One of the reason why diets fail has to do with mental attitude. Of course there are many mental attitudes that can either help or hinder your weight-loss experience. In this post, I would like to cover one of those attitudes. I call it the “Letting One Failure Turn into a Habit” attitude.
So what is this mindset? Perhaps you can relate. It goes something like this. You failed to keep you diet program. For one reason or another you simply fell off the wagon. Your cravings got the better of you, and you indulged in high-carbohydrate foods. But instead of stopping at that one feeding, you say to your self something like, “I already blew it for this meal. I might as well just make a day out of it.” Now the whole day is ruined instead of just one feeding.
Often this one day extends to several. Let’s say you had your slip up on Thursday. Then you say something like, “Well it’s Thursday and I have already messed up. Tomorrow is Friday and that is doughnut day at work, and Monday is a holiday, and I was already planning to make compromises.” This process can repeat itself so often that one is more off their diet than on it.
In the recent past, I had to correct this problem in my own behavior. It was one of those weeks where I was working very hard. My wife and I were out for brunch, and I was craving carbs like crazy. I had an inner dialogue with myself over whether or not my cravings were emotional or my body really needed the carbs. I eventually decided to order some high-carbohydrate food. Whether or not I cheated or my body simply needed the carbs I cannot tell. But the smells in that restaurant and the look of all those high-carb foods being taken to other tables was just too much.
Going off the wagon for that meal was not my biggest problem. That came later in the day. I noticed another inner dialogue starting up. While visions of pizza and ice cream flashed through my mind, I said to myself, “Hey, I already had a high-carb meal today. I might as well just make a day out of it.”
When I realized what was happening, I had to make a choice. I chose not to let one failure turn into a habit. First, I let myself off he hook for cheating earlier. Next, I told myself to not to ruin the day over one meal. I reminded myself of how far I had come. And that I only had a very few more pounds to lose before I reached my goal weight and falling into this trap would be a major set back in my progress. That pizza and ice-cream was not worth it and it never will be.
In closing please remember that you will have failures. You are not perfect. Don’t beat yourself up for falling off the wagon. Just get right back on it and keep heading toward your goals.