Diet vs Lifestyle Change

I was just reading Lisa’s Toot your Horn post and laughed when she said she forgot which day she was supposed to write. I was sure my next post was weigh in on May 2. I decided to check to be sure. Guess what? WRONG!! It said I had a post due in the morning.

Before the panic totally engulfed me, I called my fitness instructor and said “Help! I have a post due in the morning and I’m drawing a complete blank. What should I write about?”. God bless Nicki! She gave me a great idea. She said why not talk about how hard it is to stick to a diet and how it needs to be a lifestyle change and not a diet at all. Ding, ding, ding! I think we have a winner.

DIET. What an awful word. Don’t we all just hate it? Any word that has “die” as part of it cannot be good. I don’t know what it is about the word diet, but as soon as I say I’m going on one, I want to eat everything in sight. Why does it have such power over me? I did some research and found some great insight into that.

Anne V. Pac from spelled out the differences between diet and lifestyle changes perfectly. She said….”When you are dieting, you are
■giving up control of what you are eating to a “program”
■looking for a temporary fix to a long term habit
■looking at external cues for your success or failure,such as number on a scale
■not taking responsibilities for your actions
■not learning about food or activities and how they can affect you
■treating a symptom not a cause
In making a life style change, you are deciding that you are in it for the long haul, such as forever. You are evaluating what works for you, through trial and error. You are deciding for YOU what works and does not work. You are getting in touch with your feelings and thoughts about changes you are making, and this can make these changes more effective and long lasting.” Check out the link. She has a great video on there where she talks about the differences.

Nicki was telling me about “clean eating”. I know that term means different things to different people. Here is what she said it means to her.
“I have been clean eating for 115 days now. The first 30 were hard, next 30 were better, but still kind of rough with more frequent cheats. However, the last 45 have been very easy especially with Steve (her husband) being on board. The longer you eat clean, the less your body craves the junk. It’s a matter of “detoxing” your body. So as long we think of it as a diet, the more likely we are to quit or fail. The more we think of it as eating to properly fuel our bodies the way we were intended too, the more likely we are to stick to it. It is actually pretty easy and you stay really, really full. Loads of fruits and veggies and lean proteins.”

Another good post I found was at Straight Health. My favorite line from that post was “It is not weight loss that is the goal, it is being healthy. Weight loss is a byproduct.” Amen to that.

Diet or lifestyle change? I choose lifestyle change. I am just finally realizing that it is the right thing to do. I am commiting myself to it. Diets do not work. Lord knows I have tried just about every one of them. I’m not getting any younger and it’s never going to be easy to start, so why not just jump in with both feet and do it. Friday is garbage day. I guess I’ll be cleaning out the fridge, freezer and pantry after kettle bell and zumba class.

Thanks for the help, Nicki. I’m going to be counting on you to keep me on my toes. I know that this is not about being skinny. It’s about being healthy and being around for a long time to come.

  • Andy Drouin

    Great point!  I cringe at the word diet, but I love that I am changing my whole lifestyle right now.

  • anng

    Great post, Nancy! I have been working on this exact thing this year. I still have a long way to go (mentally and physically) but I think I’m geting better!

  • Nicki

    Great post Nancy! and I am here for you whenever or however you need me. XOXO – you got this lady ! I know it

  • Superoxide Dismutase

    Nancy its a great Post..Thanks for sharing!!