Back in the day when I decided to go on a diet, the only thing I cared about was how much weight I would lose and how fast I would lose it.
I NEVER (ever) thought about how it would affect my life, what I would do when the diet was over, or my REAL reason for wanting to drop 2 dress sizes in the first place.
Dieting was often a knee-jerk, not-very-well-thought-out reaction to me not being happy with myself.
And most of the time, it sucked. I ended up losing weight, gaining it all back (plus a little more), and hating myself in the process.
With every new weight loss attempt, I thought "THIS time, it'll be different. THIS time I'm going to be good and stick to it".
HA! Never happened.
You probably know what I'm talking about. You may even be at that place right now. If so, keep reading.
Before you walk down the long road of trying to lose weight through dieting, cleansing, or detoxing, take a few moments to ask yourself these 5 crucial questions...and BE HONEST.
I created these to help you determine what your motivation is, what you hope the end game will be, how will this be different than your previous weight loss attempts.
Ultimately, it's your decision and you don't need to justify or explain it to anyone else.
This is just to help YOU process your thoughts.
So here goes:
1. Besides losing weight, what outcome do I want at the end of the diet? In my personal experience and in my work with clients, I've learned that weight loss alone is NOT a sustainable motivator. Once I achieved my desired weight, I didn't have anything else to aim for. My advice to you: decide how you want to feel, what's important to you about losing weight, how it'll affect other areas of your life.
2. How will I eat and live my life when the program is over?This is a big one. You may be ok with packing 5 small meals a day in tiny color-coded containers and hauling them around with you for 4 weeks, but are you willing to do it indefinitely? If you don't have a plan for yourself and the end of the program, you'll probably end up right back where you started.
3. Will this program cause me to drastically alter my lifestyle while doing it? Many people think that a complete overhaul is exactly what they need to "get on the right track" with their eating habits. This isn't always true. For example, if you don't like cooking but your new diet tells you to spend hours in the kitchen prepping meals, chances are that you won't be able to sustain it. Find a way of eating that fits into YOUR life.
4. Will this program teach me how to develop habits that I can sustain once it's over? Many diets and weight loss programs do the exact opposite: they make you eat food you don't like, usually in unsatisfying quantities, and exercise for hours on end. The key to long-term change is to create new habits that you can maintain. If you can only endure the program for a finite period of time, you may want to reconsider it.
5. If I weren't trying to lose weight right now, what would I be doing in my life? I believe that the relentless pursuit of weight loss is one of the biggest life suckers in the world. It's ok if you want to lose weight (it's your body), but when you do it at the expense of everything else, you start to miss out on many important things in your life. Your life is happening now, not 20 pounds from now.
If you've ever dieted before, you probably know how that story ends. But I believe that if you want to diet to lose weight, it's your body and your choice.
I will never tell you what you should or shouldn't do.
I'm simply giving you a few things to think about.
My own 25-year history of weight loss obsession has taught me that dieting isn't just about counting calories, points or carbs.
That's one of the reasons it's so difficult to kick the habit.
There is hope, though. You don't have to spend the rest of your life on a wild goose chase for a smaller version of yourself.
You can start letting go of dieting by taking the Food Freedom Audio course. Each day for 5 days, I'll send you a short audio module with a journal prompt and an action you can put into practice right now.
If you're ready to break free from rules about food, click the link below and sign up: