Are you on a dieting roller coaster?

Do you find this?

You’ve decided enough is enough, you’ve gained weight again and those extra pounds are just dragging you down and not making you feel good about yourself so you make a conscious decision to try to lose weight, take back control of your body, change your shape and you go on a ‘Diet’ but then everything seems to get in the way of your ‘diet’ to stop you from being ‘good’.

Self-sabotage rears its ugly head and just won’t go away, although I will in our defence say that when those hormones kick in, the brain quite often kicks out and we don’t appear to be very sane or rational people any more do we?

So let’s have a look at this as things need taking in hand. We have to somehow get off this ‘dieting’ roller coaster that seems to stop us losing weight or changing shape, stopping us getting long lasting results.

To me the word ‘diet’ suggests being healthy for a limited period of time, that you’ve gone on a diet to get results quickly and might be because your holidays are coming up, or you are getting married or for a certain important event when you want to look your best.

What’s this all about then? Just being healthy towards an event, one moment in time, when really we should be looking at becoming healthier for the long term, losing weight if necessary, and making lifestyle changes that are going to stick and stay with us for a lifetime.

This means gradually doing things — gradually upgrading you — how you eat, noticing what you eat, your daily activities, the way you think about life. We want to try to become the best version of ourselves and can’t expect to do this in a short period of time by going on a ‘diet’.

We also fail to look at what we have done successfully to date with regard to our health. For example, we don’t compliment ourselves on doing our exercise consistently, we just put our heads down and see that the scales are saying heavy and that we might as well give up. So what if the scales aren’t moving the way you think they should be. Consider this, perhaps you are actually burning off fat and getting stronger which doesn’t always mean the scales get lighter. Better than the other way round where you are losing weight but don’t actually have any energy left to do anything.

We are always most critical of ourselves, aren’t we, particularly when we ‘diet’. Being a teacher of fitness, there can be an association of how you should look. You teach exercise therefore you should look fit as in slim (and not heavy) but what if I can bash out a burpee better than most so hang on a minute whose body image and fitness am I assuming people expect to see when they come to my class. We are own worst enemies. We are always too critical of ourselves instead of concentrating on taking on board a healthier lifestyle which takes time and is an ongoing process with blips, we get caught up in what other people think and look at their success compared to what we see as our failure.

You mustn’t be fooled by appearances either you know. People can be skinny and fat — yes, they might do a bit of exercise and naturally stay slim but could be lacking muscle tone and might hold more fat than you realise in proportion to the rest of their body. So don’t judge a book by its cover.

If you are putting yourself on a diet, consider this too what if you are actually burnt out? Tired all the time with no energy, not getting enough sleep, too busy at work, at home, and getting no time for yourself, all this will stop that fat burning and you are setting yourself up to fail. Burnout will really hinder your ‘diet’ so maybe this is not the right time to start ‘dieting’. Maybe you need to consider how you can change things so you can get more sleep first as lack of sleep can really make you crave sugar. Or try changing out one sugary item in the week for a healthier option to see if you can get back some energy. If you are seriously stressed out, fat will stay to comfort you and hang around because you are giving off signals of distress so fat wants to support you, and leave that extra layer on you for protection regardless of whether you are exercising or not. You have to start thinking of yourself, get self protective. Don’t keep doing long hours or overtime, try using that time to go for a walk or get to the gym or to just sit and do absolutely nothing. It will make you more productive at work and home in the long run.

Rather than saying I’m going on a diet, we should really start to say I’m starting my lifetime journey towards better health and you could even ask friends and family to join you.

Switching health on and off, just makes the body react badly so that when you do switch off the diet, because you lost that stone before the holidays and your work is done, you wind up throwing health out of the window — hurray you don’t need to eat clean any more. But hang on a minute, your body just can’t deal with this yo yo diet cycle, it will put on even more weight than it ever used to when you lapse back to that wonderful junk food and of course that glass of wine that’s desperately calling you.

Some of you might be doing lots of exercise whilst ‘dieting’ and finding no change in your body shape so think about this - think of yourself like a car engine (BMW not clapped out old banger), you have to put the right petrol or diesel into it otherwise the engine will burn out so why don’t you treat your body like the formula one beast it is?

Did you know that quite a lot of women are eating too little which is why their metabolism has shut down? Your car will stop fairly quickly if the tank is virtually empty. You cannot expect long term results by depriving yourself of everything food wise that you like all at once, then ramping up the exercise, and still running around like a headless chicken. You have to fuel that body properly. It’s all too much to change everything at once.

So where are you in the world of losing ‘dieting’— would you admit you are on a dieting roller coaster? Do you keep being healthy for say a few weeks, then give up and then have another go in a few more weeks?

If yes is the answer then what I would like you to do this LET GO —

let go of dieting

let go of looking at your body without seeing beauty

let go of the fear of changing things up

let go of being in the comfort zone, take a walk on the wildside

let go the fear of guilt if you are not always there for your friends, family because you have decided to be selfish and focus on getting you back to good health

let go of trying to get to a certain size on the scales

let go of what anyone else is achieving

then once you have let go of these negative, self sabotaging thoughts, open your arms/heart to having fun again —whether it be fun exercising or just going out being active, start loving food again and stop giving it good or bad classification, start cooking with your family maybe, change things up — the only way you can make lifestyle change is by actually breaking habits, moving away from the ‘norm’.

Nothing will change without you taking action. Diets will be around forever more but look further than food, look at happiness. When you are older you want to be able to say that you have lived a happy life not one that was on a permanent ‘diet’, that you got on and did so many different things, you didn’t let other things, other people, that old self-sabotage get in the way.

Live in the here and now, make 2016 the year to LET GO and I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised at how much will change for you!

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