You’ve done the same thing for years, and it’s not really working for you. You’re unhealthy, overweight, fed up or struggling…so you’re certainly ready for the next step. If you want things to improve, then getting out of BED is a great  concept to apply to your life.

The BED principle (‘Blame, Excuses, Denial) centres around YOU taking responsibility for your actions and choices. Staying in bed means you blame factors outside of yourself for the weight you are, and the choices you make. You make excuses (we understand there are reasons; but excuses are something different – they take all responsibility away from you).

Denial can mean we stay stuck for years – think of the smoker who won’t face the fact that smoking kills or shortens life. Denial involves blocking certain things from our awareness as they are too painful to face – ‘this isn’t happening’. Denial is often the hallmark or telltale sign of addiction. So what can we do about it?

Take your OAR to Change the Outcome

The flip side of Blame, Excuses and Denial is when there is an environment of Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility. This is scary; it’s hard but it’s the place of most growth. Remember the lobster analogy? Things have to get a little uncomfortable first, and then we grow and break free from our old ways. I love this. Here’s a reminder – click here.

This means taking ownership and being accountable for your own life. ‘It’s my life and I can influence it. My past does not equal my future’. This is hard, but life-changing. Instead of seeing yourself as a ‘victim’ of circumstances, you realise that some of the choices you made were for a reason. They may have protected or served you well in the past, but perhaps it’s time to move forwards now.

You may have previously self-sabotaged by focusing on negative and irrational thoughts, words and actions that effectively shifted the responsibility elsewhere. You may not have even been aware of that, but NOW is the time to become aware and to change it. Confronted with the reality that we are all responsible for our choices can be like turning the light on your life.

Here are some warning signs that you may be still in BED (blaming others, making excuses or in denial):

* Blaming other people, your circumstances or the past (they are REASONS but you should no longer blame your current actions today on those outside factors. All choices can come from within moving forwards).

* Being overly focused on, or dwelling on the past

* Being resistant to change

* Making these excuses ‘too hard’, ‘too busy’ or ‘no money’

* Denial of issues

* Basing your self-esteem on something external to yourself

* Disempowering thoughts or words

Words that may be warning signs include:

* ‘If only’

* ‘I can’t’ (ie. ‘it’s too hard’)

* “Life’s not fair’

* ‘I would if…’

* ‘I’m useless’

* ‘I’m a waste of space’

* ‘I will when…’

* ‘It’s their fault’

* ‘I’ll address this later’

Start with being honest with yourself. Do you use these words, or have these thoughts in relation to any aspects of your life? Can you challenge yourself on these? Can you write down an alternative way of thinking – one that involves taking Ownership, being Accountable and taking Responsibility?

Along this journey, it’s very important to be kind to yourself, particularly if you’re finding it hard to take responsibility. There might be mental barriers getting in your way. Deeply ingrained patterns can be challenging to change and there is a reason for resistance. If you are having trouble letting go, it’s okay to seek help. Consult the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy website.

Wanting to change, and believing that you can is amazing. And you are not alone. Your weight loss advisor is here to champion you along the way. You should be your own champion though – give yourself lots of credit for even achieving the smallest of goals. Have a browse of some of our success stories here for inspiration and to drive you forwards on your quest for a better and healthier life.

Blog Post by Maebh Coyle