In this guest article I wrote for Len Saunders’ “Your Health Journal,” I ask the question: “When does one brownie (or cookie, beer, chip) have the power to break you?” The answer? When you go all “Kill Bill Style with your diet.
Stop The ‘Kill Bill’ Way Of Dieting
When does one brownie (or cookie, beer, chip) have the power to break you? When you go on a diet.
Iconic Michael Jackson may have sung, “it don’t matter if you’re black or white,” but when it comes to dieting and weight loss, black or white does indeed matter.
Seeing things in black or white (or all or nothing) is what derails most good intentions to lose weight. For some of us it’s an easy exit out of our current diet of choice.
How many of us haven’t thought, at least once, “I ate a piece of chocolate, so I’ve blown my diet and I might as well eat this half of pizza, too?”
Time marches on whether we take care of ourselves or not, so we might as well take care of ourselves. The little steps you make every day to lose weight and improve your health (walking, taking the stairs, eating more vegetables and protein, drinking more water, getting more sleep) moves you more realistically towards your goal than an extreme diet and exercise regiment will.
The thought of losing weight quickly appeals to all of us, and we start out gung-ho and full force—or as I call it, ‘Kill Bill style.’
But unless you are extremely motivated and dedicated, ‘Kill Bill’ will wear you out and wear you down. Then, in a weaker moment when you do have cookie, you’ll feel the “L” on your forehead and give up…with hopes of starting up again tomorrow. And then the next tomorrow. And the next.
How do you overcome this and finally succeed with weight loss?
• Realizing that one slice of cake really won’t make a difference in the long run (in fact, two slices of cake won’t either, but stick to one)
• Taking your health seriously
• Making small, everyday changes instead of gigantic ones
• Creating new healthier habits (like eating a protein-rich breakfast or using smaller plates)
While the temptation to lose 12 pounds in a month is strong, in reality, what do you have to sacrifice to get there? If you need to lose 40 pounds, that’s about 3.5 months worth of giving up everything you’ve become accustomed to eating and completely changing your exercise habits.
Remember how you felt right about day five of the last rigid diet and exercise program you embarked on? You were probably tired, famished and fatigued.
Can you go another 100 days like that? Most likely not.
If you make small regular changes, though, and lose only four pounds per month, it will take you ten months to lose those 40 pounds. But taking ten months to reach your goal weight is better than making no progress at all, which is often what happens with ‘quick fix’ rigid diets. You’ll sacrifice less, but actually reach your goal—it just takes a little longer.
Do you want to know how I ended up gaining almost 90 pounds? Through unrealistic diets, blowing it, and starting the diet ‘tomorrow.’ Every morning would start out strong, and every evening would end with a carb- and ‘beat-myself-up’ fest.
It was only when I stopped trying to diet—when I decided to just become a healthier person—that the weight began to seriously come off.
I eventually lost 82 pounds, went from a size 20 to a size 4, and became a certified Spinning instructor and fitness pro.
Baby steps. Small changes. No more black or white thinking. Are you in?