Did you start a diet on January 1?
Was weight loss or being more healthy on your resolution list for this year?
On January 1 there were more people dieting than there will be at any other time in this year. Now that we are approaching the middle of January many of us have already encountered challenges in our diet. We are hungry, tired, challenged and maybe even “hangry” in our attempts to align with a so-called healthy eating plan. Some of us have even given up at this point accepting defeat against the uphill battle of trying to lose a few pounds.
To lose a few pounds or a lot of pounds we start with our diets usually. Perhaps even diets and exercise but the majority of us will say we are going on a diet. On any given day someone will tell another they are on a diet. It seems logical to consider that if we “clean up” or change how we eat we can improve our weight and health. Yet with as many options for diets as there are available, why aren’t more of us successful at achieving our weight loss goals?
The Year the Diet Died
Can we in the year 2020 finally stop calling it a diet?
This simple 4 letter word has become a beacon of disappointment, frustration and dread for many before they even have a chance to start “dieting.” It even sounds like an uphill climb that most of us look at and keep walking past. Call it what it is! Getting healthy. Taking control of our health. Fitting into cute jeans. Or whatever else we are doing to achieve a beautiful outcome on that is purpose-filled and meaningful to us. Calling it “doing my goal of fitting into a bikini” is much more intentional and meaningful than saying “I’m going on a diet.” Look diets are not roller coasters we wait in line to get on and hope we don’t fall off during the ride.
I think for any diet to be successful we have to first get real about why we are dieting. This includes our goals of fitting into that old favorite pair of jeans stuck in the back of our closet but it also means getting deep about our real reason for taking this on. Are we tired of feeling bad, tired or sick all the time? Are we concerned about a physical health condition we are at risk for? Are we going through something in our life that is precipitating this calling for change? None of these things are wrong but we have to have a reason that is so compelling for us personally that no matter what we are going to stick to this challenge. This core change reason is our step forward.
Changing our perception and wording about “dieting” is an important first step in this process. It allows us to see the opportunities, possibilities and positive aspects of taking on this change rather than the dreadful, never going to succeed limitations of a diet. When we make these physical changes, it impacts our emotions and mind just as much as our waistline. It is safe to say that our mind if a bigger control freak than our stomach and will completely go full rebel on us if we tell it we can’t have something. It is futile to resist.
Now I’m not saying dieting is as easy as changing what you call it but I believe changing your mindset about what it is, why you’re doing it and seeing it as a positive opportunity rather than a burden is completely going to shake up your mind’s ability to fight you on food choices. Tell your mind you are not in fact dieting but rather just feeling in the mood for a lot of broccoli! Your diet is what you believe is right for your body and mind by making choices that you know will lead you to a successful outcome that you are seeking. What you label that is completely up to you and can be one of your most powerful assets on this change journey.
I personally love this blend I’ve called “Mind Control” to help me stick to decisions I’ve made. Put this on your wrists and back of your neck to take back the secret controls in your mind. In 10ml roller ball bottle add:
10 drops doTERRA Lemon essential oil
5 drops doTERRA Lemongrass essential oil
5 drops doTERRA Rosemary essential oil
3 drops doTERRA Ginger essential oil
2 drops doTERRA Melissa essential oil
Fill rest with fractionated coconut oil and roll this on anytime you need some courage, motivation and control. (You can order the oils for this blend right here: dragonspitapothecary.com/mind-control)
There is No Wagon
I thought you were on a diet.
Yes how many times have I said this to myself or my husband has said it to me. Thank goodness that slipping up or not following a diet does not actually contain the physical aspect of falling off a wagon because I would have a lot of bruises.
It is entirely likely you will “fall off the wagon”, slip, falter or waiver on your diet journey. It is equally likely you will wake up each morning and try again with intentions of doing better this day. You will then with or without realizing it find yourself with a cookie, fork of pasta or some other forbidden foods headed right between your lips. It will happen and you will instantly scold yourself or feel guilty. As women we are so good at criticizing ourselves for failures that it is almost like our own primary voice especially on those days we can’t seem to do anything right.
These hurdles will come at you every day with temptations, emotions, stress and other feelings that we have used food to soothe away. If you give in you are not falling off the wagon. You my friend are just growing. You are recognizing behaviors that you are working on changing. See it as not a wagon you fell from but a path you’re walking and you stumbled. That’s it! You didn’t commit a grievous crime. You can just reset and start where you are right now. Learn from each time this happens and start working to identify those triggers. Was it because you were super busy and stressed out and you were so hungry you just grabbed it? Was it because you were upset at something? Was it because you lacked other options? All of this is human and is recoverable. It isn’t a punishable crime and we should be giving up all that is good about what we are doing because we slipped and ate something we shouldn’t have or we overdid it on something.
I remember on one of the diet programs I tried I had to journal everything I ate and a clinician reviewed it each week. I was honest in what I wrote and one day I wrote that I ate a cheese pizza slice for lunch. I was at work and hadn’t eaten all day. I was starving and that was what was available. I could have meal prepped and avoided that from happening but I was also at the time working 12-14 hour days in a highly volatile, stressful situation going on at the office. This isn’t an excuse but it is what was happening in my life at that moment. Granted I only had 1 slice and was still hungry but given my options at that moment I did the best I could. To this day I remember that clinician writing in my chart in big red letters “ATE PIZZA!”and she circled it several times. I felt like a scolded child who stole something. I felt so bad I never went back to that place either.
There was obviously a lot going on in my life at that time and it wasn’t for lack of trying but sometimes life forces us to just survive in what is occurring. I could have easily lied on that food journal but thinking that was a safe place I was honest about it. I didn’t feel I did bad at that time either because as hungry as I was and what was going on at that time I could have easily eaten a lot more than 1 cheese slice. To me this was a small victory in a big storm and despite the rudeness of the clinician that day I still believe it was.
Here’s the lesson in that experience for me… you must always have grace for yourself. No one knows your situation better than you and if you can’t get positive support for what you are doing then find different support. You have much more in your life going on than just trying to eat better. Resolving other problems will help you also eat better in the long run but sometimes you have to deal with where you are and get through it the best you can. Sometimes that means eating that cheese pizza slice and moving on.
Let’s stop pushing ourselves and each other off the wagon and instead find ways to support, encourage and motivate one another positively and with compassion. If all we had to worry about in our days was what we would eat then we probably wouldn’t have the weight problems we are having in the first place. Have some grace about this change and work with what is in front of you.
Your New Year Weight Journey
Let this year be different. It’s time to take the negative meanings behind dieting out of our vocabulary and stop letting it be a barrier preventing us from getting healthy. When we reset and honestly assess what this journey will look like we will see those days that we will struggle, the days we will be over stressed and unable to do it at all and then we’ll see those days where it’s easier.
We’ll see progress and excitement over these changes. Fuel yourself with those positive feelings and work through the rest as best you can. This is your journey and you can be very successful throughout it.
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