How many times have you said, “I need to on a diet” or “I am going to eat healthy all week so I can indulge this weekend”?
How about thoughts such as “If I could lose this last 10 pounds, I would be happier” or “I am successful because my abs are showing”?
These are so common but I challenge you to think about how many times this has worked for you (on a long term basis) or are you stuck in a vicious cycle of destructive eating and behavioral habits?
The reality is that it is very hard and fairly unsustainable to stick to something 100% of the time (unless you are a robot, and even then, technical issues still happen)!
We like the grand idea of a diet or program, especially when someone or something (such as an app, etc.) tells us exactly what to eat and how to exercise, but nobody really likes the idea of doing the hard work or feeling overly consumed by logging or tracking (although there are certain times where this can be helpful or necessary).
When we try to follow a strict diet, it rarely lasts because, let’s face it, we are not perfect (and shouldn’t expect to be)!
Unless you plan to never get busy, always be prepared, pass up every birthday party and dinner invite, skip vacations, and stick to a schedule all day every day – LIFE will get in the way of your “perfect” meal plan.
When things get in the way, people often go back to their old way of eating because they don’t know what else to do when the are not on the plan. Or they begin a plan that was meant to be temporary and continue to follow it for too long – which can lead to deficiencies, disordered eating habits, or other health (mental, metabolic, hormonal) consequences.
A lot of people may follow a strict plan for a while but won’t really enjoy it. This discontent can pose a serious challenge for a diet to be sustainable long term.
So, instead of another diet, why not focus on lasting, sustainable changes that are unlikely to interrupt your daily life but have impactful results once we establish them as a habit?
Focus on what is possible and doable and what you can do TODAY.
You can’t set a goal to lose 30 pounds and expect to lose 5 within the first day or PR our clean and jerk by 50 pounds each week.
Regardless of what your nutrition or fitness goals are, you need to make your plan a priority, set goals and do the hard work (yes, this is not easy!). Most importantly, you must stay consistent.
You have to show up again and again and again… even when you want to quit.
Let’s look ahead a month, a year, or even 5 years from now and you have made significant strides towards reaching your goal(s)… Chances are you won’t remember the small failures that seemed so big and important at the time. That Friday that you ate a piece of cake or slept through your workout is irrelevant.
Aren’t you glad you didn’t quit when the scale went up 5 pounds? Or when things got tough?
What small choices can you make today to reach your goals?