I do not feel like dieting today. I'll start tomorrow.
How many times have you said that to yourself? How many times has the thought of a certain food, or just the idea of "eating what I want for today" made you put off a weight loss effort? Enough times that it drags into years of being obese?
I know I have. I still fight that way of thinking. It is easier to give yourself "a day of freedom" with the promise to yourself that you'll buckle down and eat right tomorrow. Or Monday. Only, you don't. You break the promise to yourself over, and over, and over again. Eventually you feel hopeless and just give up... sometimes for weeks or months or years... until you can "get it together" and try again.
I think this is the core reason why people hate the word diet. A diet seems to imply a certain *thing* one must do that is unnatural; a diet seems to imply a starting and stopping point, when what we really need to do is change forever. You can't go back to eating the way that got you fat. Or you get fat again.
But some stuff is easier to change than other stuff. And you won't get it completely perfect in one day... not long term. Little steps of change in the right direction over time yields results.
Applying this to myself is tricky. I have not reached my goal yet, and am currently losing very slowly if at all most weeks. Yet this is the first time I ever lost this much weight (and there have been many tries) and is also the first time I have lost weight and not gained back ALL OF IT... plus more... within a year or less. I lost 35-40 pounds a couple of times in my life, and *every single time* I regained the weight and kept on gaining to a new high in a matter of months. Every. Time. But not this time. And I attribute that to the real, true changes I have made that I am never going to undo:
- not eating ANY fast food
- drinking lots of water
- not drinking ANY soda, ever
- not putting any sweeteners in my tea or coffee
- eating a lot of vegetables every day
- moving more in my daily life
- not binge eating anymore
- keeping quantities of any 'junk' I eat smaller
- eating more high quality protein
These permanent changes that have become ingrained into my life are enough to keep me about 60 pounds lighter than when I started nearly 5 years ago. Keeping 60 pounds off for that long is something I am proud of; but I want to do more. And in order to do more, I have to make more *permanent* changes that will keep me at an even lower weight long term.
Some of the changes I am working on now are:
- not eating 'junk' meats like hot dogs, bologna, processed chicken patties, fatty sausage
- not eating deep fried ANYTHING
- eating fish at least 1 - 2 times per week
- not eating baked goods unless they are homemade, or gourmet, and doing so sparingly
- stop going to coffee shops *unless* it is a social occasion or travelling
I am sure that when those habits are firmly in place in my lifestyle, my weight will easily stay in a lower range. I have to do some work to get it to the lower range first. But I can work on these habits *right now*, every single day, regardless of what my general eating looks like. I can make progress every day, even on the days I am not perfect.
So, make those changes in *your* life that you can keep permanently. It is much easier to slowly make changes like this than it is to go on a cycle of overeat - restrict- overeat - restrict. Do what you can *today* instead of thinking in terms of starting tomorrow.
Enjoy your Mother's Day weekend!
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