Katie Jay's Self-Forcing - An Overlooked obstacle ... Article


I read this post written by Katie Jay, and thought it was absolutely worthy of sharing.

She asks some very key questions in this article that may be beneficial for some of us to ask ourselves.  She also gives some very good advice.


Here's what I took away from the article and what  I am asking myself:

When was I at my best?  What was I doing at that time to live healthy and happy?

When I am stuck, do I self-listen, do I experiment and find a way to move forward?  I I do, when was the last time I did?

Do I focus on what I can do (rather than what I cannot do) when it comes to fitness, nutrition and well-being, and do I notice or pay attention to what I am drawn to?

Please read and share your thoughts around the questions posed and the article.

At the bottom, I've included a link to her blog.




Self-forcing: An Overlooked Obstacle to WLS Success

By Katie Jay, MSW; Certified Wellness Coach

When I got my new dog Biscuit this past March, I did so because the times in my WLS life when I have been at my best were when I had an active dog to care for.

Due to a prolonged health crisis, I was mostly inactive for more than a year. Like so many WLSers, my weight went up and my self-esteem started to slip. I was out of shape and discouraged.

At that point, there was nothing I was more unenthusiastic about than getting active again. At one level, I wanted to do it, but I dreaded the pain and discomfort that comes with change.

I spent a lot of time berating myself. I focused on what I *should* be doing but was not. (Actually, I focused on what I imagined others thought I should be doing).

What I didn’t spend a lot of time doing is focusing on what would actually work for me based on what I felt drawn to and what felt doable in a given moment. 

What I wasn’t spending time on was self-listening, experimenting, and finding a way forward. 

I thought I should go on a diet. I should stop eating so many carbs. I should go for power walks. I should take a yoga class. I should meditate. I should … you get the picture.

Thankfully, by taking some time to reflect on what had been working for me the last time I was living at my best, I decided I would move forward, but only do what I really wanted to do.

I realized self-forcing will not solve my problems. Self-forcing, like it or not, is a showstopper for me – a barrier to my wellbeing.

My mantra became, what am I willing and able to do? My rule was, if I didn’t want to do something, I didn’t have to. (And if I chose not to, I wasn’t weak or lazy. I was practicing self-care.)

So, what was I willing to do? I spent hours on the internet considering various puppies and dogs that were up for adoption. (Much more fun than going on a diet!) I asked a foster-dog mom to bring over a puppy for me to consider, because I wanted to see how it felt to be around a puppy versus a young dog.

I stopped looking when I realized how much work a new rescue dog would be.

I signed up for an online training to see how I would do with learning new information and to sort out how I learn best now that I’ve had brain surgery (which has left me with what seems like learning disabilities).

I experimented with roasting vegetables, because I actually love them, but didn’t know how to make them just right (I do now). I also experimented with finding the time of day I was mostly likely to want to chop vegetables (4pm, if you want to know).

One afternoon in March, when I was chopping brussels sprouts for roasting, I got a call from the foster-dog mom. She said, “I have the perfect dog for you.”

I wanted to meet the dog, so I left the house and drove to a park to meet her. Lo and behold, I fell in love.

My husband did not want to take care of a dog, so I decided for myself (and reassured him) I would take care of the dog 100%. (Without resentment!)

Before I adopted Biscuit, I thought long and hard about how much work she would be. I wouldn’t be able to sit around all day feeling sorry for myself (which I had quite enjoyed for a while there).

It took me six months to completely adjust to caring for Biscuit. It turns out Biscuit is a Kelpie, an ultra-smart and high-energy ball of friendly clinginess. 


And me? Biscuit introduced me to my neighbors and has me walking 2-3 miles a day. She has put me on a schedule. She doesn’t snack and is maintaining her weight, so she inspires me in that way, too.

My next experiment is Tai Chi. They teach it at the local Y. I still don’t want to do yoga for some reason. So, until I feel drawn to it again, I’m not going to do it.

The secret is to focus on what you can do and notice what you are drawn to so you can reclaim your best life. 


Katie Jay, MSW

Certified Wellness Coach

P.S. I love receiving feedback. Let me know what you think, and please feel free to suggest topics you'd like me to cover. xo


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