What is your dieting cycle?
How many times have you gotten on the scale and hated the number that you see? Have you ever felt your clothes getting tighter and tighter until they are uncomfortable? Yes? Me too. It is not something that we can make light of. “Hey honey, guess what I am up another notch on my belt today and my ass is getting even larger”! Usually it is something we try to hide and camouflage. Yes, I can get really creative with loose clothing and girdles that seem like a torture device that squeezes my fat in to submission. But after a while we get tired of that and give in to stretchy pants, mu mu’s and blousy tops.
Then, one day we catch a glance of ourselves in the mirror naked or in a photo. Oh NOOOOO! I didn’t want to see that, not only because of it seeming unattractive to you, but because seeing it, means acknowledging it, which means HAVING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, which means DIETING. That horrible word with tons of horrible connotations. What do you think of when you hear the word DIET?
I prefer to call it a lifestyle change. Diets are temporary and rarely successful. Diets are considered hard, restrictive, and easy to break. People start and stop diets typically 15 times a year. No wonder we all feel hopeless and resigned to the situation we are in? Have you ever felt yourself repeating the same mistakes over and over again, not succeeding and only failing? There is no failure in trying. The failure is in giving up. Remember that!
For some of us there is a perpetual cycle here that does repeat itself over and over again. I have listed an example of one below. Let me know if all or some of this applies to you:
- Gain weight
- Try to ignore it
- Gain more weight
- Can’t ignore it anymore
- Cheat because you feel restricted
- Fall off completely
- Gain more weight
- Eat to bury those feelings
- Feel like a failure, afraid to try again
- Camouflage weight, so you can pretend it is not there
- Become aware of the extra weight and realize you are on a downward spiral
- Get scared
- Try a different diet
- Cheat because you feel like such a loser
- Promise yourself you will get back on a diet tomorrow
- Cheat some more
- Lose all hope
- Decide to be heavy and be ok with it, tired of feeling like a failure
And the cycle repeats again and again. You think “Giving up on myself sucks, Dieting sucks…I suck
Sound about right? Look, you don’t suck and you are NOT a failure. Diets have failed you and I explain why in my other blogs. Sometimes we think…why not accept that I will always be fat? I can’t fight it. WRONG! It is not you against your fat, and no one is keeping score; it’s not Rachael 1, Muffin top 3. The war is within yourself…your thoughts, your feelings, and your reactions. The battle of the bulge CAN be won, but it is in your control. You can be your own biggest critic who is there to berate you every step of the way, or you can be your own cheerleader who celebrates in your successes and cheers you on. It is YOUR choice.
You may also want to consider the wise words of Einstein who said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. It’s time to change.
Here are some steps you can take to get control of this spiraling downward perpetual cycle.
- Visually see your own perpetual cycle. Draw a circle starting with your desire to lose weight and the first action you took to do something about it. Then show each time you derail from your plans and your thought patterns and actions at that time. Then continue your circle looking for the next dieting effort and next trigger and derailment and continue until you come up with all the common scenarios you have experienced.
- Analyze it to see where it goes wrong. Consider what your triggers are and how you tend to react to them. For example, if you binge after getting on the scale and seeing that you’ve gained weight, binging is your go to reaction.
- Do something completely opposite. Like in the example above, instead of binging you should avoid the scale in the first place if that is a trigger for you. If you are stopping for fast food on the way home from work, change your route home to avoid it. Sometimes simply not seeing the food/junk you desire can prevent you from eating it.
- Consider that the answer could be simple. Just a slight shift in action or thought can make all the difference. You may be surprised to learn the focus is not just on what you put in your mouth, but what you put in your head.
- Break the change down in to small pieces: For example, if you want to give up soda it may look like this: Week 1 – Have one less glass/day. Week 2 – Decide that you can have soda only on weekends. Week 3 – Decide that the only time you can have soda is when you eat out (remove it from the house) Week 4 – Choose not to have soda at all.
- Track your success. Write down what changes worked and didn’t work. If those simple changes didn’t work, try another small change. Maybe you started with 5 sodas a day and while going down to 4 was ok in week 1, switching to just weekends was too difficult to do. Decide what you CAN live with for the 2nd week and start there.
- Tap in to your inner cheerleader. Tune out the critical voice and tune in to one of love and kindness. You need all the support you can get make this sort of a lifestyle change.
- Never give up. We can all gain weight a hell of a lot faster than we can lose it. I have had patients disappear for 2 months and come back 25 lbs. heavier. Out of sight, out of mind. Understand that you may never be able to eat the way you once had. With my help, you will find your new normal and be able to maintain your ideal weight without feeling like you’re on a diet. Sign up for your discovery session today.