Today I want to talk about dieting for weight loss versus choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. These are a few of the things that I’ve learned in my health journey. I hope that they can be of some benefit to you!
Over the past year, I’ve had a few, “Aha”moments. Moments that I’ve noticed where my mindset was sabotaging my goals. I want to share some of those with you.
All my life I’ve wanted to be skinny. Yes, skinny. I’m sure that doesn’t sound foreign to you. Being skinny is what every girl wants. Right?
This lead me to try all kinds of diets. I tried calorie counting, keto, low carb and carb cycling. I even tried a 10 day cabbage soup diet. None of them got me anywhere. I would lose 5 pounds here and there, but I always gained it back and then some.
It’s discouraging. It’s heart wrenching. Oh the tears I’ve cried over unmet goals. Thankfully, I’ve begun to learn my lesson.
My mindset was off.
I want to lose 30lbs before my wedding. I want to look good in my bathing suit. I want to be in shape before having a baby. I’ve said those things 100 times.
I’ve set goals and worked towards them. None of them have gotten me results. Just another failed attempt at being skinny.
My mindset was in a temporary way of thinking. I wanted to temporarily not eat this or that, or temporarily restrict the amount of calories I consumed. All in order to reach a goal that my lifestyle didn’t support.
This lead to, you guessed it, binge eating!
Think about temporarily not having something. What does it make you want to do?
If you’re like most people, you want to fill up on whatever it is that you haven’t had for a considerable amount of time.
I’m not saying that I should never put any restrictions on myself again. Along with building discipline, going without certain foods such as sugar or dairy has benefits. For example, going without dairy for a week or so, can help to get rid of bloating.
It’s the mindset behind it that has done the damage for me. For example: I go on our 10 day shred and the whole time I’m thinking about how much I miss ice cream. I make plans to buy a half gallon of ice cream when the 10 days is up. Rather than treating myself to a serving of ice cream, I eat half the container.
The Shred10 did nothing for me. My mindset was still in a temporary way of thinking. By eating half the container I completely sabotaged what I was working towards.
A long term approach keeps me focusing on how much better I feel after the 10 days. I allow myself to have a treat, but choose not to over indulge. I keep the long term goal in mind.
I cut corners
When we choose to create a lifestyle of healthy living, we choose not to cut corners. We’re intentionally creating habits that support our health. We don’t look for excuses to overeat or indulge ourselves.
For example, eating out used to be a big deal for me. It wasn’t something I did very often. When we would have a nice dinner I would stuff myself using the excuse of, I never get to eat like this.
By thinking short term I once again ruined everything that I worked so hard for. It wasn’t wrong to eat out, but don’t eat out like you’re never going to eat out again. Create a habit that builds discipline and will support you in the long run.
I’ll start tomorrow.
How many times have I said that I would start tomorrow? Gosh, I cannot even count. We all say it, don’t we?
Why start tomorrow when we could start today? If we think of it in terms of a diet, we are always going to be on it, or off of it. We will make every excuse we can think of for not being on it at the present moment and every reason why we should put it off for some other time.
Diets bring no lasting change. Diets for me, have brought shame for their lack of results. Diets have brought a feeling of failure for not meeting yet another goal.
Living a healthy lifestyle brings change. One step at a time. It may be slow, but it is a constant moving forward, addressing mindsets that pull us down and building healthy habits.
I started with one simple change at a time. It started with flooding my body with over 30 different fruits, veggies and berries in an encapsulated form. That lead to me craving more fruits and veggies in my diet. Which lead to me eating more raw, whole foods.
From there I started drinking half a gallon of water a day. I became more consistent with working out 5 days a week. With improved energy I began to love cooking healthy meals for my husband and I.
Now, I’m looking for ways to get as much nutrition into our diet as possible. I’m learning to cook meals that can become a part of our everyday life. I’m making small changes that over time will bring big results.
I’m not perfect at this, but ya know, since I plan on doing this for the rest of my life, I can afford to fall down a few times. I can afford to make mistakes. I don’t have a deadline to meet.
When choosing lifestyle rather than dieting, we are focusing on being healthy even after we reach our weight loss goals. We set ourselves up for success by creating habits that benefit us long after we’ve reached our goal.
So here’s to living a healthy lifestyle. Let’s focus on the small things we can do consistently that will bring a lasting change. Here’s to making one simple change at a time.
Have you had to overcome any of these mindsets or something similar maybe? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.