There was a question recently in the comments about whether it was time to change my strategy with my diet.
OK, so it worked for me when I wanted to lose 30 lbs – but as soon as I declared I wanted to try and use it to get flat abs, it stopped working!
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that eating one meal a day is a sub-optimal approach to weight loss. I am sure there are better options out there, but I wanted to prove a point.
The point being that it’s possible to lose weight eating a diet based around normal family food. I wanted to do it in a way that didn’t disrupt the routine around main family meal. I didn’t want to count calories. I didn’t want to take supplements. I didn’t want to include or exclude certain foods. I wanted it to be sustainable over a long period of time with only moderate daily exercise. And I wanted to do it without anyone knowing I was on a diet.
And that’s exactly what I achieved.
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to reproduce my earlier success when it comes to losing the last of my fat and it’s right to question whether I need to change strategies.
I could do something new (and maybe I should), but I’m not ready to admit defeat just yet.
I’ve said before that a diet is won or lost in the mind and I believe that’s where I’ve been losing this battle.
It’s no surprise to me really when I consider what else has been going on in my life.
Last year I spent nearly nine months trying to get back to work. I needed to get back and the financial implications of not getting back were causing me a great deal of anguish.
And of course once I got back I needed to throw myself into my career so I ended up dropping other commitments – like this blog, like the diet, like the home maintenance, like social networking and a whole host of other things I’d be on top of in an ideal world.
The truth is I always have been and always will be susceptible to the emotional fatigue that comes with living a life packed to the rafters with running a family, working full time, trying to achieve ambitious personal goals and continuing to explore the work at home thing.
Put another way…. sometimes I just don’t want to be on a diet.
Right now I have to admit I’m lacking the commitment, or at least the sort of commitment it takes to get the job done.
There are a few things that come to mind:
1. At no point have a I had a concrete plan for dealing with the times when I want to put the diet on hold. So a lot of the time it felt like I was either on or off the wagon. Being off the wagon lends itself to eating with wild abandon or at least a casual recklessness. There needs to be some kind of holding pattern I can slip into.
2. I stopped doing the diet part of the lifestyle diet. I just did the lifestyle. Whereas there was a time when I was prepared to go hungry for longer, I’m now in the habit of satisfying that hunger with a piece of fruit or with a mug of tea or coffee. But gradually I find I’m consuming more throughout the day than I did when I was really ‘on it’. My diet seems to be morphing into the six small meals diet – except it’s sixteen snacks and one main meal.
3. I’m not exercising nearly as much as I used to. Before my return to work I was walking the dogs twice a day. Now I’m walking them only once and not walking as far.
4. I used to cook all the meals and therefore had control over portion sizes. And because I haven’t openly declared to my family that I’m on a diet, I’m often presented with a huge plateful of food which I feel compelled to eat. I know, it’s a pitiful excuse, but that’s the way it is sometimes.
5. When I first started out with this diet my motivation was linked to a strong emotional desire, albeit negative emotion. But I no longer feel that way. As I said above, I achieved my goal of losing 30 lbs, so the motivation is gone and I’m really not hooked into the new goal at all. Yet.
It’s a matter of commitment. I’m not committed. Not fully anyway, and that leaves too much room for other stuff to slide in and occupy my time, energy and mental reserves.
It’s not the diet I need to work on (apart from a few subtle tweaks), it’s me I need to work on.
(But I need to remember that “All great achievements require time” – Maya Angelou)
Picture Credit: Vincent X