by Maria's Last Diet
What you are trying to do when you go about losing some weight is to get rid of your old ways and establish new ways. What you almost always find, however, is your old ways are still there somewhere, and they reappear when you don’t want them to.
Let’s say you’ve worked hard at changing your need to soothe yourself with snack food after a hard day at work and taking care of the family. For weeks now you were successful at not snacking while watching TV at the end of the day. But there came a day when you somehow let down your guard and all the old cues were there: nighttime, days end, TV, kids in bed, hard day at work and at home. Before you knew it, you reverted to type. Snack food as usual. Afterward, you vowed that you would work doubly hard to not run to snack food again. And indeed for the next few weeks you had to do all you could to avoid getting back in the snacking routine.
What could you have done to make relapse prevention a more certain enterprise? Well, instead of just being so on guard about eating snack food, you could have tried to learn some other non-food ways of coping with your feelings at the end of a hard day. What else besides snack food might float your boat when all is said and done at the end of a day? Could you have a few strategies ready, maybe even ones that you have tried out beforehand, and know they work for you?
The return of old ways is practically inevitable in any new learning situation. The old learning is primary. It was there first, and it had lots of opportunities to be associated with many different aspects of you and your life. It helped you through difficult times, and when a difficult time occurs again, you have a natural tendency to call on what helped you before. Only now you are trying to learn to tackle the difficult time without resorting to eating too much food or eating fattening food, because you want to lose a lot of weight. To counteract the return of old ways, it’s best if you don’t just guard against them. Make sure you teach yourself some non-food ways to cope with the difficult time. Practice them beforehand and have them at the ready when you need them.