Stage 2: uncover your stumbling blocks

I’m a research nerd, so once I’d found the motivation to try one more time, I started reading everything I could find about food, diet, and health. Here’s just a portion of my library…

stacks of books on health

And while the knowledge was necessary, I also found I needed to address some issues having more to do with my way of thinking and my emotions. Why did I always want to eat late at night? How do I keep from nosediving into sugar overload at Christmas? How can I make it easier to cook healthy, so I don’t give up?

When I started talking to other women about this, I discovered they had a lot of the same questions I did, and more. Here are a few of the challenges I hear women bring up again and again:

I don’t know where to start. It’s all so overwhelming.

I don’t have the time. Or the energy. Or both.

I really enjoy food!

I don’t think God cares what I eat.

Once I start with the snacks or sweets, it’s hard to stop.

My family isn’t on board.

Can you relate? If you’ve got some motivation to do something, but you’re daunted by questions and problems like these, you’re ready for Stage 2. Doing this step increases your chance of success in the long run, but most people skip it. Scientists call this stage contemplation.

I call it uncover your stumbling blocks.


About this stage

What happens in this stage: Examining all the mental and emotional things that are keeping you stuck. Also, identifying the logistical hurdles that will need to be solved. Approaching this with an attitude of grace and kindness toward yourself, not blaming and shaming. Gaining confidence that these can be overcome.

The tools: Researchers have identified a few things that are especially helpful for moving forward through Stage 2.

  • Identify all the things that are holding you back; zero in on the most pressing ones.
  • Read articles and books about how to overcome your particular hurdles.
  • Change your mode of thinking from putting yourself last to valuing self-care.
  • Cast a vision of a new self and a new life. Identify what is the highest motivator for you.
  • Accept that you can’t wait for 100% confidence before you start. You can feel some ambivalence and still move forward.
  • Look hard at the natural consequences of continued inaction, till you feel strongly about wanting to change that.
  • Declare your intention to yourself. Realize the choice is yours; you are deciding to do this, not being made to do it.


Here are a few resources on this site to get you started:

Books and movies I recommend

5 steps to address emotional eating

Articles related to Stage 2


Want more personal help?

Find out about my Stage 2 classes and support sessions.