon at New Year but you’re already feeling that the wheels are little bit wobbly or you’re about to fall off.
If you’ve tried lots of different things, if you’re always ‘on’ or ‘off’ something, you may sometimes get results, but more often than not, you end up having to do the same things again to try lose weight, or get fit, or whatever it is you are aiming for, with no long-lasting results. And you’re probably pretty fed up with it all. If you can relate to any of this, the video and blog below give you some tips to help you break out of this way of thinking.
Over the last 11 years I’ve been helping people to break free from this kind of thinking and that ongoing cycle where you feel that you’re either being good or you’re being bad, you’re on the wagon or off the wagon. The mistake that you make when referring to your wagon is that you’ve made your wagon too small and too uncomfortable. It’s not really yours, and consequently, it’s easy to topple off. And because it’s too restrictive and you don’t enjoy the experience of being on it, once you are off it, subconsciously you will do things to make sure that you stay off it for a little bit longer. You’ve probably tried lots of different strategies and summoned up the energy to clamber back on, but then it happens again: you fall off, and it’s just exhausting! So, what can you do instead?
Your wagon is something that you will be travelling on for the rest of your life so it makes sense to make it comfortable, roomy, personal, and somewhere where you can see yourself being for the long term. So, you need to work out what you really want. What will make it sustainable for you?
Here are 3 tips to help you:
1. Blur the boundaries. You need to smooth those sharp edges that make your wagon tight and restricted and clearly define whether you are on or off. So, what might that mean for you? Perhaps in the past you’ve counted calories or points, and you’ve either had a good day or a bad day because of that. But what if you could take all that away! Think about what you want. Could it be something like eating well most of the time? Or eating unprocessed foods 80% of time? Could it be eating very healthily at home, but not minding so much when you are out? What blurred boundaries would suit your lifestyle, making less restrictive, so its not so obvious when you’re ‘on’ it or ‘off’ it?
2. Think about the positive things that you can bring into your wagon. It’s good to focus on some positive things that you can do so, you’re not just avoiding all those things you think you shouldn’t do, that lead to the feeling of ‘falling off’. Bring some things onto the wagon that you can do that will have a positive impact on your health. for example, could you:
- drink more water?
- eat more vegetables?
- stretch after you exercise or when you get out of bed?
- read a Bible verse in the morning?
- play a worship song when you empty the dishwasher?
Start focusing on what you can do, rather than what you can’t do and that will be make your wagon much more comfortable.
3. Don’t operate in deprivation, but instead, operate in freedom. When you operate in deprivation, when you deny yourself things and tell yourself you can’t have something, your choices become biased. And because you’ve told yourself you can’t have something, you disproportionately think about that thing, and dwell on whether you can or can’t, whether you should or really shouldn’t! But when you operate in freedom, that biased decision-making is taken away.
If you can have anything you want anytime, it takes away the bias of choice. We are fortunate to be in a position that we can eat pretty much anything we want to, at any time. It might not be the best choice for us but, if we really want something we know we can have it; it’s not likely to run out and we’re not going to get a slapped wrist for having it. Knowing this can help us to make better informed choices and decisions and can allow us to operate in freedom.
By applying these tips, it’s possible to see things a little bit differently, and you can have fewer black-and-white, good-or-bad kinds of days. This is part of what I teach help people with in the Healthy, Whole and Free Course, the next one starts in May. So far, the courses have been running on Wednesday nights, but if you would be interested and would prefer a Tuesday or Thursday, then let us know. You can sign up to register your interest and find out more about the next course here.