Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Everyone I’ve ever counseled about weight control has admitted to some type of self-defeating behavior. One time it was a woman who secretly snacks on the types of foods she knows will kick off a binge. Another time it was a guy slacking off on the exercise routine that was just beginning to show results. If you know your own weakness, you can renew your commitment to change the behavior that’s blocking your weight-loss success.

When making a commitment to losing weight, some people play destructive mind games with themselves. Here are some examples:

  • The “if only” game: “If only I had a faster metabolism.” “If only I had enough money to go to a spa.” “If only I were taller and could carry more weight.” “If only I had more time, I’d go to the gym more often.” These excuses really don’t fly, however, because getting fit isn’t about day dreaming. It’s about being determined, taking action, and staying motivated. No one stays in shape without having to work at it.
  • The blame game: This game really is a trap that prevents you from taking responsibility for yourself and your weight. Here’s how it goes: “I had a fight with my husband so I ate a large bag of potato chips.” “My kids drove me crazy all day so I devoured a pint of ice cream after they went to bed.” Sound familiar?
  • The “pity me” game: Feeling sorry for yourself helps you avoid committing to a fitness plan because you can just point at everything that’s wrong with you and decide you’re not worth helping. “It’s too late.” “It’s too hard.” “Why bother?” In some ways, you may even enjoy the attention you get for being “poor you” and may be reluctant to give it up.

Your diet personality is probably a lot like your overall personality with respect to how easily you make commitments and motivate yourself to approach difficult tasks. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may be standing in your own way of getting to a healthier weight:

  • Do you think someone else is responsible for the way you eat?
  • Do you believe other people lose and maintain weight easier than you?
  • Do you look for quick-fix solutions?
  • Do you live a life of deprivation, eating foods you don’t like and avoiding those foods you do in an attempt to lose or maintain weight?
  • Does the prospect of following a diet and losing weight overwhelm you?
  • Do you try to lose weight on your own, without ever seeking help?
  • Do you give up easily?
  • Do you feel like a failure when you fall off the food wagon and eat too much?

The best fitness plan is one that you fine-tune to fit your personality and lifestyle. After you answer the preceding questions, ask yourself the following questions so you can tailor the plan in this book to suit your diet personality.

  • Are you a joiner, or do you like to go it alone?
  • Are you a grazer who nibbles all day long, or do you normally sit down to three full meals and a formal snack or two?
  • Do you want someone to tell you what and when to eat in a prescribed plan, or would you rather have a flexible diet that allows you to make on-the-spot food decisions?

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