Knickers – some people change their diet plans more often than they change their knickers! Over the past few months I have seen people – not just one person – switch from Slimming World to calorie counting, then to a shake-based diet, then back to Slimming World, then to Weight Watchers…and Herbal Life was also thrown in the mix somewhere, along with a mention of Lighter Life.
Now, I absolutely understand why these patterns of behaviour occur – the desperation to find a way of losing weight leads us to it. Yet if we look at it rationally, we know that this isn’t the way to go. Imagine if your best friend was constantly switching their approach towards weight loss, without any real success. You would be likely to wonder what on earth they were doing. You would feel bad for them, as you would be able to see the heartache that it causes them. You would probably be able to spot that it wasn’t the plan they were following, but their approach to eating that was causing their problems. You would want to give them advice – tell them to stop messing their bodies up with faddy diets…but to get some help to identify the underlying issues.
Why can we not see these patterns within ourselves?
We ignore our rational minds and keep searching for options that will miraculously help us shed our excess weight…when what we need to do is shed the behaviours that made us fat in the first place. For most of us, this has little to do with food education – we have an idea of what is healthy and what isn’t, and we could all grasp calorie counting for example. The source of our food habits lie with our emotions and habits – the eating we do to comfort ourselves, or to praise ourselves, to celebrate, to commiserate, to punish ourselves. It is very complex!
Yet a constant cycle of swapping from diet to diet does nothing to alleviate our issues. In fact, the lack of success and constant indecision actually makes us feel more out of control – I used to start a plan, get all excited, and then have an awful crash when I couldn’t stick to the regime I had created. I would feel as if I had failed – I was a failure, I couldn’t even stick to a simple diet, I was stupid, I had no will power, I felt worthless…all of the negative self-talk would then lead me straight back to my comfort food.
The biggest tool you have when it comes to weight loss is your mind. It will help you create wonderfully healthy food recipes, it can help keep you on track – by reminding you of positives and brushing off negatives, it can help you deal with saboteurs, it can convince you that exercise is a good thing and not a punishment…the list is endless! So why, if the mind is so great, do we ignore it and focus only upon the eating plan we want to follow?
I have come to the conclusion, after many practice attempts on many different diets, that it is not the plan but your mind that is the key to success. You can do Weight Watchers, or Slimming World, or Lighter Life, or Herbal Life – although my preference is for a plan that includes food and all of the food groups! – but if your head isn’t in the right place then you will struggle to succeed and end up on an endless cycle of dieting…which makes you feel awful and will see your self-esteem plummet. This is why diets don’t work – and I do not class Slimming World as a diet…it is a healthy eating plan and I love it!
Any plan that you chose needs to be healthy, sustainable for life, and enjoyable – and whatever you chose to do, you need to combine it with mind work too! You need to identify emotional triggers, saboteurs, stress points – all of the things that make you turn to unhealthy foods. Obviously, this is far easier said than done. I have been working on it for a while put am not even half way there yet with either my weight loss or my mind work…but I am clawing my way there, day by day!
And just a little shout-out for support too. A good support network – be that a Slimming World group, or a Twitter network, or a bunch of likeminded friends – is also important and can help your mind help you! Your friends and support network can boost your morale on tough days, celebrate successes and help you rationalise on those tough days. So ‘THANK YOU’ to my support network…you are marvellous!
Right then, the usuals…
Today has been a planned pyjama and 24 day – after a late night of 24 that saw us glued to Jack Bauer and his antics until 3am! Netflix is probably the best and worst thing that has happened in this household in a long time. Series 1 is complete and, as I type, Series 2 is nearing conclusion! So my Mum took care of the horses today, my food was bought yesterday, and I stayed in my pyjamas all day long. My other half had somehow forgotten his ciggies yesterday and so had to pop out, but that meant that I could catch up on Twitter! It has been a lovely lazy day…but I will have to go to bed soon as I am up very early tomorrow to get on my treadmill in preparation for Jessie P.
Breakfast: Porridge with almond milk and blueberries (6.5 syns).
My food has been nice today. Breakfast made a lovely change – I am a bit fed up of my bananas now…so I had a little sachet of porridge with some almond milk and blueberries; it was really tasty! Lunch was my sardine concoction – a tin of sardines in tomato sauce mixed with chopped red onion, chopped red pepper, and chopped cherry tomatoes. This was put on top of spinach, which was on top of toast, and then I used my Babybel cheese on top – it really does taste good and is a great way to get an oily fish portion in! Dinner was great too – river cobbler is a really nice fish, and I opted for the smoked version today. This was put with roasted butternut squash and some veggies – red onion, pepper and courgette. My snacks were a little more than usual today – due to our ’24′ marathon my other half had stocked up…he had a giant bag of crisps, chocolate and a bag of doughnuts! I needed something to stop me from strangling him and eating the doughnuts myself…so it was strawberries and chicken to the rescue.
My TV marathon today has not been conducive to exercise…and whilst I know that I could have sat on a gym ball doing bicep curls or something, it was comfier resting on my big comfy chair. Jessie P is not going to accept those sorts of excuses, so I will be getting myself in order very soon.
Thank you for reading my ramblings, and have a wonderful week,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx