Hands up if deep down you’ve ALWAYS believed that your life would change [for the better] if you lost weight? It’s an age old belief that we’ve all picked up. We believe that all our problems will melt away with the pounds. We believe our relationships will improve and the problems in our marriages will dissipate. We’ll find the partner we want, get the house we want, have the kids we want. We believe our goal weight will bring us more satisfaction in our careers and influx in overall happiness. We believe our lives can begin once our diets have stopped because we’re at goal weight. (yes, we believe that our diets stop once we see that number on the scale- we’ll get to that myth another day, another post)
The fact that this belief is always in the back of our minds is why many of us have been dieting every day for our entire lives. It’s why you may have woken up this morning and decided to recommit to your diet after a weekend of bad eating.
This weekend, like most, I ate more than I intended and wanted it. Too many meals out, too much snacking, little self control and emotional triggers were all the cause of this. Around 4 pm on Sunday, I found myself knee deep in a bag of Pepperidge farm goldfish. That was the first moment I felt awful and vowed to recommit on Monday.
Now when we decide we’re going to “restart” the diet we’ve fallen off of, there’s a feeling of dread that washes over us. Dieting is HARD. It’s restrictive, it’s all consuming. It’s a big sacrifice that affects virtually our whole lives.
I started mentally rearranging my entire upcoming week to accommodate this new diet I committed to in my head. Mentally canceling plans that would involve bad foods and sugary cocktails. The next thing I knew, I was in a worse mood. I wasn’t looking forward to this week of dieting. I was dreading it.
That’s when I decided to cancel my plans to diet (which I do often these days). Because I remind myself that NOTHING in my life changes if I lose weight. Nothing of significance that is. Sure, maybe my clothes will fit better, maybe I will be able to sit without first lifting my pants over my lower belly roll, but those small conveniences are not worth canceling my life to diet.
When I was younger, I’d be able to basically hunker down for 2 weeks to crash diet, lose 10 pounds and then rejoin the world. Not anymore, because it’s not worth it. If I have the opportunity this week to meet a great friend at a great restaurant for a great cocktail and great conversation I’m going. If I have the opportunity to have an amazing latte with my mom on the beach, I’m going.
The summer weekends are hard. We all wake up on Monday and feel gross, for lack of a better word. So if you started out today with the intentions to hardcore diet and you’re already miserable, loosen the reins. Remind yourself that you’re still the same person, 10 pounds heavier or 10 pounds lighter. Simply bringing awareness to this truth, I’ve found, has more affect on the scale than any fruit or veggie.
Yup, ate this on Sunday morning.