Negative triggers are ones we often develop over time, and are usually unaware of.
Reaching for sweets when we feel hurt. ("Here, baby, have a cookie while momma puts a bandage on that skinned knee.")
A soda and large popcorn - with butter - at the movie theater. (We've ordered it so many times, we don't even thing twice. And the popcorn is halfway empty by the time the previews are over.)
A donut at the monthly writer's meeting as we chat with friends. ("What? I always have a donut. Its only once a month and everyone else is having one.")
Bailing on exercise when we've had a bad day. (Sure, we know it'll probably make us feel better. But the first day it happened in our exercise commitment, it was easier to collapse on the couch with the excuse that the day sucked and just be done with it. The second sucky day was even easier to justify. By the fourth one, we just head straight to the couch, no justification needed.)
A bad number on the scale, despite dedicated, hard work toward losing weight. Its so hard to do everything right and not see results. This is one of those purely emotional triggers, and this number on the scale often pushes us to throw up our hands, cuss and give it up. After all, we did our best, didn't we?
Usually, we don't even hear ourselves make the decisions for these choices. They are simply habits. Habits triggered by circumstances and whatever emotional tie we've created over time.
How do we break triggers? The first step is awareness. The second is interruption. The third is consistency.
Think of an unhealthy habit and try to figure out the trigger for it. Say the movie theater popcorn, soda (and sometimes redvines, right?). The movie is the trigger for the junk food. This is awareness. Now find an interruption. For me, I knew I didn't want to give up the popcorn, so I pop my own and smuggle it in my purse (shhhhh). For you it might be a smaller soda and popcorn. Or water instead of soda. Or... well, figure out what works. Now -as you start to place your order, interrupt the habit and replace it with the new one. Less junky movie-snacking. The consistency part is pretty much self-explanatory, right? *g*
The most important thing, though, is to be very aware of why you want to change the habit. What's your motivation? Is it strong enough to overcome the trigger urges? If it isn't, you need to find a stronger motivation or avoid the situation until you're able to control the urge.
Next week, I'll talk about motivation triggers and how to create positive triggers that can help you make healthy choices, push you to exercise and inspire you to stick with your program.
So... what are some habits you have, and do you know what triggers the bad choices?
Tawny Weber writes hot, spicy stories for Harlequin Blaze. In January 2010, her novella, YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, was out in the Blazing Bedtime Story anthology and her next full length Blaze,, RIDING THE WAVES, will be out in September 2010. Come by and visit her on the web at www.tawnyweber.com