Brushing off praise…for fear of failing again?

This blog looks at why women brush off praise, why women focus on the negative comments. It might be a snide comment from a friend, a playful jab from a colleague or a reference in passing to the size of your bum.  Why do women dwell on the negativity?  And yet when someone gives you a compliment, you brush it off?  Is it because of fear?  Are you afraid that if you accept that praise you will immediately relax, let go and end up at square one again? This blog explores the boom-bust diet cycle and why women find it so hard to stay on track why they feel any drop in concentration means that all your willpower will come crashing down? AGAIN?

  • Do you feel concerned when everything is going well?
  • Perhaps you brush off any complimentary praise in case you fail again?
  • Maybe you feel you have to work REALLY HARD to stay on your diet otherwise you will end up at Square one again?
  • How does that feel with the added pressure of Christmas?

If you feel your routine is slipping because of a wedding, Easter, Christmas, a party, an anniversary or any special event, do you get nervous because all your good intentions are going to crash down again?

That is exactly how Alison felt.

She carefully and tearfully explained to me that any lapse, any drop in concentration meant that all her willpower would come crashing down. The massive effort to stay on track was really tested at celebration times like Easter, Christmas or summer holidays

She would either let go completely or stay in the background and try to stay ‘good’. What a burden, what a pressure to live under. Don’t you think?

Lapse, relapse, collapse cycle

Alison was in a cycle of – lapse, relapse and collapse. When she went off track with her diet she knew that eventually, everything would collapse. This cycle hurt emotionally.  Emotionally it is draining, exhausting staying on track, putting yourself on that constant pressure.  But the bigger danger, the larger concern is the effect on your body and on your hormones. Play around with them too long and your long-term ability to lose weight becomes even more difficult.

Ailson would then get angry with herself and beat herself up for failing. Again! She felt like she had let herself down and her whole family.

What a burden to shoulder.

She also uncovered that time spent on herself felt too selfish.   There were so many other things to do in life. Dropping the kids off at various sporting activities, her support of the local charity, school run, her business.  Trying to squeeze in the odd haircut, nearly drove her to the breaking point.

Prioritising time for herself was hard enough but with the added pressure of sticking to ‘diet rules’ life became overwhelming.  Any spare headspace that she did have was spent on her business, kids or hubby. She had enough on her plate to worry about. She simply didn’t have time to spend on herself.

Do you swallow up the pain?

As Alison and I talked deeper and analysed more where this lack of time for herself came from.  We came close to where this message of self-denial came from.

She discussed her childhood and reflected that her upbringing had been quite stern, her mum had been critical.  Her mum had paid for her to attend Weight Watchers at the tender age of 16. Whilst Alison’s confused thoughts were ‘whirring in her head’ she didn’t really fully understand. She knew these uncomfortable thoughts were taking up headspace, but she was too young to process them.

She felt anguish and concern but she didn’t know how to release them, or if they were even valid thoughts to have.

Out of respect for her family, she didn’t complain. Alison didn’t argue. She simply:

‘Swallowed up the pain’

A red flag appeared, we both noticed the words that she had used.

Swallowing the pain – quite literally meant finding solace in food.  This isn’t a blame game, it is a freedom game. As soon as those words popped out of her mouth, Alison released what she was doing and had time to notice, reflect and understand. And most importantly LET GO

Whereas clients like Alison can rebel against obvious control, and pressures on their freedom as a child. When the pressure hits a raw nerve or already enforces a quiet belief we already have about ourselves it is hard to see the message, you simply accept it as the truth.

Exploration of family life and realising that these thoughts are liberating, when you release that the thoughts are not yours:

“It is my mother’s thoughts, not my thoughts”

Awareness of your automatic responses releases you from them.

Awareness and observations of your own behaviour, free you.  You can unclutter your mind, find the time to order your thoughts, feel calmer and then move on. It doesn’t have to be deep, psychological trauma, it can be as simple as observation your automatic responses.

You have them, I have them, the most powerful part of your brain is your ‘automatic’ brain. It takes care of everything you do on a regular basis.

Have you noticed that sometimes you can drive to work and you half way along your journey before you notice where you are?  You are acting on automatic pilot. It would be too difficult to relearn the same thing every day so your brain stores your memory in the automatic part of your brain.

Some automatic habits, like driving, are great. Other automatic responses are subconsciously buried, your automatic reactions may go unnoticed by your head, but they can show up in your body.

The message that you swallow your pain, or are too busy to look after yourself.  Or perhaps you have the automatic message that:

“Comfort comes from a Friday night take out.” or

“You can relax when you go on holiday.” or retire…..

