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One of my fabulous clients described her journey towards permanent weight loss this way: “It’s like I was on a rollercoaster when I was dieting, now I’m in the driver’s seat, driving change.”
I thought this was a great metaphor for dieting v. lifestyle change.
When you are on the diet rollercoaster:
1. You feel out of control.
2. It’s scary.
3. Emotions rage with good days and bad days. Emotions always lead to emotional eating and comfort food.
4. The number on the scale can send you on a binge.
5. Disappointment, sadness, anxiety and other daily occurrences set off eating sprees, followed by food restriction and new promises to diet all over again tomorrow, next Monday, or next month.
6. You follow someone else’s plan – might be a diet, a book, a program. These plans never address your personal body’s needs, but are generalized approaches.
7. You “wake up” with an empty plate, a candy wrapper, a cookie box, or other container in front of you and no idea how it got there or where the food went.
8. You try to control the crazy momentum by counting something (calories, aerobic output, anything at all).
9. You think poor choices say something about your personal character.
10. You struggle. Struggle diminishes your effort, your success and, ultimately, your dreams.
9. You constantly fluctuate between weights, yo-yo-ing up and down the scale. Ultimately, you wind up back at the beginning, where you started, at the “loading zone” of the rollercoaster ride.
You know you are making a lifestyle change, and you are driving change, when:
1. You are the authority on what food is the best fuel for YOUR body and you know exactly what makes great energy for your unique physiology.
2. You consistently fuel your body for optimal energy.
3. You make decisions easily, without mental combat occurring.
4. You address any emotion, obstacle or event DIRECTLY, without buffering it with food.
5. You never make excuses, but OWN every decision and action.
6. You feel empowered. You are driving. You are choosing the route you take.
7. You treat yourself with respect and love in all circumstances, no matter what you ate that day.
8. The ride leads to new places, new discoveries, and wide-open vistas because you aren’t on a “track”, you’re in ever-changing life.
Getting off the diet rollercoaster isn’t just about losing weight. It’s about quality of life. It’s about living a fully empowered life, instead of giving power away to a plan, a diet, or anything that’s not organic to your amazing physical body.
Non-diet weight loss is the kind that lasts too. Isn’t that what we ultimately want when we think of lowering the number on the scale, anyway?