I've been thinking a lot recently about some of the reasons I've failed with my diet and fitness goals in the past. I've been about 30-40lbs overweight for the last ten or so years, and I've gone through 'cycles' of trying to do something about it, making progress, then fading out and returning to my old ways. I don't profess to know everything about why I've done this (I'm sure much of it is psychological as well as habit/action-related), but I've figured out a few reasons and I've made conscious decisions to avoid those mistakes again. There are loads, but I'm going for the top three here.
I thought this might be thought-provoking for some people, so sharing here in case it helps anyone think about their own self-destructive (intentional or unintentional) patterns:1. Alcohol.
Whenever I've tried to lose weight in the past, I've stopped drinking alcohol for a while. Most of the time I ended up 'just having one', which ended up 'just having two', and you know what comes next: I ended up binging it because I'd deprived myself for so long and really wanted to drink. Once the drinking started again, I didn't care about my body anymore so I gave up on fixing my eating/exercise. In recent months (since Dec 2019), I've just stopped drinking altogether, but perhaps more importantly, I've been working hard on figuring out WHY I drink in the first place. I'm working on that part of myself and now I no longer feel the need to drink. Genuinely. I'm so 'over it' and I'm enjoying having a sober mind for all these months. These lifestyle changes feel more sustainable because of that already. No more drinking for me! It's a slippery slope for me personally, and I don't want to go back there. So bye-bye beer.2. Social pressure and guilt.
My friends like to socialize a lot, and they love going out to eat. They also love cooking dinner and having everybody round. Many times in the past I've ended up going places I didn't want to go to or eating things I didn't really want to eat because of social pressure and guilt. If a friend cooks dinner, I feel guilty about not accepting it. Annoyingly, I have a friend who keeps ignoring the fact that I'm following a particular diet. I have said on multiple occasions that I don't want to eat X, and she keeps making things with X and then gives me *kitten* about my food choices. I'm so done with that now. I'm sticking to my guns and making decisions FOR ME. Not for everyone else.3. Not knowing how to deal with plateaus.
Everyone plateaus at some point in their weight loss journey, and it's occurred to me that even though I know this fact and even though I know the only way out of it is to be consistent and keep up the plan, I still mess things up when I stop seeing the scale go down every few days or so. I'm right in the middle of a bit of a plateau right now, but this time I'm sticking to the plan! I know - rationally - that if I keep up my calorie counting and keep eating the right things and keep getting in my exercise every day that it'll soon pass. Before I stressed about it and felt like I was failing. This time I am seeing it as a normal part of the process that we all must deal with.
So, those are just a few things that I have come up with. Anyone else want to share their reasons for why they've failed in the past and why/how/what they're doing differently this time?
Looking forward to hearing from you all.