These messages are automatic, they become your established way of doing things.

What if someone came along and drew your attention to your pre-existing habits. What if someone called you out, asked you why you did that. Gave you time to think about the real reason you reach for the entire packet of biscuits?


Move away from the New Year cycle of diet and bust, take the time to show yourself some real care and love.

Delay, distract and decide

When you reach for the biscuit, take a moment. Why am I eating this, what emotion has come up for me?  Delay reaching for that biscuit just for a moment, maybe get up and do something different like go to the toilet or clean out the cutlery drawer. If you still want to eat the biscuit enjoy it.

As Alison’s coach, we discussed using a hair band on her wrist to snap, when she felt under pressure or stressed by overwhelm. Sit with the feeling of overwhelm and see what you can do at that moment to let them go. There are easy techniques, you just need to be willing to try and willing to change.

Are you willing to change?

We also worked with more long-term strategies to help cope with long-term stress.  After some great techniques and new habits, Alison is well on her way to a successful weight loss and calm future.

A happy ending for Alison xx

If you want to discuss your resistance to weight loss, or your habitual cycle of boom and bust with diets, feel free to apply for health discover session with me. They are confidential, personal and enlightening.

Apply for a session with me, complete your application click here

I look forward to chatting with you

Your Gorgeous Health Coach

•Gorgeous Inner work • Nutritionist •The UK’S #1

PS. Don’t forget the gorgeous book – your insight into great health and vitality Gorgeous! how to look and feel fantastic every day.  Click here to find out about your Gorgeous book

“Gorgeous! The psychology of this book has opened my eyes into realising that things have to change and can change. For the better. The other topics on eating and the misconceptions of what to eat have blown my mind and understanding the importance of fitness from both a physical and mental perspective. I’m so pleased I trusted my gut and bought this book

Find out what other clients have to say…

What was your health like before you joined Get Gorgeous?

“I’d noticed that I was getting a lot of colds. I’m also an academic so being in a school type environment so I was getting a lot of colds, but also I was feeling rather lethargic.

From a nutrition point of view, I felt that I wasn’t putting the right things in my body but I didn’t know what the alternatives should be or could be in order to just feel that physically, feel more improved physically.

What have you tried or done in the past to improve your health?

“When I was a lot younger, it was easy just to cut certain foods out, you know, because predominantly, it is a weight thing for me but actually it’s not.  I appreciate now that my weight is the outcome of what it was that I was putting into my body

I’ve tried typical other diets which worked for two to three weeks and then as soon as I eat normally, as I would call it, it all comes flooding back.

Rachel explains:

“I don’t want to feel deprived”

I like food and I’m the sort of person if you tell me I can’t have something then I want it all the more so I don’t want to be deprived and obviously what had happened is that you know, ‘

“I am active and I don’t want to feel hungry”

I have a dog and I’m quite active, but my body’s got used to that, so in order for me to change anything about me physically, there needed to be the combination of different food choices and moving more.

So whereas previously it was just a case of just not eating as much, and not changing anything on the movement side, and I think for a long time, actually, I was eating the wrong things and also not enough. My body was feeling constantly starved. – Yes. – But I’d be thinking, “I’m very hungry, “therefore I must be losing weight,” and then being disappointed. When actually, the scales were going the opposite way and I was confused, you know, because historically, put less in, the weight dropped off but that’s because my makeup was different then. I was a lot younger,

I realized when I hit my 40s that actually I needed some additional help with that because my old-fashioned habits weren’t working anymore and I think that’s been it, and as a result, I know when I’ve not drunk enough water now because I’m thirsty, and I know what thirsty means and I know what hungry means in my body”

“Now I feel more confident, proactive about managing my business because I am mindful of looking after myself”

“I feel more confident, more proactive about managing my business because I feel well, content and more mindful of looking after myself.   Looking after myself which is in harmony with my business not in lieu of anything that I should be doing, as a businesswoman. I am not starving myself”
I know that I live a million miles an hour that because of my work so I wanted something that would be naturally absorbed into my day to day life. I’ve tried other things before and I have to change my way of doing things too much, it didn’t fit, Get Gorgeous fits my lifestyle”

Rachel @askthechameleon askthechameleon Get Gorgeous 19th July 2018

[social_warfare ]



3 responses to “Brushing off praise…for fear of failing again?”

  1. […] miss Dreaded New Year cycle of boom and bust diet – do something […]

  2. […] miss Dreaded SUMMER cycle of boom and bust diet – do something […]

  3. […] miss Dreaded SUMMER cycle of boom and bust diet – do something […]

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