Your corrective action plan is the key to finding your way around obstacles you face in your relationship with food (and in any area of your life!)
Think that sounds helpful but unsure of where to start? Let’s walk through these steps to get you on your way!
Step 1: Think about how you can better manage your emotions or cravings in a difficult moment. For example, use mindfulness observation skills to catch yourself in unhelpful self-talk and refocus on more effective ways to coach yourself through the situation. You can also think about skills like breathing, taking a break, calling a friend, or taking a walk when emotions get too intense. This will help emotions pass so you can return to the situation when emotions have died down. Then you can think more clearly about your long-term goals.
Step 2: Think about the planning you can do ahead of time to reduce your need for willpower, like throwing out sugary food in your house or setting stronger limits with friends or family. In Dialectical Behavior Therapy, we call this reducing vulnerabilities. When you are less vulnerable, you are more likely to act in accordance with your goals and values, and less likely to give into the temptations of the moment.
Step 3: Put your plan to the test! Try it out, even if you think it won’t work! Wait to draw any conclusions until after you’re given it a good shot. For example, you don’t want to start taking a walk and then say “Screw it- this won’t work! I might as well binge.” Get through the full walk before calling it quits. And if the potential solution doesn’t work and you still run into problems. There’s absolutely no shame in that. We’ll simply move onto the next possible solution until we find the one that works.
This week, set aside time to think about a common pitfall in your relationship with food. Then follow these three steps to make a corrective action plan (after getting curious and compassionate and curious of course!). Your situation is far from hopeless- it’s simply a problem to be solved. So let’s get to solving it.