DIET - The D Word
Let’s be honest, the word “diet” does not have positive connotations. Nobody likes hearing it. It means you have to restrict something. Something you like has to be taken away. No wonder 95% of diets fail. You’re doomed from the start. It’s like waking up and telling yourself that you’re going to get in a car accident today. You’re telling yourself that you are going to do something you actually don’t want to do. Do you want to have a big fat steak with a loaded mash potato, a glass of wine, and a decadent slice of chocolate cake with ice cream? Heck yes! Do I want to feel bad about it? Heck no! But that’s the boat that you’re in. If you’re going to start a diet, you’re going to have to give up at least part, if not all, of that wonderful meal. You can sub in whatever meal you favor most in place of my example.
So then why do we diet? Why do we subject ourselves to these things? We do it because at some point we got off track and overdid it with things we shouldn’t have eaten - and a lot of those things. Maybe we need to adjust our mindsets when it comes to dieting to make it more palatable. A diet should be a short term correction to right the ship and create a healthier environment for the body. Take the Whole 30 diet for example. It’s only meant to be done for 30 days. To “reset” the body. Maybe all diets in the terms that we think of a diet in really just means giving your body a short term course correction that you will then be able to sustain by other means.
So let’s talk about the reason that you know you need to diet and then maybe the reasons you don’t know about. Most people think that it’s time to diet when you start looking a little chunky. Right? It’s just an aesthetic thing. Once I lose these 5 lbs my pants will fit better and that pooch won’t be as noticeable. But that’s about all the depth and importance we attach to a diet. Let’s consider the other factors that we maybe are or aren’t aware of. Most of us struggle with fatigue, minor aches and pains, and maybe even some mild emotional/mental issues. A lot of this can be traced back to our diets and activity. Whether we’re consuming too many sugars or alcohol that is triggering inflammation in the body, or whether our body is even allergic to something we’re regularly consuming. Imagine living a life without those pains and fatigue and altered mental states. Wouldn’t that be nice? For some, this is the push that sends people toward a healthier lifestyle. Just being sick and tired of being sick and tired and realizing that an alternate life exists where they don’t have to feel those things. We have too much to do in life and we’re missing out on too much due to the way we feel. For some it’s even a legacy issue. They don’t want their kids and grand kids to take after their unhealthy lifestyle. They realize that they are setting a dangerous standard for their lives. Let’s talk about another reason that is important for watching what we eat - probably the most important. Eventually your body is going to start breaking down if you always abuse it with the types of food you regularly consume. Whether your system will no longer keep regulating your blood sugars, or your blood pressure will start rising, or your cardiovascular system will start breaking down due to plaques clogging up the system. These things are only the beginning. The consequences of those things lead toward strokes, heart attacks, neuropathies, blindness, neurological issues, etc. With most of these consequences, once you have them it’s too late. You rarely get a nice little warning that it’s finally time to change your habits. So your only time to alter course is now.
Whether your motivation is your family, your long term health, your day to day condition, or your weight - it’s time to take that motivation seriously and start working toward the new you. Just don’t feel like you have to change everything tomorrow. What changes do you feel you can reasonably make first? Make those. Is soda your vice? You don’t have to wake up tomorrow and go cold turkey. Just commit to drinking half the amount you usually do. Once you conquer that step then move on to another change. Just don’t overwhelm yourself. Be proud of whatever little step you are able to make.
You can also go the route of our next podcast. Get involved with someone that will keep you accountable. The internet has given us new tools to connect with each other. So now connecting with a health coach that will help give you advice on diet and exercise and will keep you accountable and give you tools to succeed is just a click away. And the great thing is that many of them started doing what they do because they used to be in your shoes. Then they pushed themselves to make the change and they feel so good about it that they want to help others do the same thing.
Want to learn about a couple of diets? We talk about our experiences on Episode 5.