It’s the first week of 2014 and New Year’s resolutions are in full swing! I saw a news report that going on a diet is not the top resolution that it used to be. Probably many people have realized how many years they started out with every intention and met with failure. Instead of resolutions, I suggest accepting a few realities that might help to influence you toward more effective action.
Accept that diets and “programs” will never work
We can spend years in the trap of being “on” or “off” a diet and dividing all foods and even our behavior into “good” or “bad.” We struggle to follow some strict program that departs significantly from our usual routines. We expect that we’ll go off the diet program at some point and then we almost always make up for what we feel we denied ourselves.
Accept that lasting change results from gradual transition
Conventional dieting has made many of us feel we have to comply with strict rules of a program and “be good” or we’ll fail. We see everything as black or white. We think we have to jump in with both feet and make dramatic changes to achieve any results. Conversely, we want to believe when the media tells us that we can achieve significant results from some particular “small change.”
Accept that real results will take time
One of the most pernicious effects of dieting is the expectation that results are achieved in some defined timeframe. We believe we’ll achieve an amazing transformation from a “10-day reset” or a “30 day cleanse.”
If only there really was some “easy way out”! But many of us who struggle with weight look back on years of repeated failure, yoyo dieting, and weight cycling. It’s only been the last several years for myself that I am able to look back and see what I kept doing over and over, literally using up years of my life.
I have found that I’ve released a lot of anxiety and frustration by accepting certain truths. I know what I’m facing and I accept that it’s not easy. I can’t change that so I’ve given up trying to. I’ve made a great many changes through the years now and I can think of things that are simply not part of my life anymore. But it took time for them to fade away.
We fight the natural tendencies of our bodies and minds. We fight years of habits and routines that are tough to break down. We fight our own perceptions and intense social pressures. Eventually, we have to acknowledge what we know from experience will fail. It’s very difficult to let go of hope that will never be fulfilled but accepting truth can be the release.