• Lisa Menzel

The Change Cycle: Lapse Prevention & Determination. Video 4

During my 6-week challenge I sustained a physical injury which was a blow to my new exercise routine & a blow to my self-esteem! I was on a positive trajectory then all of a sudden I had to pause. This led me to LAPSE not only in ceasing my exercise regime but I also lapsed in my diet, as it triggered an emotional response which led to my habit of emotional eating!!! However as a Counsellor & being aware that I had to expect lapse as part of the behaviour change cycle, I did not perceive this to be the end-of-the-world. I did not catastrophise my injury or the lapse in my diet. I tried really hard not to feel so demoralised that my fitness challenge was interrupted as I knew it would only be brief, & once I was on the road to recovery I would be back into the program perhaps with some modifications. I was completely aware & conscious of my self-talk & how it impacted my emotional & psychological responses, so I kept my end goal in focus & leaned on my supports (my family, the other participants of the group, my Personal Trainer, my Physiotherapist). They were all in & had my back so I felt I had the strength to jump straight into the change cycle again once I had recovered.

I know that ‘life happens’, & if it wasn’t an injury, it could have been another event getting in the way.

In the video, I mention “old habits creeping in” which refers to my habit of emotional eating. I felt a sense of SHAME & EMBARASSMENT about my lapse, which I didn’t disclose in the video & I know that these are common emotions to feel during the phase of ‘lapse’. As a Counsellor, I have an expectation of myself to adhere to the change process, to work to achieve my goal & be successful at it. However I am conscious that I am a human being FIRST, & to expect these feelings to arise. I noticed my self-talk was going back/forth throughout this whole behaviour change experience, both with negative & positive language. Life events can & will cause disruption to any change process, which effects where we may enter & exit the stages of the change cycle but what will help us to succeed to maintain motivation are our supports.

As mentioned in my previous Blog, habits can be ingrained neurological patterns that are very difficult to shift, & we know that the change cycle is a cycle for a reason as we can enter & exit the cycle at any time due to lapse, which can occur for a multitude of reasons.

Hence to achieve DETERMINATION…. We need a tool bag of tricks! Including family, friends, knowledge, self-awareness & help from professionals.

My final thoughts of the change cycle I share with you.

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