Happy New Year Beautiful Souls,
Every New Year many of us make resolutions and commitments to live a healthy life.
We have lists of health goals:
-Have more energy
-Prevent debilitating health issues
-Improve current health conditions
-Have a healthy digestion
-Have a healthy body-mind-spirit.
But as we go about achieving those goals we get stuck, regress, feel discouraged and defeated.
While many of us are aware of the fact that diets don’t work and that we need to embrace a healthy lifestyle, because of repeated past diet attempts and a culture that is saturated with diet messages, even our best intentions can get deflated by the dreaded diet demon as diet mentality sabotages our efforts to create a healthy, lasting lives.
Read the following list to see if you are a dieter or a lifestyler!
Diet: focuses on weight
The quality of your day is determined by how you do on the scale
Weighing yourself becomes your measure of success and many dieters obsessively and repeatedly weigh themselves.
Lifestyle: focuses on health
Weight is just one of many equally important factors like how you feel, your energy, your habits, your food choices, how well you sleep, how well your digestion is working and more.
Diet: the goal is a specific result
When you reach a goal weight, body size or even a goal health result, you’re done.
Lifestyle: the goal is being on a healthy journey
You are never done but rather enjoy living in a way that focuses on creating health for every stage of your life.
Diet: is set in specific time structure
I will start a diet on Monday/new year/ birthday…
I want to lose weight before my vacation/wedding/any activity…
There is a future beginning date and often an end date.
Lifestyle: is part of every day and every situation
Even though specific times can be used as incentives and motivators to make changes, and structured plans can be used as a jump start to get healthy, they are not thought of as short lived but rather as an opportunity to embark on a lifelong health journey.
Diet: is rigid
There are rules.
There are numbers.
There are lists of forbidden foods.
Dieters often have an all or nothing attitude. I am either “on track” and following all the rules or I am “off the wagon” and failing.
Lifestyle: is flexible
Choices are made because of how they affect your health and are constantly being adjusted. If you made an unhealthy choice and are feeling discomfort because of it, you make a better choice next time. You are never “off it” and understand that perfection is impossible and strive to do the best you can.
Diet: is judgmental
Food is good or bad.
YOU are good or bad.
The way you look is mercilessly judged.
Dieters often judge other people as well for their food choices and how they look.
Lifestyle: is accepting
Food is healthy/working for me or not.
You are always good, you accept and understand your struggles and look for help where you need it.
You accept other people for who and where they are, give them a hand if they are interested and understand it is their journey.
Diet: is punishing
If you made “bad” choices you have to pay the price.
You ate too much today so you will eat only salad tomorrow.
You have to exercise hard to burn off the dessert you had last night.
Dieters often call themselves insulting names and feel guilty about their choices.
Lifestyle: is forgiving
If you made unhealthy choices you look at them as opportunities to learn and you simply go back to making better choices.
You feel love for yourself and your body and are your own best friend on this journey.
Diet: is mistrusting
You treat yourself like you cannot be trusted around food.
You feel out of control.
You have trigger foods.
You avoid people and situations that can lead to unhealthy or uncontrolled eating.
You use measures and tools of control like portion control, calorie counting and forced workouts to get yourself “on”.
You look for outside authorities to tell you what is right and what is wrong.
You do not listen to or trust your inner wisdom.
Lifestyle: is trusting
As you start your journey some tools can be helpful, like food journaling, reading labels, learning about healthy portions and healthy choices, having structures and schedules, seeking advice and information from health professionals.
But they are all used as learning tools to develop your own inner intuition about what works best for you, your body and your life.
You learn to listen to your body and trust your inner wisdom.
Diet: is about deprivation
You focus on what you are allowed and not allowed to eat and do.
You often feel sorry for yourself.
You have a need to “break out” and indulge.
Geneen Roth, author of “When Food Is Love”, says that for every deprivation there is an opposite binge. When you are depriving yourself you will eventually rebel.
Lifestyle: is about enjoyment
There are no forbidden foods, there are foods you are choosing not to have now.
You have no need to “break out” because you allow yourself to have any food you want but you are guided by health and self love, so you often do not want the foods that are not going to create the health you want. And if you sometimes choose to eat them, you enjoy them fully without regrets.
While the CHOICES of having a diet mentality and having a healthy lifestyle might be the same, their ATTITUDES are totally different and are often opposites.
Diet mentality always speaks in a harsh and critical voice, while the voice of a healthy lifestyle is gentle and encouraging.
A healthy lifestyle is a learned attitude, it takes some practice and a lot of self love. As you commit to a healthier life be aware of when diet mentality’s messages creep in and gently navigate yourself back. As you practice you will become more empowered and healthy choices will become easy and effortless.
You will stop TRYING to be healthy, YOU WILL BE HEALTH!