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The Full Mind Weigh® to Lifelong Weight Management, a program of the Institute for Lifelong Weight Management – teaching you the skills you need to keep the weight off forever!

Anyone who has ever worked towards a goal of any kind knows that the road ahead is not always smooth or linear. The unexpected happens. There are disappointments and frustrations. Sometimes things simply don’t work out.

  • Maybe it’s a relationship that isn’t going anywhere despite your most intense efforts
  • A business that isn’t getting you the results that you want despite your hard work
  • A nutrition plan or exercise program that, despite your diligence in following it, is not producing the results you wanted
  • That “dream job” that’s been feeling more like a nightmare for some time, despite your efforts to make it work
  • A career in which you’ve invested so much, but which has taken so much out of you
  • A friendship for which you had such high hopes, but is no longer giving you anything but grief
  • A “dream house” that no longer meets the needs of your family

When life throws us a serious curve ball, we often drown our sorrows in food. But as we all know, if hunger is not the problem, then food is not the answer. Overeating or binge eating in an effort to push down the disappointment won’t make the situation go away. So instead, use these effective strategies:

  1. Accept the fact that, whatever the focus of your disillusionment is (the job, relationship, career, house…), is no longer working for you

Acceptance is about being aware of a situation without judging it or trying to change it. It’s not about approval, condoning or agreeing. It’s about noticing or acknowledging the reality of your situation or your struggles, without fighting that reality. Acceptance allows us to choose intentional and effective ways of dealing with something, and to tolerate more effectively the things that we cannot change. Inability to accept leads to being and feeling stuck. Acceptance is about simply acknowledging a situation or circumstance. It’s about looking at yourself and the situation and seeing it as it really is. It’s about no longer being angry or blaming yourself or anyone else for the reality of your situation.

  1. Cope with your feelings in a healthy way

As hard as this is, it’s about acknowledging your feelings and letting yourself feel. Talk about your disappointment, write about it if journaling works for you, and take good care of yourself without turning to food. How do you soothe and comfort yourself? If you need some ideas about healthy ways to comfort yourself, you’ll find some here: Slow down, take some deep breaths, give yourself some time, and get your emotions under control before you jump into action.

  1. Don’t launch an attack on yourself

Listen carefully for negative self-talk. Don’t let your inner critic have a field day with the situation. In other words, don’t take the situation personally. If you’ve tried your best, then it’s not about you. Rather, it’s about the “fit” (or a lack of fit). Rather than dwelling on what you can’t control, focus on what you can control – the thoughts you choose to hold onto, the actions you choose to take, and the ways in which you deal with your feelings.

  1. Review your goals

What is it that you were hoping for, as a result of this relationship, business, fitness program, job, career, friendship, or whatever the focus of your disappointment is? What were the goals, dreams, passions, wishes, needs and values that resulted in the choice that you made – of a relationship partner, friend, academic program, job, nutrition program, exercise program, and so on? What is it that you were hoping to accomplish? What was the outcome you were hoping for?

  1. Try something different

Develop a new plan, a new way of moving towards the same goals or outcome, fulfilling the same needs or values, expressing the same passions. Start with some brainstorming, and don’t judge your ideas in the process. Just let them flow. The time for evaluation, for looking at the pros and cons of each of your ideas, will come later. For now, give yourself the space to imagine, and see what bubbles up to the surface.

If you’re feeling stuck, coaching can move you forward. If you’re interested in getting unstuck, contact me for details:

With your continued health in mind,

Doreen Lerner, Ph.D.

Director, Institute for Lifelong Weight Management

Creator, The Full Mind Weigh® to Lifelong Weight Management

The Institute for Lifelong Weight Management provides education and training. The Full Mind Weigh® is strictly an educational program and is not a substitute for medical or psychological evaluation or treatment. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consult with a qualified mental health professional who is trained to evaluate and treat eating disorders.