Using Models to Increase Adherence to IF & Protocol

Hi, Brooke! I’ve been a Scholar since January and my goal has been to lose 50 pounds. I have learned so much about myself and how to deal with the various circumstances in my life. I feel that it has been well worth the money, BUT I haven’t lost much weight yet. I can accept that circumstance with patience (I’m 50 and perimenopausal and know hormonal changes can make weight loss happen more slowly), and I’ve learned to stop beating myself up about my appearance in the meantime (this is huge for me), but I’m very frustrated and concerned about the way I continually fail to keep the commitments I make to myself.

Months ago, I typed up a whole plan laying out the specifics and the steps to accomplish my goal, including actions that could keep my commitment level up. I have a protocol similar to the one in the Stop Overeating class book and I do intermittent fasting with a seven hour eating window from noon to 7:00 PM during which I plan to eat lunch and dinner. Or at least that’s what I WANT to do. I think my plan is great, but I haven’t followed it very consistently thus far.

I wake up each morning feeling very committed, and I truly love how my body feels at the end of a successful day with IF and my protocol (my moods are more stable, I have more energy, I sleep better at night, and I’m proud of myself). But even so, about 30% of the days as the mornings progress I feel increasingly distracted by hunger. My commitment gradually wanes and I end up choosing to end my fasting period early and eat a bowl of cereal (shredded wheat–the kind with a little “frosting” and supposedly “whole grain” but it doesn’t look like whole grain) or a handful of nuts or something at 10:30 or 11:00. And on about 80% of the days, I eat at least one high sugar/flour food (usual multiples) during my eating window. That is so bad, I know! I realize that the sugar/flour content of the cereal and desserts are causing the hunger and cravings I experience during the day, and that the more I eat them the more ingrained the habit of eating seemingly against my will becomes, so I do want to stop ASAP. As I observe myself, I can see that sometimes when I eat off plan I’m consciously choosing to do it to stop the hunger pangs I’m having or to buffer against negative emotions, but at other times (and probably for the same reasons) I unconsciously switch from my protocol to a see-food diet–I see a food and eat some before I realize what I’m doing. To deal with the latter, I recently decided to pre-plan and then log my meals to increase consciousness around my eating, but it is a rare day that I remember to to that AND that I actually stick to my plan. Sometimes I deviate from it with something nutritious and sometimes it’s junk food, but either way I’m struggling to stop allowing myself to make choices in the moment. The root of my problem (or at least a large part of it) seems to be that my commitment level goes up and down pretty much hourly, and I don’t always have time to re-strengthen it that often in order to stop overeating as often as I do.

I truly feel like losing weight is the one thing that would make the biggest difference in my life (my compelling reason), but maybe I’m wrong and I don’t REALLY want it badly enough to truly commit–could I have chosen the wrong goal? Do you have a daily process for keeping yourself committed and disciplined, as well as to keep you on track with the details of your goals? Is the answer simply to do models all day, or is there more to it than that?

I hope all of this isn’t too broad for you to give me some coaching on it, or too full of different questions! I really want to get a handle on this by the end of the SCS year so that I can move on to other goals! Thanks!

PS–I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the Q&A calls that have been added!!!!