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The Small Wins are the Big Wins

When going through treatment for an eating disorder or if you are trying to break-up with diet culture or get back to life prior to disordered eating… the small wins are the big wins.

What does that mean?

Let me show you an example. You have been a chronic calorie counter for several years. You count everything you eat and you realize you don’t want to live like this for the rest of your life. Counting takes up so much of your energy and you are always thinking about the next meal or snack and what you can have because you only have X amount of calories left.

4 Big Problems with Counting Calories - Healthy Eaton

So you seek out a dietitian, and start to work to count less and less. But it does not come easy at first and you realize to stop counting calories it will take a lot of work.

First week goal: count calories at lunch and dinner and eat a plate method type breakfast. First week goal results: counted calories each day and meal/snack, didn’t quite feel as easy in action mode vs. speaking about it.

Meet with dietitian again, and regrouped…

Second week goal: count calories at lunch and dinner and eat a plate method type breakfast 3 out of 7 meals. Second week goal results: Completed! Action was much easier with a realistic goal and plan

Working with a dietitian we were able to break the goal down, making this goal more realistic.

Get SMART: How to Set Realistic Goals | Independence University

This is a small win to you, but to the dietitian, this is a big win! This shows me that you are committed to change and you are able to slowly build on this. This small win to you is big in the bigger picture of things! And in the example above, the big win is the stopping of counting calories.

It might take time, and this is something I find that happens frequently – many clients are wanting quick changes but they soon realize that the habits they had been doing can be really difficult to break. But that is why it is so important to look back at those week 2 results and see those small wins really added up to the big wins.

I encourage my clients that every time you stand up to your ED voice or diet culture– write it down! Keep a journal of those wins to be able to reflecting back on when you are struggling.

So what have your small wins been recently?

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