Change your thoughts and you change your world. -Norman Vincent Peale
I knew this guy once. He was overweight and suffered from some minor health issues. He went on a diet and lost a lot of the weight. Then he stopped dieting and gained the weight back. Several years passed and the minor health issues became major health issues. The doctor told him he was going to have to make some changes in the way he ate and excercised if he wanted to avoid medication. He told the doctor that he had gone on diets before but they (and the weight loss) just didn’t seem to last. And the doctor told him that he didn’t need to go on a diet, he needed to make lifestyle changes. He made the same food and exercise changes he did before, but he also changed the way he thought about things, and that has made all the difference.
That guy was my dad. He lost nearly 40 lbs and has kept it off for almost 3 years now. My dad did not go on a diet. He made lifestyle changes.
But really, is there a difference? YES!
When I think about a diet, I automatically think of a temporary situation. Most people say “I’m going on a diet”, which implies at some point that they will be going off that diet, too. When you are on a diet, once you reach your goal, you give yourself permission to go back to they way you used to eat because, well, you’re “done with your diet”. There are lots of reasons to go on a diet: class reunions, family pictures, or (gasp) swimsuit season are a few examples. But the reunion will end, the pictures will be taken and cold weather will return. So where does that put you?
What we need to do is make lifestyle changes. Thinking about changing the way you live your life automatically gives it a sense of permanence. If you change the way you live your life, what are the chances that you will look back and say “You know, I was so much happier when my eating was out of control and I sat around all day”? I would venture to guess pretty slim.
If you make even a few changes in the way you live your life, you will never have to “diet “ again. Eating healthy will become second nature, and BEING healthy will become the norm.
So which are you doing? Are you dieting? Or are you changing your life?
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