Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When You Fall Off Your Diet

Losing weight, as I said last week, is a long term prospect when you are more than 20 or so pounds overweight, and you also need to rethink some common dieting paradigms when you are trying to take off (And keep off) a serious chunk of weight. Last week's weight loss post seemed to resonate with quite a few people...they were even tweeting about it on twitter, and I had more than one person email me to tell me that they are climbing their stairs more. That brought up a related topic from a question from a reader of last week's post:

Do you ever fall off your diet? What do you do about it? How do you restart when you've failed?

That's a good question, and really it is related to what I was saying last week. This whole idea of being on a diet, in terms of being really restrictive with what we are eating, and behaving in such a way as we are trying to take this off as fast as is possible (and if you are more than 40 over, it is not possible in a healthy way). I think that "dieting" mentality sets us up for failure, because what do you do when you fail on your diet? Do you...
  • Repent quickly and eat an apple? (probably not)
  • Take extra diet pills? (please don't. it's a bad idea for many reasons)
  • Go to McDonalds and scarf down a suped up hamburger with enough calories in it to feed a family of 4 for 3 days?
  • Buy a box of Twinkies and eat them all in the parking lot?
  • Eat a batch of cookie dough?
  • Inhale a bag of chips without coming up for air until only crumbs are left
  • Stop off at 7-11 for a 44 ounce slurpee (which has a day's worth of calories, by the way)<---this would also be me, if we had a 7-11 nearby
  • Make up one of those Lipton Noodles and Sauce side dishes and eat the whole thing?(<--this would be me)

The point is, most of us wouldn't run straight to healthy food. We would feel bad about our failure and then think, "Well, I already blew it", and so we run to whatever it was we were feeling deprived of. This is actually worse for you than not dieting in the first place.

A better solution is to not think in terms of dieting at all, or being in an overly restrictive diet, as I pointed out to you last week. By having a healthier lifestyle, one that is manageable, with smaller, healthier choices may not make you go from 300 pounds down to 110 before summer like the fad diets promise, but it will last longer and be more do-able.

Oh no, you ate a piece of chocolate! Oh well, but it doesn't mean you have to eat the whole package! Enjoy that one piece of chocolate. Nothing tastes good when you binge on it, right? You didn't exercise today! Don't try to do double tomorrow (if you could do twice what you do right now, you'd be doing it already). Just press forward....slow and steady wins the race.

The Bible says it this way: "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again..."(Proverbs 24:16) The key to dieting success (and success in any other area of life) is not in not failing, but in getting back up again when we fall.

1 comment:

mamazee said...

Kim, come be my friend on (stephanie fehler)- i'm logging what i eat and exercise (none this week as i'm on painkillers twice a day to try to get my back/shoulders to quit being bad)... it's easier when you have someone to prod you a bit :)I'm also on a FB group called "Team Beach Bodies" :) - a friend invited me, but it's a nice place, too...