Go Left!

Go Left!

Good morning!

Happy Wednesday! I hope you woke up to a beautiful day this morning! It’s a rainy one in my neck of the woods but beautiful nonetheless.

Monday I shared a few of the things that helped me out while I was still on the tumultuous eating disorder trail.  Today, I want to share one more thing.

Last week we did The One Change Challenge on here. The ladies and I chose just ONE change that we wanted to make and then focused on making that one change for 7 days straight. The reason I thought of this challenge was because it was ONE change at a time that has made the big differences in my life. One goal, one change, wait, then move onto the next.

We all want to make changes for the better. Where we go wrong is trying to make all the changes for the better at once.

new me.jpg

I think we all have made a list like this in the past. Probably around the new year….

The thing with a list like the one above is that it is overwhelming. Most likely you will get up the next day, eat breakfast, maybe get your workout in, head to work, and do nothing else on the list.

So what does this have to do with eating disorders?

There was ONE change that I practiced that took me from binge eater to someone who overeats sometimes and then stops.

Go Left!

go-left

Welcome to my brain. I know for me, during my eating disorder or even just a bad eating binge, there was a sequence of events that occurred. The sequence would always go a lot like this……

Ate something I thought I shouldn’t or ate too much
Worry about it

Turn on the TV 
Grab some kind of junk and mindlessly eat as much as I could
Eat all the junk because this is a binge

What I didn’t realize was that this was a habit. I had formed this sequence in my brain that when I had anxiety about what I ate, I would turn on the TV, grab the chips or whatever, and mindlessly binge in front of the TV. I had a driving version too but I won’t go into that.

SO the one change that I needed to focus on was “going left” when my mind wanted to go right. The left turn is never the easier one when we are driving, it’s not the easier one when breaking a cycle either. But if you make it your one goal to focus on, you can do it. When I would get the urge to binge eat, I had to do something else, anything else, to break the cycle. So if I ate a little too much and I was worried about it, “going left” would be to leave the house and go to Starbucks instead of sitting down and turning on the TV. Or walking around Target. Sure, you may spend a few dollars but guess what else costs money……… a binge! You do what you need to do in the beginning.

Going left could also be grabbing a lean protein with some healthy fat instead of grabbing junk food. Sure, you don’t want the protein snack at the time but it will give you a satisfied feeling and the urge to binge won’t be so great. It’s better to eat a little more than to eat everything in your pantry. Eating junk would be the next thing in the sequence, go left and choose a heathy food to break the chain of events.

If you struggle with binge eating, picture a road ahead of you that forks, one road to the right and one road to the left. The one in my mind is a dirt road, not sure why but it works. You are heading to the right where your mind is pulling you, but today you will go to the left! Remember just ONE thing when you get the urge to binge, GO LEFT.

This takes practice but you will get it. You can practice by keeping the picture of the fork in your mind and using it to “go left” in all of the decisions that you are tempted to take the easy road.

You wake up in the morning, you are tired and don’t want to exercise……. go left
You know you need to save money but you have the urge to spend…….go left
You want to spend more time with your kids but the daily grind keeps getting in the way…….go left!

This is just something that appeared in my brain one day that has really been a great tool. I hope that it will help some of you out there.

Questions:

Do you ever do things out of pure habit? 

Did you realize that this was occuring?

Have a great day everyone!

6 thoughts on “Go Left!

  1. Hmm…I prefer right over left, lol ! And, the dirt road…the best to travel. Good vision ! And this will stick in my mind. I have noticed some trending happenings in my life. Lately I have regrouped with things. One is that I felt we were carelessly drinking. We do not drink at home by ourselves. Thankfully ! But, when we get together with a sister of mine, we drink. This is most definitely a habit ! So, lately, we have made change by only drinking on the weekend and only if we go out. It was becoming a habit. And honestly, I do enjoy a cocktail but I had two hangovers in the last month. Wth ?! Why would I want to start that now ?? Such an unhealthy undertaking ! Empty calories, on and on and on.

    What I like is the new habit forming of doing my challenge exercises daily 😜👍🏻😀👍🏻😁👍🏻🙏. Now that is a win, win, win !

    1. Lol! Well whichever way is the opposite of the direction you are being pulled into. Go that way. But only if it’s for the better of course!
      Oh I went through a time like this too. I don’t even like to drink that much. I definitely had to back off. Luckily, it is terrible for my fitness goals so it’s easy for me to choose one over the other.
      Yaaaayyyy!!! I love that it’s becoming a habit! So aweomse! Go Mary!!! High five!

  2. I love this tactic Angela, it sounds so simple but I’m sure it’s not that easy to implement. My bad habit is mindless eating in front of the TV in the evenings. I need to go left and find something else to do, maybe read a book, take a bubble bath, go for a walk or bike ride (once the weather gets better).

    1. I’m so glad you liked it Christine! Now that I have that picture in my mind it keeps coming up and it’s much easier. It definitely something to practice though. But yes! Those are great ways to go left. Anything to break the chain of events. And it’s important for it to not be a lot of work. I know sometimes any sort of exercise even a walk seems to exhausting so I choose the binge instead. But if I go drive around that’s better lol. Or like you said, take a bubble bath.

  3. Wow, thank you for sharing this… the habit’s cycle that you describe sounds all too familiar from my sister’s experiences. She is doing a lot better now; she’s married with kids and hasn’t had a relapse in years. I’m so glad to hear you were able to work through that and break the cycle!

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