When we talk about triggers in the world of weight loss, we’re talking about automatic behaviors.
Or automatic feelings.
Or automatic thoughts.
When something or someone triggers us, usually it sets off a chain reaction of thoughts, feelings and actions that lead us right where we don’t want to go, to results we don’t want.
Most weight loss wisdom has taught us to avoid these triggers.
Quick, get out!
Step away from the situation, from the aggressive co-worker, from the tempting Oreo.
But after years of advising this to my clients, and using it in my own life, I’ve come to a totally different conclusion.
Don’t run from your triggers.
In fact, run TO your triggers.
Yes, that’s right.
Welcome whatever has pressed your buttons in the past.
And use it as an opportunity for growth.
Because if we keep avoiding and running from things we are sensitized to, we’ll never confront our thoughts and feelings long enough to create new ones, ones that won’t lead us down the slippery slope.
I used to dread being with my husband or kids if they were eating sweets or something I was trying to avoid (since I’m gluten and dairy sensitive, there ARE some things it’s in my best interest to avoid).
I stayed as far away as I could, all the while internally whining about how unfair life was. And resenting them for being able to eat something I chose not to eat.
Now I see it differently.
If I don’t avoid my triggers, I have to deal with those resentful thoughts. And being with my family while they might be eating something that is off limits for me (by my choice) lets me examine my beliefs about life not being fair, not getting my share, and all the other ‘poor me’ victim thoughts floating around in my head.
I recognize them, bring them to the surface, and deal with them.
It feels a whole lot better than running to another room every time someone else chooses to do something I don’t want to be doing.
So now, when my hubby brings out the Chunky Monkey, I can have my own version of ice cream that agrees with my body, or I can have, as Geneen Roth calls it, ‘another f@#&%!g growth opportunity’!
Bring it on!