So you’ve decided to go on a diet. Perhaps you hope to lose a few pounds or maybe you need to lose a substantial amount of weight. But regardless of your size and shape, there is a reason that you have decided to go on a diet. But, do you know the reason why?
You might say that you have decided to go on a diet because you want to lose weight. Well, unless it’s an extra ten pounds that you are trying to shed, the desire to lose unwanted pounds is not just some fleeting thought or wish.
What I’m getting at is that you have been gaining weight or carrying extra weight around for a while—am I right? So what is the reason that you have you decided to start a diet in order to shed some of the weight? What do you think is the turning point for you? Why, after gaining weight for months or years, have you decided that it’s now time to lose this weight?
For most of us, there is some sort of awakening that causes us to make a significant change in the way we think. No longer satisfied with the way we are, we begin to shift our way of thinking and to envision something new for ourselves.
It’s a nice place to be, you know. That confident, ecstatic feeling that comes from knowing…this time it will be different. You know the feeling that I am speaking of.
It’s the difference between a diet that works and one that doesn’t.
How many times have you started a diet, only to have it fail? Some of us even lose weight for a while but then “fall off the wagon” and retreat to our old ways. It’s hard to break free of former habits and adapt to a new way of thinking. But that’s exactly what it takes to successfully lose weight. It requires a re-birth of sorts. Your old way of doing things must change, you can’t indulge in sugary foods and fat-laden comfort foods if you really want to make a permanent change in your weight.
Now that’s not saying that you can’t have a treat every now and then, but if your past eating ways have included a milk shake every day, you know that type of eating behavior has got to change. You may have to gradually taper back from eating sugary or fatty foods. But by making a decision each and every day to cut back or cut out certain foods, you are positioning yourself for success.
Actively thinking about the choices that you make engages your mind to take ownership of this whole concept of dieting. This is the only way that you can succeed. The way that you think about dieting and exercising, whether you approach it with trepidation or with enthusiasm, can be real factors that determine your success.
Consider these scenarios:
Janet had begun to gain weight after the birth of her second child. Busy with two children, she found it difficult at best to find any time for exercise. She didn’t like what she saw when she looked in the mirror, but her inability to do anything about it made her anxious and depressed.
To make herself feel better, she often reached for a snack of potato chips and dip or chocolate chip cookies. This was her reward for being a good mother. She deserved something good, and she equated that need into something to eat.
As her weight began to escalate, the doctor warned her that she needed to start exercising and dieting before her weight got more difficult to manage. Janet heeded the doctor’s advice and bought a mat and a tape to exercise with. She grabbed the sample diet that the doctor offered, but the foods were not anything that she normally ate. She took one look at the meal plans and automatically decided it was not for her.
The first few days, she tried hard to cut back on some of her favorite foods. She tried exercising on her mat, but watching the tape made her want to go and get a snack. It didn’t seem like anything was going to work. Janet didn’t want to eat the foods on the diet and spending time exercising was torture at best.
What do you think happened next with Janet’s diet plan? Have you ever had a similar experience with dieting?
Heather was working her way to the top of her district. Long hours at the office and weekends spent working from home, allowed little time for exercise and healthy eating. Most of her meals were from take-out restaurants and she barely tasted what she ate because she was constantly working.
A girl on top of her game, Heather began to notice her clothes getting too tight and her appearance beginning to suffer a bit. Too much time spent on work and not enough time dedicated to her own well being was beginning to show in the way that she looked. It was time for some tender loving care and she needed a big dose of it.
Heather consulted a fitness trainer and began working out at home, following the trainer’s advice and weekly support call. Heather addressed the whole issue as she would a project at work. She wrote everything down. She weighed and measured herself in the beginning and recorded these numbers in a book. Next she made a list of all the reasons that she wanted to lose weight. This included things like, “fit into all of my clothes,” to “prove my strong will power to all of my colleagues.”
Heather kept her journal with her at all times; constantly making notes and reading the entries that she had recorded. She wrote down everything she ate and drank and the type of exercise that she did each day. Not only did she look forward to writing in her journal, she began to adapt a new way of thinking when it came to the foods that she ate.
Even though she still worked long hours, Heather began to take a new notice of healthy food venues and recipes for healthy eating. She would stop working every few hours and stretch, lift weights, run in place or do jumping jacks. It wasn’t long before she was etching out 30 minutes each day to exercise and those 30 minutes soon turned into 45 minutes and then an hour.
Heather was looking for ways to transform her life and combine a balanced diet and an active lifestyle with her career. Each day was a challenge; but her journal was her proof that change was possible.
Who do you think has a better chance of real change? Is it Janet who feels it necessary to lose weight but finds food a reward for the loneliness and depression that many women feel after childbirth? Or is it Heather, who approaches the whole concept of healthy eating as she would a project at work? What’s the real reason behind your diet? Can you identify the “moment of truth” that affected your decision to lose weight?
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