Pinterest was my friend. Anytime I felt bored with my diet or frustrated with my results, I pulled open my phone app and began to scroll. Within an hour I would have downloaded an infographic, a calendar plan, or a new book. My heart would hammer with hope. I couldn’t wait to get started, to push myself toward a challenge, to reclaim health and sanity, and (mostly) shed some pounds.
Today I want to talk about four reasons you might be addicted to dieting. I want you to look at some of the habits you have around dieting that might really be holding you back from permanent weight loss. But, I won’t leave you hanging. For each reason I’ll also give you a great tip or insight to help you turn this around.
1. You want quick results.
This is the most common reason. Those “extreme” diets can give you quick and astounding results. The problem is, you make such drastic changes, concentrating only on what you are putting into your mouth, that the moment the diet ends, your brain and body rebell. Essentially, you boomerang right back into your old habits and often right back to the same number on the scale.
Pro tip: Make smaller changes and pay attention. For example, I went vegan a few years ago in my attempt to get my cholesterol under control. I eventually went on meds but there are tons of vegan habits that are still an established part of my diet. Why? I ate a lot of the same food, but they were prepared differently. I also didn’t go “cold turkey”. Instead, I began by preparing a few vegan meals a week and paying attention to what I enjoyed eating and how it made my body feel.
2. You diet out of fear because of something you heard or read.
It is a confusing world out there. You can find a diet book that claims just about anything. You can go full carb, no carb, vegan, paleo, keto, whole-food, Mediterranean…you get the idea. Honestly, pick a food, pick ANY food and just google why that food is good for you and you’ll get something. It reminds me of the verse in the 2 Timothy 4:3, NIV, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” That fear you feel when someone tells you why onions are destroying your arteries is completely normal. Be kind to yourself, acknowledging that your brain is designed to do whatever it can to keep you safe and as pain-free as possible. Then, make a decision not to react but to make a rational choice.
Pro tip: Do your research (on both sides). Ask your doctor. Listen to your body. Think about what makes sense for your life and family. I recently coached a lady who teaches and takes her children to multiple extra curricular activities. I told her that eating out wasn’t evil. If it makes sense for your life and family, make a plan for what you will eat and how you will order and stick to it. Overeating is so detrimental to our health. You can start with small healthy changes and have amazing and sustainable results at the end.
3. You want a challenge
I literally lost weight through a life coaching program and then turned right around and tried to find another diet. I missed the challenge. I missed that feeling of success and pride. It is a personality thing, often, but it is also deeply connected to our self-esteem. I got really good and patted myself on the back when I was following a diet but shaming myself when I wasn’t.
Pro tip: Start installing amazing habits and reward yourself for percentage of completion or streaks. For example, you might want to install the habit of weekly meal planning. You tell yourself that if you do it 11 out of 12 times in the upcoming months then you will reward yourself with a new small kitchen appliance. You are building your self-esteem. Essentially telling yourself that you notice your own hard work and positive changes.
4. Dieting feels “normal”.
This makes me so sad, but it is just a fact. For myself and so many of the ladies I coach, dieting has been a major part of their life for decades. When you stop there is such a void. How do you just quit?
Pro tip: Acknowledge that healthy people still think about what they eat and how their bodies feel. You’ll still want to have healthy habits in place that support your health. You’ll want to listen to your body, avoid food that makes you feel bad, and try new foods that help you level-up to smarter food choices. You just won’t always be eating off of an infographic food chart or following a calendar you downloaded from Instagram. You’ll learn how to use smart information and your body’s signals. It is essentially just another form of dieting, but it is closer to how God created us to exist.
I hope today’s podcast gave you a little more insight into that dieting Ferris wheel that might be calling your name. If you want more help with this, I’ll be opening up enrollment for my next group in just a couple months. Head over to my website and click on Weight Loss from the Soul to sign up for the waiting list. My love to you!
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.