One day you’ll decide to start giving a shit about your body, but that does not mean the world-at-large will help you along the way. That’s something I had to learn on my own—the friends and websites I consulted before changing my eating habits never mentioned how lonely it can be to try to lose weight and exercise. When I was at 350 pounds, I figured my decision to get healthy would thrill my friends and family, and that they’d practically come and de-junk my pantry for me.
Instead, they kept inviting me out to eat, kept planning vacations, kept doing everything that they always did (and honestly, had the right to do). Turns out, no one feels obligated to shield you from temptation—you are not that star athlete from the hood who everyone wants to succeed, and mothers until you do so. In fact, once you commit to eating better, the world seemingly makes its threats more alluring, and more noticeable (especially during the holiday season). It’s hard out there, between any combination of work, school, homemaking, child-rearing, and having a social life. Each of these very regular life commitments will someday, somehow, test your will.
Now, this might be upsetting news for those of you halfway into a new year resolution to mind your health better. You may have been hopeful that somewhere along the line—10, 14, 20 months into being resolute by eating healthier—it becomes easier to ignore those cupcakes that Tammy from accounting bought in for the office, or that the all-inclusive buffet at your vacation resort will somehow look less appealing. Let me tell you, firmly, that it does not. Especially if you’re hungry, and even then, sometimes when you aren’t. I’m sorry. But do not fret! Here are some tips on not killing your progress or commitment to smart eating just because life’s happening (which is always).
Beware of “dieting.”
Losing weight, and thereafter maintaining it, means eating healthy foods you can eat until you die. (Which hopefully then won’t be from heart disease.) When you do decide you’d like to prolong your life by eating the right way, your first move should not be a declaration to yourself or bystanders that you’re “going on a diet.” This suggests to them and you, that your commitment to eating better is only temporary, and the end goal is to merely lose weight.
More importantly, if your diet is overly restrictive, a few things will eventually happen: a) you will begin to miss the foods you cannot eat, b) you will eventually break down and eat a lot of those foods, and c) you will gain back everything you lost, and then probably some more.
If you’re reading this ahead of your making life/dietary changes, plan now on simply incorporating more whole foods like fruits and vegetables into your daily diet; plan on adjusting your portion sizes; plan on maybe exercising some more. As we know, losing weight can be quite simple with a few life adjustments! But if you’ve already started a fad “diet” to lose weight—something like Atkins, or South Beach—quit now, you’re doomed. Start over, and do it right this time.
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