What to Do When Your Diet is a Miserable Failure and You Want to Scream…
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It’s happened to all of us – too many times. You start a new diet plan. You know it’s really going to work this time. And the first week (yes, you make it an entire week) is a runaway success. At long last, you’re going to win in the diet wars. And then – sigh, it happens: there’s those nachos with friends, the sharing of a dessert, and that horribly stressful day that will only go away with a dish of comforting ice cream.
But you figure “That’s okay, I can pull it together.” You begin again with new resolve. You know its’s really going to work this time. Until….
Sadly, this pattern repeats itself. Believe me, I’ve been there. I know the joy of short-term marginal diet success and then the crash and burn of the scale going up – and up and up.
When I was a young mother with two small children, I achieved the glorious weight of 120 pounds. When I was a young divorced mother with two small children, my scale reached 300 pounds – and that was with dieting.
We dieters know what repeated failure feels like. It’s waking up at 3:00 AM (after a particularly bad diet day) and having an inward primal scream: “I want to lose weight so much; how could I have blown the diet so totally?!”
What to do…
Don’t give up. Giving up on dieting will bring your scale up to 300+ pounds and then some. As much as you hate yourself for going off your diet, you’ll hate yourself more if you stay off your diet. You have to persevere because the alternative is unthinkable (not only the number on your scale, but the impact on your health and self-esteem)
Speak to your physician. In 50 years of dieting, I was so embarrassed by my weight, I never sought my doctor’s help. Oh, sure, he would say “you need to take off some weight.” I would turn red, promise to try and rush out of the office, but I never said “Help me!”
Try a new diet plan. NO, DO NOT do some stupid quick loss plan that involves weird foods or weirder pills. There are many fine plans out there. Speak to friends who have lost weight and find out how they did it.
If you’re into alternative approaches, consider hypnotism or acupuncture (or whatever). I did both and they both worked – for a while.
Don’t set yourself up for psychological failure. When you start a new plan, take it one day at a time. I remember starting many a plan and sitting down with a piece of paper to map out how much thinner I would be in a week – a month – a year. I surmised that at the rate of 3 to 4 pounds per week, I would be down 80 pounds and svelte in six months. Yeah, right – get real.
Friend are friends and we treasure them. But if your friends are saboteurs, they may not be your real friends. Have a heart to heart with them and seek their support. If they are true friends, they will not urge you to order the fried fish and chips. Recognize that some so-called friends want you to fail because if you win, they feel diminished for what they cannot accomplish themselves. BTW – this applies to family members as well.
Go to a psychologist/counselor. Our lives are not easy; there are so many issues that we must address. There’s no question that food provides much needed comfort when times are tough. Perhaps your inability to get your head around a diet is that you need to first get your head around your life.
Be true to yourself. This is the toughest one. Do you really want to lose weight? Or does the siren call of food outweigh the desire to fit in a smaller size? Honestly, if you launch a new diet every Monday morning, clearly the comfort of food outweighs the desire to lose weight.
It’s time to decide what is the priority in your life: To chow down with friends on a Saturday night and then moan into your pillow at 3 AM. Or make a true commitment and like who you see in the mirror?