This post is from the heart.
I can’t answer for everyone, but I know how I “Fail”.
I get this idea in my head that I’m going to eat SO healthy, I’m going to melt that darned fat right off my body overnight!! WRONG. How long did it take me to put this weight on? To develop all these unhealthy habits?
The answer is years! I know that, but in the back of my mind I think it should be gone today.
We all do it, we step on the scale, OMG its way higher than we think it would be. We get down on ourselves. Then we go looking for the quick fix, miracle diet, lose 20 lbs in 20 days’ kind of thing. I know I sure have, and spent a ton of money doing it over the years on all these wonderful programs, fad diets etc etc. We go for each and every one, we go hard following the calories, or points or macro’s or whatever it may be. We step on the scale and VOILA, I lost 3 lbs this week!!! YEAH!!! Then after a couple weeks (if that long) we slip….and we step on the scale and we gained, or only lost a ¼ lb... Then we beat ourselves up, we get depressed, sometimes we even cry (Yep been there) and most of us think “What’s the point of continuing?”
Sometimes we are able to stick to a particular diet for some time, even have great results, then we stop and all the weight comes back plus a few extra pounds. Sometimes we don’t have the support behind us that we need from our friends, family and loved ones, you know the remarks like “Here we go again”, or all the wonderful advice that they all give you. Telling you what to do, what to eat, what not to eat, take this vitamin, follow this diet because my friend lost a ton of weight. We are made to feel embarrassed and wrong for trying different things.
Been there, done all that and bought quite a few of their t-shirts.
This all brings us down, makes us feel like we’ve failed. That we’re never going to succeed at “dieting”. THAT is our first mistake. Get off the “DIET” train!! Get on the LIFESTYLE train, it’s a much better ride, and it’s better for us and our families.
It’s hard to change your lifestyle, especially if it’s not just you in the house. Kids don’t like their cookies and fruit snacks being replaced with healthy fruits and vegetables for snack, some spouses/partners too! They might even throw bigger fits than the kids!
Believe me, they will get over it and get used to the changes in the fridge and pantry! If they go out and eat like crap elsewhere, so be it. If they are old enough to do this, then they are old enough to make the decision in my opinion. However, when they are at home, you have the peace of mind (or satisfaction) that they have healthy choices.
That being said, it helps a great deal to have support. To have a spouse/partner that doesn’t criticize, or make negative remarks about changing your lifestyle and making health a priority. If you slip, and most of us will, that they don’t rub it in, or turn it into a negative. We know we slipped, nobody else can make us feel any more guilt than we usually put upon ourselves.
Find a partner, your spouse, a friend, a co-worker, maybe someone else that’s asking for an accountability partner on a Facebook group you belong to. You get the idea, and hey you might meet someone new and develop a brand-new friendship! It’s so nice to have someone to walk with, or workout with. Share ideas and recipe’s. If you have a dog, they make great walking partners and appreciate the time they get to spend with you. They don’t talk much…but they sure do listen! And they never, ever tell our secrets or fears.
Or maybe you don’t feel guilty for having a treat? That’s ok too! I like cake…. cherry cheesecake in particular, I don’t have it often and I refuse to totally give it up and I won’t feel guilty about it either. What is a favourite that you have that you don’t want to give up?
As I’m writing this, we have been making our lifestyle changes over the last few weeks. Our pantry and fridge still have some unhealthy things in them. We haven’t bought them in that this time, they just haven’t been used up or thrown out as of yet. Our kids at home are teens and they are adapting pretty well I believe. I do still buy one package of cookies a week for the cookie jar for them. Mark and I never ate these before so no worries about our hand in the cookie jar!
I’m not eating much meat, but I still prepare dishes with meat or have the meat available for the rest of them to add to their plates. I limit my carbs from bread, rice and pasta, but I cook a big pot of brown rice and put it in the fridge for them to access as they want, same as bread, I buy a bread for myself that is sprouted grains, low carbs and sugar and very thinly sliced... I still buy the rest of the house 100% whole wheat bread and wraps.
Our 16-yr. old daughter is actually making salads and taking healthy snacks more often than not, our 18-yr. old son…well…he’s too lazy to make his own meals so eats what I make LOL and goes out and eats his bad choices elsewhere.
We like to go camping on the weekends and most of the time the kids don’t come anymore. So, I do make sure there are healthy choices at home for them, and yes, I buy them pizza’s they can throw in the oven quickly, or other “convenience” foods that are quick and easy for them to cook up. That is a downfall, and I feel guilty to a point, it’s so much easier to provide them with these processed/pre-packaged options than to make meals ahead and leave them in the fridge or freezer. I am working on this, but I also know that they eat a healthy diet at home MOST of the time.
We still have a hamburger, with cheese and all the trimmings, but we exchanged the bun for lettuce. We don’t have potato chips with it like we used too, instead we have fresh veggies.
We still go out for meals at restaurants, we just try to make better choices. Sometimes you just have to have those sweet potato fries! It’s just not once a week, its occasionally, and I refuse to call it cheating. Cheating eludes that you have failed, it’s negative. I haven’t failed, I haven’t indulged, I just had some sweet potato fries. End of story and I go back to my healthy choices the next meal. I used to go for wings and sweet potato fries at least once a week, and Mark would eat lunch out almost every day at some fast food place. We don’t do that anymore, he makes his lunch almost every evening (or morning depending what it is) and only goes out once every week or two. I only go out for lunch about once every 2 weeks now.
We used to eat out or order in once a week, now it’s also about every 2-3 weeks.
We are actually spending less!! Eating out costs a lot of money, eating healthier also costs a bit more depending what you’re buying. So, it’s really been a win win for our pocket books as well as our health, and it feels SOOOOOO good!
We sabotage ourselves trying to follow these fad diets. We feel deprived, it’s a lot of work to constantly look up calories, or points or keep track of macros. Eventually we start to slip, we don’t look it up, we estimate, we’re starving and we eat and feel like failures. It’s not us that’s failed, it’s the program/system that we have been lead to believe is “the only way to lose weight” Let’s face it, most of us start these “diets” to lose weight first and foremost, we usually think of our waist size second and our health comes somewhere after all that.
We need to exchange that way of thinking, if we think of our health first and choose accordingly and exchange bad habits and choices for healthier ones, the weight will go on its own. Our bodies thank us and release those pounds and inches as it’s reward to us.
Tell us how you sabotage yourself? Email us, comment on this post or visit us on Facebook. We would love to hear from you.
Mark & Shelly
Join me on my journey into minimalism and healthy living.