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Don’t Push, Pivot July 26, 2010

Posted by Jen in Binge Eating, Emotional Eating, Healthy Eating, Meditation, Motivation, Weight Loss.
Tags: , ,

Photo credit: John Drysdale


Don’t think about elephants. Don’t think about elephants! Don’t think about elephants!

What are you thinking about?

This same idea applies directly to weight loss and overcoming emotional triggers for eating.

Let me explain: Let’s say you have a tendency to reach for the ol’ pork rinds after a stressful day at work. You’ve noticed this habit and have decided to change it. You get home from a stressful day at work and start thinking about the pork rinds.


“I can’t eat those pork rinds. I told myself I would do something else. I can’t eat those pork rinds. I can’t eat those pork rinds. Dammit! I’m eating those pork rinds NOW!”

The more you tell yourself not to do something, the more you’re going to think about it, and the more likely you are to do it.

That’s why I like to tell my clients (and myself!), “don’t push, pivot”.

What if you got home from work, but instead of telling yourself over and over to avoid the pork rinds, actually pushing back on the thought,  you pivoted to a new idea and, hopefully, a new feeling and action?

“I can’t eat those pork rinds. Uh-Oh, now I feel super laser focused on the pork rinds. I’m going to pivot my attention and energy to something completely different now. Such as leg raises! Or cat juggling! Or perhaps I’ll go search for shiny objects in the lint-trap! Excellent”

Okay, my example is sort of ridiculous, because who turns to pork rinds and who distracts themselves with shiny objects? (If I have offended you, I’m sorry.)

The point is: If you are constantly worrying about avoiding something, or worrying about not avoiding something, you’re spending way too much time focusing on the “something” instead of pivoting your attention to something that will enrich your life.

Focused on that giant bowl of ice cream your husband is eating? Get up and darn socks. Focused on how fat you think your pinkie looks today? Put on a pair of gloves and go shovel the driveway. Focused on how worried you are about your review next week? Try writing a letter to your grandmother/hairdresser/ex cell mate. There must be some way for you to pivot your attention to something positive.

Remember: Don’t push back on the thought, pivot away from it. Good luck!



1. pursuitofhealthfulness - August 3, 2010

This really struck a cord with me. I find myself getting trapped in a lot of “pushing.” Ultimately it does neither my body nor my mind any good.

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