I’ve referred to the book “Change Anything” in past blog posts and how I resonate with the principles they teach. This past week they put out an article titled “Never Diet a Day in Your Life” so of course, since that’s what we’re all about here at IdealShape, I had to read it.
I was curious as to how they helped people understand that concept since one of the issues we face is people will say to us “I’ve started on your diet”. Immediately my response is “we’re not a diet, this is a lifestyle change.” Many of them agree with my statement but deep down I know they still believe they are on a diet. How can we change that?
In this article they said “Choose a lifestyle you love and you’ll never diet a day in your life.” Isn’t that true. If you find things that are healthy that you really like, you’ll never be on a diet again. If you pick activities and exercises that you enjoy it won’t seem like it’s work to do them. It will be more fun to burn the calories you need to stay healthy.
It’s really looking at the long-term story you can tell yourself everyday that impacts your actions right now. Have you ever spoken with someone who is in their 70’s or 80’s and they say “If I would of understood what this was going to be like at this age, I would have taken better care of my health. I would have eaten better and exercised more.” Well I have and it had an amazing impact on me.
When I’m trying to decide what to eat I know I can have anything I want. Eighty percent of the time I choose healthy food because I know it’s going to fuel my body and give me the long-term results that I like. I really have taken that approach to exercise too. Some days when I just don’t feel like getting out of bed to exercise I say to myself “10 years from now I want to still be the fun grandma that can do all the same things I do with my grandkids now (like hike, ride bikes, ride horses, surf behind the boat, play tennis & pickleball).” Then I’ll say something like “I want to continue to travel around the world and enjoy it.” If I’m still in bed I’ll add something like this for the short term affect “I really want to feel good and have a productive day”.
It’s surprising what the impact those few sentences have on me. Almost every time I get up and get my exercise done. It does make a difference what story you tell yourself each day when your making nutrition choices. If you say to yourself “this diet coke (fill in the blank for you) won’t make that much of a difference” then you’ll continue to drink it even though it does make a difference.
We constantly say to people “the goal should not be to lose weight, the goal should be to live a healthier lifestyle.” By making that one change you start to convince yourself that this is the way you are going to live from now on. That changes everything in your brain. The focus isn’t on the scale but more importantly on how you feel. What’s interesting is that when we see people really get this principle, the weight does come off. The great thing is when it does it stays off because it’s not about the “latest fad diet” they are on it’s now the way they choose to live their life. Just like most things in life to be successful we have to have balance. I believe in the 80/20 rule so most of the time I make really healthy choices but a small percent of the time I treat myself. So hopefully 30 years from now I will say “I’m glad I took care of my body so I can enjoy this time in my life”.