Most of you have been on a diet, right? For whatever reason – weight loss or health reasons – you restrict your food intake or change it somehow. And you’ve most likely run into the inevitable ‘challenge’ that this poses.
In the beginning all is great. You’re psyched and you’re prepared. You know the changes you want to make, maybe you’ve spent time preparing new recipes, you’ve done some reading to figure out what you should be doing, and you have a PLAN about how this will all unfold.
The first week goes great, the 2nd week it gets a little harder, and by the 3rd week you are dreaming about the old ways. And if you’re like many people, at some point you fold. Some people even get all the way to substantial weight loss only to ‘rebound’ to their previous size or bigger.
Ugh… if you’re like most people who diet, you start to give up at some point because you figure there will never be a ‘diet’ that will work…
Do you ever wonder why this is? I did.
So I’ve decided to use my work and my life to figure this out – once and for all! I truly, truly understand how serious this issue is and how important it is that we find solutions that work.
Like many people, I carry more weight than I should. And for me, it is causing health issues that I now feel compelled to address. So I’m the perfect guinea pig!
And I’ve decided to use my blog to share what I’m learning in the hope that it will help those of you who struggle with the same issue.
Being an expert in mindset and the role of the mind in what happens in our bodies as well as our lives I am now knee deep in my own issue, determined to find answers to why dieting is so darned hard.
For me the very first step was commitment. Whatever I commit to, I do achieve. And I have had to face myself square in the mirror and acknowledge ‘I’m overweight and I WILL do something about this that will be permanent’.
Being a permanent shift meant that I had to give up all of my old food habits – permanently. I’ve dieted enough to know that the moment I stop watching my food intake, my weight will rebound. In fact, it will go higher, even, than it was before I dieted – so I am in a worse place than if I had just left it alone.
I will talk about why that happens in another blog post but suffice it to say that I have learned, the hard way, that my commitment needs to be complete. I CANNOT go back. In fact, I have to take the approach to my eating that I took when I quit smoking – I cannot go back to old habits. I MUST stay away from a steady diet of the foods I am so addicted to (and yes, they are addictive!)
If you are not that committed, don’t bother starting because you are set up to fail. I’ve already proven that to myself and I’m pretty sure you’ve already experienced that in your life.
And you know what I did to show my commitment? I took pictures – yep, those ugly awful front side and profile shots – as well as the one of just your face – that highlights the totality of the mess I have created for myself. I AM responsible – so I am also responsible for the change.
I had my personal trainer do all my measurements – the cold, ugly, hard facts that I have been unwilling to look at in the last couple of years. It was SOBERING to say the least. I was so ashamed, I didn’t even show my husband and won’t until I have achieved my goals.
And then I created a journal to capture my journey. I began it with these opening stats and my pictures as well as the summary of my key health issues (chronic pain and fatigue as well as poor recovery after working out) so that, as I lose the weight, I become aware of shifts in my health that I hope to achieve from the weight loss.
This journal will also become my food journal as I keep a daily tally of what I ate and drank.
I am making myself accountable and I’m asking my Personal Trainer to keep tabs on me.
Together she and I are working out an exercise regime that makes sense for my life as well as for my goals. Having an accountability buddy really does help because when you say this stuff out loud and make these commitments it is much harder to not follow through.
It doesn’t matter what goal you have or what you’d like to do with your life – this is what is necessary to achieve any outcome:
- Making sure it is realistic and achievable
- Time-bound – establish timelines.
Stay tuned. My next blog will talk about the other things I’m discovering on this journey that are critical to my weight loss goals that have to do with your mind and how to use it properly to achieve your outcomes. Keep in mind that this is grounded in my weight loss story, but it’s relevant to any goal that you’re struggling to achieve.
In the meantime, if you have any stories you would like to share, questions, or comments, please pass them along!