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I HATE the word diet.
That four letter word means a lot of things to a lot of people, but most often we associate it with restricting our food intake. We have the mindset of being "on a diet." We say things all the time like "I went off my diet" or I "broke" it. I am still guilty of this.
In essence a "diet" is just what we eat. We need to stop this concept of on/off dieting and we need to start taking the approach that everything we put in our mouths IS part of our diet. This change in mentality is this second step on my journey and just like the first, I’m still working on it.
How may times have you started over? How may times have you said the words "I’ll start my diet Monday morning?" If you are anything like me this could be a weekly statement. Every Monday was a start over day.
Or maybe it was a Sunday?
The first of the Month?
The beginning of a new year?
Whatever day you chose, how long did you last on your new plan?
Did you make it to lunch?
Maybe 3 days, tops?
Then one meal or even a snack, sometimes something as small as one M&M took you "off plan." It "broke" your diet. That was it? That’s all it took, one piece of food and I’d be in an eating frenzy. All bets were off, my diet was broken. There’s no saving it now, I might as well eat that 5th piece of pizza and try that new Ben & Jerry’s flavor by downing the whole pint in one sitting.
This mentality is what caused me to gain more weight in my yo-yo era. I really would have been better off not dieting at all. In essence I was giving myself permission to binge on food because I already "ruined my diet." I was stuck in the on plan/off plan mentality. If I was on plan only "diet approved" food was being consumed. The "diet approved" items could be anything from only vegetables, no carbs, even nothing at all.
Yes sometimes I had a diet plan of eating nothing. Absolutely nothing.
So if I ate anything the plan was broken and all bets were off. Time to call Dominos!
If I was off plan then anything was fair game, but mostly all the things I thought I couldn’t eat if I was on plan: pizza, subs, burgers, fries, stromboli, lasagna, *insert any high fat/high carb meal here*.
This is all so ridiculous! There is no such thing as being on plan or off plan. We are just making it up in our own minds.
Think about it: your diet consist of everything you eat. EVERYTHING. Just because you ate something that may be considered "bad" doesn’t mean you broke your diet, it just means you ate something "bad." How does that choice affect your next meal? Own “the bad” just like you own “the good.”
But boy, did I make it affect mine. Looking back, this mentality was my way of justifying a binge. There had to be a reason to eat everything in sight. I had to give myself an excuse, and that excuse was because I already "ruined my diet."
Step 2 is all about throwing this mentality out the window. Accept the fact that EVERYTHING you eat "counts." There is no "off plan" there are only choices. Stop letting one choice define the next. Own it. No one is perfect. NO ONE. And a diet isn’t either. Accept what you eat at every meal. Be conscious of it and make the best choices for you ALL THE TIME. Don’t base it on the state of your diet.
Your diet is stateless.
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I’ve been doing this a looong time…