For Every Diet, There’s an Equal and Opposing Binge

christmas goodiesI hope I’m not beginning too many posts with “I got an email”, but honestly, I got an email that probably applies to so many of us, that I have to answer it here.

Hi Debbie,

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I meant to make this the one December in my life that I didn’t gain so much weight that I hated myself in January.  I was determined to “stay on the wagon” as you put it the other day.  But I’ve fallen off.  I feel hopeless. Between the parties and goodies that people are bringing into the office, I don’t see how I can possibly lose weight in December.

There’s more, but you get the gist.  Here’s my answer:  please don’t give up – and don’t plan on trying to lose weight in December either.  How bout for now, you practice different thoughts ?  That’s the point of the Mantras (this week’s Mantra is “I think long term.”):  to change your actions, and your body,  by changing what goes on in your head.  This takes time, attention, and effort.

Bad habits are so easy to develop; they give this short, momentary pleasure ( hormones and endorphins) that create neural circuits (think: road maps) in your brain.  Deviate from your normal patterns, and those neurons send STRONG signals that COMPEL you to do what you’ve always done in the past (keeping you right where you are).  Breaking habits means muscling through a few of those compelling messages, so that you can create NEW neural circuits.  Here’s the tricky part, I’m using the term ” muscle through “, which implies Will Power. Unfortunately, WillPower is in very limited supply.  Will Powering through situations is going to be a temporary ability.  That’s why, “For Every Diet, There’s An Equal and Opposing Binge That Happens.”  Ever heard that one before?  Ever experienced that?

The trick is to change how you feel about food and eating at the neural/brain level.  Work on that for now: ”  I think long term, I think long term. ”  Keep reading, keep learning, keep thinking about your habits now, and what you want your habits to be a year from now.  Real change is peaceful, not stressful;  you can have real change, but not from a specific diet plan, pill, cleanse, superfood, super drink, etc etc,  Real Change comes from changing your brain.  The time to start practicing is now.

Waiting for the holidays to be over, a new month to begin, soccer season to end, a project at work completed, Monday,  yada yada yada, is a Diet Mentality that keeps you on the Diet Roller coaster.  Get off the roller coaster.  This is your life.  There’s always stress, there’s always complications, and there’s always co-workers, loved ones, and friends, who push food on you.  It’s normal.

***** The Food Isn’t Your Problem.  Your Mind is The Problem. *****  Work on changing your mind and in a year you can be a whole new person.  Keep putting it off, and stay exactly the same.

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