Ok lets be real, diets sound like the bees knees, in theory. We are talking about just a measly week or two of cutting out our sugary friends, having a few more salads, drinking some kind of fancy juice concoction and wallah! Pounds begin to melt away, we fit into that outfit a little better, the sun is shining and celery never tasted so good! So what gives? Why all the negativity towards a system that has proven to work time and time again?
Could it be that it is also a system made up of momentary successes, followed by failure and frustration time and time again?
Now I am not here to lecture, especially since we have all been told at one time or another that diets never work. I will point out however, that no matter how many failed attempts and warnings about the cons of dieting, none of it seems to be quite enough to stop us from giving it another whirl. With that in mind, we could take a look at the telling fact that diet is primarily made up of the word Die (yikes!) and conversely Lifestyle so happily begins with the word Life! (Followed by style which is pretty schnazzy sounding in comparison to diet, or rather Die-out.) Ok I’m done with the play on words, promise. The point is, a diet should be used for one thing and one thing only: Transitioning to a new and healthier lifestyle. This is perfect because a transition is also temporary!
So before you start your next venture, consider that diets (by themselves) are what don’t ever work. Consider that being aware of your true intentions, specific about your desire and why you want it, clear on what your road blocks are and equipped with a plan of action that fuels a ferocious will, just might be the missing ingredients. Consider a new approach and these 5 new ways of thinking to better set you up for success.
Think of a diet as a friendly way of not forcing yourself to go cold turkey (no pun intended), into the world of no more donuts every morning. It simply means you are changing your usual or recent habits of eating to something more health conscious. So since a diet is temporary, what does it mean to not be dieting? My guess is it’s back to junk food and unconscious eating habits, until the next time you hit a slump and feel the need to diet again! You can see the insanity of this, and the bookoo bucks in it for insincere programs within the industry. If you are going to diet, let it be a kickstart into something bigger.
How much better would it be to simply change your lifestyle instead, so that you are constantly moving in a forward direction instead of the back and forth gig.
I say we get rid of the word diet altogether! How about instead we adopt the term bridging! We can start a new revolution, a new phrase across the globe, think about it, “hey Sally do you want a piece of this cake?” – “Oh no thanks Jill I’m bridging” Or “Hey man I’m starting to bridge on Monday, you should do it with me!” Ok ok a girl can dream can’t she!? But in all seriousness it’s about being on the path, or the bridge, to a healthier way of living. How much better does that sound!? Your brain can immediately start programming for a permanent change rather than a short term fix, which is better for your body and definitely better for your mind.
A bridge leads to a new destination, a path can always take you further, a diet… is a ladder, a ladder with only 15 steps that you continually go up and then down, up and then down. So hop off, unless of course the ladder is leading to a bridge ;).
3. Begin by adding more
One way to transition into a healthier lifestyle, that isn’t as terrifying and gruesome as restricting yourself from another grain of sugar for the rest of your life, is by simply adding more of the good stuff! Start by having a salad with every meal, switching your usual snack time foods to something like apple slices or almonds, and definitely start by drinking more water throughout the entire day. Just these simple additions to your life will help immensely on the road to health and will begin to give you a peak into the joys of positive feedback from your body.
4. Get clear-be honest-go deep
Before you begin bridging 😉 , get clear about exactly what this means for you. It’s not enough to just decide “I’m going to eat healthier for the next week.” Sure it’s an absolutely wonderful place to start, but get a bit more specific with your intentions; this way you can become that much more mindful of what you are putting, or not putting into your body. For example:
- “I’m going to drink 3 bottles of water a day.”
- “I’m only going to have one cup of coffee in the morning.”
- “I’m going to have a salad with every meal.”
- “I’m going to be more mindful of how often I drink alcohol.”
Additionally, if you want to get serious about how far your diet takes you this time around, it’s time to be honest with yourself about your road blocks. Look in the mirror and go deep with your true feelings about yourself and some of the reasons you maybe haven’t been treating you so well. Until you are able to look within and discover why you began losing love for yourself in any way, you won’t be able to reveal the truth; that you are worthy and deserving of all your love. Remember that your outside is a direct reflection of what’s going on inside, so for any legitament growth to occur you must be willing to go there, it’s is so worth it.It is a commitment and ongoing process but just remember that you can’t change what you don’t face. Without a real commitment to self-love, the emotional roller coaster and/or dieting carousel will continue to wear down your spirit.
5. Make it fun!
It’s also important to paint your new and exciting decision for bringing more health into your life with Bright Happy colors! This is exhilarating after all! Just a few days into consistency and you can feel the difference in your body which triggers an immediate elevation in your spirit.
When you are in that glorious good mood cloud and feeling motivated for more, keep the momentum by engaging in something you love or trying something new. Invite a friend or two to go hiking with you Saturday morning, rent bikes on the boardwalk, take a rock climbing course or buy a new recipe book that excites you. Keep engaging in activities that support the habits you want to create and maintain and remember that the decision to eat better and live healthier, has far more benefits with roads to happiness than it does negativity. Don’t let it become a daunting task, let it remain a fulfilling opportunity!
Bottom line, begin associating positive experiences and feelings with healthy choices and anchor them within you. I guarantee, eating cleaner and staying on track will fall into place much easier if you get every part of your life on board with becoming healthy; Mind,Body & Soul.