28-Day Size Down Challenge | Week 1 Self-Reflection

A Word About the Process of Change

We all know changing your lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, it’s a process that occurs gradually over time. Throughout the 28 days of this program, you may feel differently about this process of change. Initially, you may be preoccupied with the program, talking and thinking about it, and filled with anxious anticipation. Next, you may feel awkward and somewhat panic stricken. Your life may feel chaotic as you let go of old “anchors” or ways of doing things (example: eating high fat lunches at the deli) and begin executing new healthy behaviors (taking a 10-minute walk at lunch). Finally, once you integrate the new behaviors into your life, you’ll likely feel a growing sense of stability and calm.

Common Strategies for Resisting Change

During the change process, you may find there are times when you feel unable to embrace the new challenges - it’s too stressful! Don’t worry, you are not alone! Some common tactics we all use to resist changing follow. Most people have used these tactics at one time or another in their lives. Read each tactic and identify those strategies you have used in the past to resist changing, for example, your eating habits.

  • Delay: You procrastinate or forget the things you “really wanted to do.” For example, “I really do want to take the low fat cooking class. I know it’ll help, but I just don’t have time. I’ll sign up next time.”
  • Denial: You refuse to acknowledge an actual event or personal experience that is apparent to others. For example, “I don’t eat a lot of desserts.” (You say as you finish your daily éclair at lunch.)
  • Rationalizing: You conceal your feelings, thoughts, and actions by creating a set of reassuring or self-serving but incorrect explanations. For example, “I can eat double dessert since I had a salad for lunch.”
  • Avoidance: You behave in ways that prevent you from situations or people you experience as threatening. For example, “I’m just too late for my office visit today. I’m not going to go.”

Strategies for Overcoming Resistance

Negative, Pessimistic, Anxious Thoughts

Sometimes, people harbor negative, pessimistic, or anxious thoughts about the changes they are about to undertake. For example, “This will be another fruitless attempt to manage my weight...and I’m scared.” For most people, talking about fears and concerns to a trusted person can help reduce the intensity of the fear and foster a more realistic perspective about the change process. Social support and aid from helpful others are powerful allies for overcoming negative, pessimistic, and anxious thoughts. Feel free to share yours with me!

Lacking Necessary Skills or Knowledge

Deep down, some people believe that they don’t have the needed skills or knowledge to change. For example, “I don’t know how to exercise...I’ll never be able to do this program.” Seeking out needed information and acquiring necessary skills can help you to face this challenge. The 28-Day Size Down Challenge program is designed to provide you with both the knowledge and skills necessary for successful weight management.

Payoffs for Unhealthy Behaviors

Sometimes, people maintain unhealthy behaviors because there are powerful rewards for doing so - like attention from others, immediate gratification of needs, or avoidance of work or stress. For example, eating large amounts of chocolate may fulfill the need to be treated special and takes away stressful feelings. Taking an honest look at what you gain from your unhealthy behavior can help you identify your needs and create healthier ways of meeting these needs.