Have you thought about how you might be sabotaging your weight loss efforts by pleasing others or just avoiding conflict. The Oxford Dictionary describes conflict as ‘A serious incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, or interests’. Conflict is a normal and healthy part of life. The world would be a very boring place if we all thought the same. However it is when we feel helpless managing conflict, and the overwhelming emotions which can accompany it, that we sometimes reach for the biscuit tin rather than the right words to say.
Many of us fear conflict on any level and therefore put our own needs aside to keep others content. By doing so we are chipping away at our own happiness which can trigger irrational thoughts and overeating to compensate this internal battle we may be having with ourselves. When conflict is managed in a respectful, positive, and calm manner it can strengthen the overall relationship; regardless of the nature of that bond i.e. working relationship or with a loved one. Here are five things to ask ourselves when conflict arises to help with sabotaging our weight loss efforts and waistlines;
- By running away from matters which unsettle us, are we helping or hindering our lives? Remember conflict is unavoidable. We often bottle up our emotions rather than addressing the issue. This in turn can result in overeating which isn’t the solution.
- Do you use food to self-medicate? After a heated discussion we can have mixed emotions. Some unexpected things may have been said in the heat of the moment. It wouldn’t be unusual for guilt to play a part in the aftermath of conflict. It’s how we manage that guilt that counts. Instead of turning to sweets for solace and undoing weight loss efforts, ask yourself, ‘Is food going to help improve the relationship or cause you more anguish in the future?’
- Are your expectations of others realistic? This may lead to conflict as if you expect everyone to meet or exceed the expectations that you set for them, you may feel let down and frustrated. These negative feelings can lead you to seek comfort in food and/or not be mindful in your decisions. Remember you are not everyone and everyone is not you.
- What have you learned from previous conflicts? When we experience uncomfortable situations we may try to suppress the memory instead of reflecting on it to educate ourselves. Maybe the conversation took an undesirable route due to not listening enough to the other party’s opinion? Or maybe other issues were brought up which obstructed any progress being made. As long as we take something positive away and learn from each encounter then it has been worthwhile.
- How do you handle the stress of a disagreement? Once we are aware of our triggers we can work on more appropriate ways to manage them. For instance, stress can be a major player in awareness, acceptance, and action is a great approach to life but especially useful in the mind set of an individual who turns to food to de-stress. Try other self-care methods such as; going for a walk, writing a journal or talking to someone. These are less harmful to your weight loss efforts and overall wellbeing.
Life can throw curveballs at us at any moment. Conflict is inevitable but it’s how we cope with it that matters. Changing your thoughts is vital. Food is easily accessible and can seem irresistible in moments of uncertainty. However, when we make choices we are happy with, we regain the control in managing our eating habits in a happy and healthy manner.
If you would like to know more about this or to speak to one of our Weight Management Advisers, contact your nearest clinic here.