Can Feeling Better Actually Thwart Your Progress Towards Recovery?

Seems odd, doesn’t it. Why would anyone abandon their recovery from illness or their weight loss program just because they’re making progress? But I see it happen again and again in my clinic.

Its All About Pain

If you have made a health resolution this year, or visited a health professional, I’m almost 100% certain that you did it because the degree of pain you were in (physical or mental) was bad enough to make you take action. We all possess a certain level of tolerance that will overcome any desire for change. For example, if you’re slightly overweight you might feel a little down when you are forced to buy clothes in the next size up, but then don’t do anything about it because there are so many other things clamouring for your attention.

Sometimes it’s only when you see yourself in a photo (particularly from the side or behind!) that you realise just how out of shape you’ve become. “That’s just not me!” So you decide to go on a diet, join the gym – and for a few weeks you’re making good progress.

Then a funny thing happens

You’ve lost a little weight, you’re feeling more toned and energetic than you have in a long time. And all of a sudden, that weight loss goal doesn’t seem as important. Or the pain of that chronic injury you’re having treated reduces. You find that you’re “treating yourself” more and more often; skipping treatment sessions. There’s a reason, and it’s all to do with your comfort zone. When you’ve made some progress, the pain isn’t so bad, it’s easy to think “I don’t have to work so hard now.” Or “I can live with this level of pain.”

We are all programmed to live within our comfort zone; where we’re not challenged, we don’t have to take risks, and our relationships with those around us are well defined. Move outside that comfort zone to become a new person and you can expect your subconscious to start ringing warning bells, prompting you to take action that pulls you back into your comfort zone.

But that’s not where you want to be – you want to actually achieve.

So how can you stay on track?

1. Line up support mechanisms when you start working towards your goal, and check in with them regularly. For example, if your goals are around fitness, it makes sense to have an introductory session with your trainer to work out a training plan; then regularly meet up with him/her again to ensure you’re on track. A well chosen support person will hold you accountable for your actions and help you stay motivated.

2. Review your goals regularly, especially the reasons you set them in the first place. (For example, ” I will lose 5kg this year so that I can fit into a smaller, sassier size of clothes”)

3. Don’t drive looking in the rear view mirror! Your inner critic may appear at this stage of change, reciting negative input such as “You’ve tried this before and it didn’t work….its not going to work this time either. You’re doomed.” Recognise your inner critic for what it is – just the rear view mirror – and then continue to move ahead with your gaze firmly in the future.

4. If you’re feeling uncomfortable with the speed of your positive change, start taking baby steps forward rather than big leaps in small timeframes. But keep moving forward!

Support and accountability are your keys to making it all the way to the goal posts.

Be known by your own web domain (en)

Source by Olwen Anderson

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