Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Stages of Change Model :: My personal story



I sometimes wonder why I go through periods where I just can't get my head into gear. Why I can't do the right things for my mind and body despite knowing exactly what to do to be healthy.

Like many of you, I have had some very bleak times where I pretty much resign myself to being overweight, unfit and down in the dumps for the rest of my life. I have said things like "why bother?", "I'll only put the kilos back on again", "I'm too busy/tired/sad", "it hurts", "I'm too fat to do that" etc etc etc... pretty defeatist stuff isn't it? These conversations have the potential to go on and on.

But then a small voice starts whispering from somewhere deep in my brain (she has possibly been stuffed in a cupboard to shut her up) and I begin to hear her.. a tiny voice timidly saying things like "you can do it", "you're worth the effort", "why do you always put yourself last?".

This is usually the point where I begin to reach out for support. I tell people I trust (in real life of my online friends) that I'm not doing well and I start investigating what other people have done to get themselves to where I want to be. This is also a very dangerous point, as it is often the point where I feel desperate enough to do stupid things like using meal replacement shakes and doing strict detoxes. I know these things don't work for me but when you're desperate, you make silly decisions. I do this for a while, I usually receive lovely support from my wonderful community.

Then something clicks for me. It's like a light being switched on.

I remember that the only way to long term health and fitness is by doing it properly... slowly.. steadily.. with consistent effort. So I decide on a healthy approach and I stick to it for longer than a few weeks. And I see RESULTS! And I begin to feel better in body and mind. I begin sharing my experiences with others who are also on a similar journey. Inspiring people, real people, people who also need support.

If I stick to this long enough I know I will get to where I want to be. It is, for me, about persevering. About sticking to it. But it doesn't guarantee that I will never struggle or hear those loud, abusive voices again.

This reminded me of something we used to talk about at uni when studying mental health and substance abuse- the Stages of Change Model. It looks like this;

Pre-contemplative > Contemplative > Preparation > Action > Maintenance

But the catch is, that it is expected that a person usually goes from maintenance, back around to pre- contemplation again and start all over again at some stage. They might not spend as much time in that stage as they did before, but it is NORMAL not to be in action or maintenance all the time.

And that's ok.


~Whirlsie~ said...

I love this post, because I am the same as you... and I definitely get into that cycle.

It's wonderful to know that this is totally normal!

Ashwee said...

Hi there! Thanks so much for commenting! I definitely feel like we are not the only ones who feel this way! That's why it's so nice to read about how others feel I guess.

Nice to "meet" you!


Tash said...

This is so relevant to me right now. I have just (Well about two momnths ago) started to turn my life around and become healthy in the right, positive, slooooow way. it has been a really positive experience, but it is so good to know that the games my head plays with me is normal!

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