Are We Trying Too Hard to Lose Weight?
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Anyone who knows me, knows I am a little militaristic about dieting (ya think?!). Well, I’ve had a “Ta Da” moment. A dear friend has started a new diet. Like so many of us, her life has been a series of new diets – some successful for a while, but most ending in sadness and frustrations.
She told me she’s using a different approach this time: “Not to try so hard.”
Now that may sound counterproductive to being a committed dieter, but let me explain. My friend is a business woman with a high stress job, a family with teenagers (eek), way too many commitments, and not enough time in her day for self care. The list goes on and on and I’m sure many of you would say “That sounds like me.”
Most of us go into a diet program with a carrot dangling in front of us (literally, in some cases): We want a diet that will allow us to lose 2 to 4 pounds a week if not more (but get real!) and we want to achieve our goal in record time.
My friend is being more realistic. She says: “If I lose a pound a week, I will be down 52 pounds a year. That works for me. I can be happy with that.”
For many of us – there is only one way to approach dieting: many pounds as quickly as possible. I believe my friend’s more serene approach of not obsessing is going to work for her. She’s been on the diet a month now and is down 8 pounds. I know that goes against the scenario I just described of a pound a week, but she had Chinese food the night before weigh in and lost five pounds the first week (gotta love the kick start of a sodium/fluid weight loss). Now – she’s losing a pound a week and she feels good – really good.
This laid back approach doesn’t mean she’s eating with abandon. But it does mean she’s not beating herself up when life’s circumstance put the wrong food on her plate. It also means that she immediately recommits when she’s had a bad day. No throwing in the diet towel because of one slip up (as we more rigid dieters tend to do).
Neither the rigid nor the relaxed diet plans will work without a core commitment. Remember, saying you’re on any kind of diet and gaining three pounds in a week fools no one. Acknowledging your diet shortcomings – even figuring them into your diet plan – could well be one road to success.
Diet rigidity is what has worked for me – and it’s what I preach in my writings. However, I now realize that for others – a mistake here or there is okay as long as one embraces that weight loss will be slower, but it will happen.
Dieting is a head game. I’ve always felt that any good (meaning healthy) diet works. It’s your strength in dealing with your diet that is the difference between ultimate success – or another new diet every Monday morning.
I wish my friend well – may she lose her 52 pounds in a year. Remember, whether it takes six months, a year or 10 years, losing that excess weight and being healthy is what it’s all about.