This is week four in my experiment on myself using the Attacking Anxiety & Depression program by Lucinda Bassett.
I started this series of my experience with this program because I have met a very large number of people who are struggling with overeating and overweight who are also depressed. Additionally in my recent poll when I asked you about your 2 biggest weight loss motivation sappers, the answer “depression” remained in the top 3-4 spots out of 12.
The other reason I am doing this is because I know from my own personal experience that 95% of the time when I’ve faltered with my own weight loss and fitness regime and gotten into emotional eating and such that it’s because of negative thinking, and negative thinking is what creates stress, anxiety, and depression! So, my hope is that by sharing my experience with Lucinda Bassett’s Attacking Anxiety & Depression that I may spark some thoughts for you that will help you in your own weight loss journey.
Please read my full introduction to this series if you haven’t done that yet because it fully explains what this program is about. Also I want to point out that I am not at all discounting the work that I did with Shrink Yourself, an excellent program to heal your emotional eating. I am simply providing another avenue for your success in creating a complete and healthy lifestyle for yourself that supports you in body, mind, and spirit because no matter how many TV shows glamorize today’s hectic, high stress lifestyle, living with chronic stress is not a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Week Four – Expecting Less to Get More
Week four is about reducing the boatload of stress on yourself by releasing the ridiculously high expectations you have of yourself and others. If you find yourself feeling repeatedly disappointed in yourself and those in your life this is a sign that your expectations may just be a bit too high.
Maybe this is something you can relate to when it comes to weight loss. Sure, you’ll get the weight loss results you want by being consistent and persistent in your healthy eating and exercise regime each day but if you have an off day you can either stress yourself out over it because you weren’t perfect and then head into a week of unhealthy eating because you’re beating yourself because you weren’t perfect, or you can lower your expectations of yourself and say, “hey, I’m not perfect and I had an off day but that’s ok – I can get right back in the swing of things now”.
Extremely High Expectations = Stress, Anxiety, and Disappointment
You aren’t going to do everything perfectly whether in your weight loss and fitness regime or any other area of life. That’s just how it is and while you can still strive for big goals in your life, if your expectations of how quickly you think you should reach your goals are unrealistic, you can heap tons of stress and anxiety on yourself.
Instead when you set your goals and make them realistic, setting realistic timing expectations also, you can take that extreme pressure off of yourself. Using the example of weight loss again, many people get disappointed when they don’t lose 4lbs every week. Well that’s a very unrealistic weight loss goal because on average 2lbs per week is a realistic amount to lose. However it’s even too much to expect to always see a 2lb loss every week. Some weeks it’s just not going to happen, even when you “do everything right”.
Your body readjusts while you’re losing weight and if you set up the expectation that you must lose so many pounds per week otherwise you’re a miserable failure, you probably won’t even stay motivated to stick with it very long. I think it’s a much more realistic goal to plan out your meals and exercise goals and as long as you meet those daily goals then you’ve succeeded, no matter what the scale says on Monday morning.
What I Learned
What I learned in week four is that it’s those extremely high expectations that I’ve tended to set for myself for pretty much most of my life that have caused me a lot of stress. And it’s especially the high expectations that I’ve been setting for myself over the past 6 months or so that led me to get the Attacking Anxiety and Depression program out of my closet and start using it. I’ve just been taking on way too many projects and setting up these daily action lists that no one could expect to get done unless they never slept! I’ve been creating stress for myself over this stuff!
Also I can see how I’ve set myself up before when it comes to my weight loss and fitness goals by having the expectations of myself that I must be perfect otherwise I have failed. Well that’s just silly and it’s an expectation that I wouldn’t even put on someone else. See this is a good example of what I mention very often, treating yourself like you would treat your own best friend. I wouldn’t expect my best friend to be perfect so why should I set this kind of expectation for myself?
This Program Makes Sense
I really like the basic points that are brought up each week in the Attacking Anxiety & Depression program and I can see why it’s helped so many people around the world. What I especially like about it is that it’s not only a book that you complete your homework in but it’s centered on the weekly audiotapes and CDs.
I’ve always liked audio self-improvement programs and this one is no exception. I also have videos in my kit that add an additional dimension to my learning and that’s really neat, too. I’d definitely recommend this to you if you have loads of stress in your life and you’d rather learn new life skills instead of putting a band-aid on your stress and anxiety with medications.
The Attacking Anxiety & Depression isn’t against medication; it’s just that it’s so important to work on the cause of the problem instead of only trying to soothe the symptom. Their main goal for their participants is to help them (with the aid of their doctor) either reduce or get off of their anxiety medication completely and this can be done by learning how to deal with the stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts that lead to depression.
What About You?
Have you ever done this: put very high expectations on yourself either in your weight loss and fitness goals or in other areas of your life and then experienced a lot of stress from doing so? Feel free to leave a comment with your experience if you’d like to share it as well as how you eased up on placing such high expectations on yourself.
Drop Your Weight Loss Expectations to Get Better Results!