It’s that time of the year again. Summer’s fast approaching, and I can literally hear the gleeful rubbing of hands together within the diet industry. They’re sending us subtle, and not-so-subtle, messages that it’s time to get “beach body ready.”
I’ll be honest, last week I started to wonder if maybe the 5:2 Diet just might work or if I could try cutting out carbs? It’s been four years since I went on an actual diet. Surely I’d be able to stick to one this time. It seems whenever I take so much as a quick peek at Facebook, someone I know has lost five pounds.
A voice deep inside me said, “No, that’s not for you” and although I know it’s right, I could feel that old sense of failure creeping back in. As much as I want to encourage and inspire you throughout this series, I feel it’s important to be honest about the days when I still struggle.
At times like these it’s crucial to remember why you started.
I started my journey because I was so tired of being at war with myself. My goal was to free myself from the cycle of yo-yo dieting I’d been trapped in for 30 years. It wasn’t about weight loss – and I did that – I am free. So why would I entertain the thought of returning to such a damaging habit?
I know if I went on a diet now, it would just be a reaction to what others are doing. A sad response to the fact that sometimes it feels like another person’s weight loss diminishes my progress. Even though I resist it, I’ve been conditioned to measure progress with a number.
But you can’t measure the shedding of old stories, learning to trust yourself and feeling connected to your own body with a number. Last week when I was in Italy, I ate too much pizza, because I was hungry…and it was delicious. But I didn’t ruin the rest of the trip telling myself I’m a, “Big, fat, blob of failure” as I would have done in the past. I just ate too much pizza. That’s all. My life was not ruined as a result.
I wouldn’t swap this new mentality for a so-called “perfect” body and my old way of thinking for all the money in the world.
I’m going to keep focusing on improving one habit at a time – that’s my journey now and the reason I started is the same reason that keeps me quietly moving towards my goals, regardless of what others are doing.
Please don’t get distracted by other people’s journeys or fall into the comparison trap. Remember how far you’ve come and the progress you’ve made – and always go back to your why.