I consider myself a situational eater — no matter the situation, I love to eat.
Before children, this was never a problem. I could eat whatever and whenever, all the while looking and feeling like a million bucks. After kids? We have a problem.
Once I realized my body no longer bounced back like a rubber band, I entered the world of dieting where I set up shop for close to 30 years. While there I joined the millions of others struggling with the ups and downs of the dieting rollercoaster. My confidence plummeted, right along with my health.
The problem, I eventually discovered, wasn’t the fads or diets. It was me. I had given up the one thing that mattered most, but I was about to get it back.
It was a morning like any other – I woke up wondering what to eat for breakfast. A step up on the bathroom scale reminded me of the diet I was supposed to start…here we go again.
I looked in the mirror, mooed at my reflection, and went downstairs to make coffee.
This would normally be the time when I would – A. begin planning my new diet (emphasis on plan, not to be confused with start) – or B. grab the keys and head to IHOP, But for some reason I didn’t do either. Instead, I sat on the couch and waited for the inevitable pity party to start.
Desperate to get out of my own head, I flipped on the TV in time to hear the lead-in for the next news segment.
Great, a nutritionist. The last thing I wanted was to listen to some skinny chick lecture me.
Where was that remote?
But it was too late. I ended up listening to the skinny nutritionist.
And as I listened, a plan began to form. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop it (and believe me, I tried to stop it).
What if I took her advice? Not forever God forbid, but what if I scrap my next diet and try eating healthy fresh food instead? It was time for something different. Eating healthy couldn’t be that bad could it. At least I would be eating. And the best part was that I could postpone yet another diet. This was worth considering. But first, one last trip to IHOP.
I would give it two weeks.
Looking online I found healthy recipes and created what I thought would be a livable meal plan. I cleaned out and re-stocked my pantry and refrigerator.
Two weeks…piece of cake 😉
But what began as little more than a joke, and an excuse to delay yet another diet, eventually took on a life of its own.
Did I lose weight? Yes. In 14 days I lost 11 pounds. But something else happened that caught me by surprise. It was as if I was thinking clearly for the first time in years. And in my head, light bulbs began to turn on, one right after another.
We get busy. Grow older. Maybe have a couple of kids. Life gets in the way. Yadda, yadda, yadda. It doesn’t really matter does it? Stuff happens.
We gain weight and start dieting. Dieting is depressing and disappoints. We go back to our old habits and start the cycle all over again. Our confidence and self-esteem diminish. Health and happiness take a back seat.
We beat ourselves up and the cycle continues.
It’s time to shift priorities. Not as punishment, we’ve already punished ourselves enough. Think of this adjustment as a gift.
You become the priority; not weight loss, not dieting…you. Become reacquainted with yourself. Take back control and responsibility of your health, happiness and future. Everything else will fall into place once you do this, including weight loss.
- Be Aware: No one knows you the way you do. You may not always like what you see, but there is no better expert. Use this to your advantage. Become conscious of your positive and damaging habits. It’s time to recognize that you hold the keys to your health, happiness, and well-being.
- Be Informed: This doesn’t require as much energy as you may think. Read articles, listen, hone in on what might be helpful to what you are trying to accomplish, and then use your best judgment on what may work for you. Not tuning out the skinny nutritionist is what turned my life around.
- Be Respectful: Stop trashing yourself. Would you talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself sometimes? Become your own best friend and treat yourself with respect and dignity. We all have flaws. Don’t dwell on them.
- Be Patient: With yourself and your body. Damaging habits gradually caused you to be where you’re at today. Making positive changes now will begin the process of healing and healthy. Before too long you’ll see and feel the positive results. Don’t slip back into “quick weight loss” mode. Your priorities have changed. You’re now taking care of the total you.
- Believe In Yourself: Make adjustments at your own speed. Tweak your thinking and trust your judgment. You’re not a follower or a victim any longer. You are back in control.
I know it seems impossible. And I know you feel overwhelmed. But if something isn’t working it’s time for a different approach. Forget diets, deprivation, and guilt, and focus on the whole picture.
It took years of research and trial and error, but now I know that small changes work wonders, and these five strategies, along with my free guide to weight loss without dieting will help you make changes too.