As we emerge from pandemic lock downs, mandatory face masks, handwashing protocols, sanitizers, office closures and myriad safety restrictions, many of us aren’t rushing back to the old “normal.”
Thanks to the vaccine and relaxing restrictions, I’m in the Bay area for the first time in more than a year visiting my daughters and brand new baby granddaughter.
As I write this, California is rescinding ALL pandemic restrictions TODAY! Restaurants and bars are fully open again. Masks are no longer required outdoors or indoors.
It’s an eerie, full-circle denouement to my Covid-19 experience.
It began last year, in the earliest days of the pandemic. In early March, even with all the early mounting uncertainty, I flew to California as planned to finalize the details of my daughter’s May 24th vineyard wedding.
Meeting with the wedding planner, the caterer and the vineyard owners went off without a hitch. But each meeting was bracketed by huge question marks. What would the growing concerns about the emerging pandemic mean for the wedding, for the world! Should we cancel? Would we have to cancel? What was going on with the toilet paper shortages?
I flew home on March 16th, the day San Francisco officially locked down. Within weeks, when we all realized that this global pandemic was growing more deadly by the day, that worldwide lock downs would be our new normal. We cancelled the wedding, half in disbelief about what was engulfing the world, half hopeful that a summer wedding might be possible.
But now, here we are, after an amazing Zoom wedding in August and our pandemic baby’s birth in April, we are all fully vaccinated and rejoicing together again. Stunned. Happy. Eager to embrace life and each other. Uncertain about what to expect as we expand our tightly constrained world.
Nevertheless, we’re still more than a bit leery of what post pandemic life should look like for ourselves.
I know I am questioning my former lifestyle in light of what I’ve learned about myself in the past 15 months. What about you as we wend our way in this post-pandemic world?
I’m taking the time to evaluate what I’ve learned about myself, my relationships, my work, my life style and my future plans.
I’m giving careful thought to how we want to integrate my pre and post pandemic lives. Then, I’m asking myself what I want to keep, start and stop.
And that’s a very good thing.
This inflection point is the perfect opportunity to evaluate and re-calibrate.
It’s definitely tine to take stock.
To evaluate what’s working for us and what we want to change.
As we re-enter the wider world, let’s proceed with a greater awareness and appreciation of our needs, wants and desires.
If weight loss has been a goal you’ve been toying with, please don’t dive into another diet. Shift your thinking instead.
It’s not a diet you need. It’s a revamp of old thinking that’s keeping you stuck month after month, year after year.
When it comes down to pandemic weight gain or the desire to lose weight, HOW DO YOU WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT?
Start your investigation with openness and curiosity.
Make this is a no judgement zone!
Working from home or spending more time at home than usual had a big impact on our access to and consumption of food and beverages. Ask yourself what habitual behaviors may have contributed to your weight gain or inability to lose weight?
- More take out and less home cooking?
- Cocktail hour starting earlier in the day?
- Increased alcohol consumption?
- Increased loneliness, boredom or isolation?
- Buffering emotions with food or alcohol?
- Using food and alcohol for entertainment, comfort or escape?
Dig in. Don’t be afraid of what you might discover. Become the observer, the “scientist” seeking data. There is no shame in the truth. It is the door you need to open so you can walk through in order to claim the next level you.
Check in with your thinking.
Next, ask yourself what sentences in your mind were you thinking about food and alcohol during the pandemic that led you to over eat, or over desire certain foods or beverages.
- This is so hard.
- I deserve this.
- I’ve just got to take the edge off.
- I’m so frustrated, angry, bored, tired, over this…
- I can’t do this.
- This is not the time to deprive myself of…
- After the pandemic is over I’ll…
Question the usefulness of your unintentional thinking with compassion.
Decide if your unintentional thoughts were leading you toward your desired weight loss/management result or away from it.
What could you chose to think instead? On purpose.
Just because you want to. You know, you can do that, don’t you? You can think any thought you DECIDE you want to.
So let’s choose some thoughts that support your weight loss goals. These are called intentional thoughts.
Formulate a thinking plan.
Make a list of intentional thoughts that encourage and motivate you to commit to your weight loss plan.
Identify the ones that inspire you the most.
Say them out loud. Do they still ring true for you? If not, tweak until they resonate.
Anticipate obstacles aka that mean girl voice, your inner critic.
Expect that she’ll tell you you’re foolish, misguided and unrealistic. Remember that Motivational Triad?
It’s your brain’s job to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and conserve energy so you live long enough to procreate. Thank you very much, Mother Nature. But these imperatives can trip us up every time we try to do something that rings alarm bells.
Like when we try to change our thoughts, change our habits, change our old patterns.
Expect that she’ll try to throw a wet blanket over the whole idea of losing weight, even though you think about it at least 100 times a day.
Decide NOW, in advance, how you will respond to her when she starts attacking. This is key. You will always fare better when you have a plan.
Creating a plan that consists of recalibrated thinking and talk-back to your inner critic strategies is just the beginning.
You must practice your new thoughts 5-10 times every day to wire new neural pathways in your brain to “install” new thinking and override old thoughts.
Write them on index cards, post-it notes, reminders on your phone. Create screen savers and use them, or some abbreviated version or key words as your passwords.
Ask for help.
While the idea of practicing is simple, it’s not always easy. Change is hard.
As your weight loss coach, I can help you snap all these puzzle pieces into place to make your weight loss goals as good as done.
Ready to ditch the diet mentality and recalibrate your thinking instead?
You don’t need a diet. Diets are temporary fixes that can damage your metabolism and set you up for another yo-yo weight loss misadventure.
You need intentional thinking to form the foundation of a weight loss strategy.
Let me help you figure out the how to think about losing weight so your mindset can work for you.
My It’s Never Too Late Weight Loss Coaching program is structured to help you discover the most useful thoughts you can think to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Or even just get started.
Isn’t it time that you made use of the free Strategy Call I offer to find out more?
Get started today learning how to create and fine-tune a whole new array of thoughts to make weight loss easier than you ever imagined. Ditch the oppressive diet mentality and create a new approach to thinking about weight loss that can inspire and motivate you.
Let me know you’re ready to get started by scheduling your free Strategy Call right here.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.