When a beautiful, smart, creative, and fun woman recently came to see me to get some help in designing a doable, healthy eating plan to lose weight, I asked my usual question, ?How much weight do you realistically want to lose in one year??
Without a blink of an eye, she said, ?100 pounds.?
And, without a blink of an eye, I said back, ?That is too much. That is not realistic.?
Well, that's when it hit me. Greed for too many pounds sabotages our success in shedding pounds permanently.
Here's the scenario.
You've been fighting weight for years, maybe most of your life. Yo-yo diets and you are great pals.
You hardly go through a day without thinking about food, your weight, and how you and your newest pal are going to get rid of that extra weight once and for all.
As hard as you try, those extra pounds just seem to stick to you like super glue, defying your pal's promises.
Sometimes the weight even comes off?for a while.
Your weight goes down, your hopes go up. Your weight creeps up and your hopes go down?one more time. After all that work, how fair is that?
So, of course, you get frustrated. Who wouldn't?
You get tired of the endless struggle. It just seems hopeless. What's the point of even trying?
You give up?for a while.
But, then, once again, you dig your heels into the ground and say to yourself one more time, ?I am sick and tired of this weight, and this time I am going to lose it for good!?
You figure out how much you want to lose and come up with some ideal number, like 50, 75, or 100 pounds.
Rather than breaking your weight goal into doable, bite-size chunks, you get greedy and want to lose the total amount, and right now!
(Have you ever noticed that life doesn't always give you what you want when you want it? Darn those life lessons.)
And, just like before, you don't hit your weight goal, or at least not for long, and, for the 10,000th time, you beat yourself up with words like: ?weak,? ?failure,? 'lazy,? and ?undisciplined.?
You, my friend, are not weak or lazy or undisciplined or a failure. But you may be asking for too much too soon, and the word for that is greed.
I have a suggestion. How about being reasonable and generous with yourself?
If you want to lose weight, shoot for a goal that is doable. 30 pounds in a year is doable. 30 pounds a year is only 2.5 pounds a month'that's it!
In one year, you could be 30 pounds lighter. How would that make you feel about yourself? Pretty good, don't you think?
The heck with that allusive-your-whole-life 100 pounds lighter?30 pounds gone forever is real and reachable.
And, better yet, if you stay on track most of the time (you will get off track?no big deal?just get yourself back on track again without guilting), in two years, you will weigh 60 pounds less than you do right now.
Whoa and double whoa!
How would you feel about yourself 60 pounds lighter? Shoot?in 2 years you're going to be exactly where you are going to be and two years older anyway. Why not be 60 pounds lighter?
So the question remains: What doable eating plan are you going to follow to lose 2.5 pounds a month?
?Ahhhh, so that's the hitch? You mean I actually have to change my way of eating, permanently, to lose the weight and keep it off??
Well, if nothing has worked in the past, and you are still battling the bulge, it seems logical to try a different tactic than the usual restrictive and deprivation-centered diets.
How about trying this? Think addition, not subtraction.
Add lots of whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, which are nutrient-dense and calorie-low, to your daily food plan.
Fill-up on the best-for-you foods first, especially whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, and then add the more traditional, not-so-good-for-you foods.
If you are really filling up on the best foods for you, you will have little or no room for the foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition'meat, cheese, white sugar and white flour goodies, salty snacks, fast foods, and processed foods, the very foods that stick to hips, stomachs, and thighs and keep permanent weight loss out of reach.
So, my friend, to change the golden rule around a bit, just for the moment: Do unto yourself as you would do unto others.
Start treating yourself like you treat others?with kindness, compassion, patience, fairness, and reasonableness.
And watch your body change right before your very eyes, slowly but, most certainly, surely.
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