Perfectionism. It is the most common cause of dieting failure. Why? Because it leads to all or nothing behaviors. You know what I mean. You want to be the poster-child for your diet. Saying no to all the sugar, fat, and other foods on the forbidden list. You’ve sworn off restaurants for the foreseeable future and you’ve committed your mornings to the gym rather than an extra 45 minutes of sleep. Until you don’t.
Because you stayed up too late the night before working on a deadline. You were called into an unexpected lunch meeting at work where your boss insisted you gratefully accept the free lunch provided on the company’s dime. You got a flat tire on the way home when all you wanted to do was get there in time to cook a healthy meal and relax to your favorite tv show. Your mother calls during said tv show with news that drives you to the hidden cookies in the back of the pantry. Your so-called diet is a distant memory.
What is your back up plan aka “Plan B?” The one that anticipates life happening. Sure, Plan A looks great, but it only happens about 5% of the time. What about the 90% when the sun ain’t shining, the birds aren’t singing, and not everything is going your way? Right here, right now is that time to make that plan. Not in the midst of the stress. Not on the side of the road when you’re starving and need help changing a flat tire. Not after hanging up the phone with hidden cookies calling your name that you swore you bought for your kids. When will you exercise if the alarm clocks fails you? What will you choose if you find yourself in the drive through? How will you minimize the damage at the company luncheon?
You can. You really can. Never expect or accept that a life of wellness means a strict one with no social activities. Modify. Eat half of the meal, choose the healthy menu item or skip the fries and soda. Rearrange your schedule so you can fit in the exercise, shorten the session if you have it. It does not have to be all or nothing. Something is always better than nothing. That mentality is why diets simply don’t work.
What about that other 5% of the time? I’m talking about the days when you lose your job, someone close to you passes away unexpectedly, or maybe just all of the above happens on the same day. That’s when Plan C gets put into effect. And it may include an action plan the following day- a longer exercise session, fewer calories, going easy on yourself. It may also include reminders to have healthy snacks, predetermined choices from the vending machine, and lean frozen meals sitting in your freezer for a rainy day. Rest assured these days don’t come around often.
Remember, it’s a lifestyle you are going for this time. Because you are losing the weight permanently. And your life is a part of that.
Need help with your Plan B and C? Contact me today to set up an individual consult for a plan specifically designed to fit you and your lifestyle!