Monday, February 8, 2010

“Oops, I did it again...” Tips to Help You Return to Your Diet and Fitness Resolutions

By Amy Phillips-Gary

So maybe you set some diet and fitness resolutions for yourself at the beginning of the year. And maybe in the first few weeks of January you stuck with them and possibly even saw some positive results.

But now it's almost a month and half later, and it's likely that you've encountered some “oops” moments-- or maybe more than just a few.

At our family Superbowl party last night, for example, I realized that I was eating Fritos, cookies and chocolate-covered almonds without giving any of it much thought. I wasn't even hungry, but these treats are party food and tasted great.


I am not on a strict diet right now, but, I have set for myself the intention to eat more mindfully.

That does not include shoveling in Fritos and chocolate!

It can happen as quickly as that. You tune back in to yourself and realize that you have fallen into old eating and non-exercise habits.

What many of us, myself included, do when we realize that we've veered from the healthier course we've set is to scold, judge and blame ourselves.

Sometimes we make excuses like, “It's too cold and snowy to go for a run” as we sit back down on the couch.

Much of the time, we also drag ourselves through the judgmental mud for not following through... as usual. As I've pointed out in past blog posts, self-shaming is absolutely NOT an effective motivator if getting back into alignment with diet and fitness resolutions is desired.

A first question to ask yourself might be, “Am I really willing to make a commitment to lose weight by eating differently and/or exercising more frequently?”

Offer yourself the chance to really consider this question. If you are merely trying to lose weight and get more fit because you think you “should,” this could part of the problem.

It's not that you are weak-willed or undisciplined. Instead, perhaps you haven't created a resolution or set an intention to which you can whole-heartedly commit.

As you probably know, commitments that you maintain usually link up with something that resonates deeply within you. I'm not necessarily suggesting that you abandon your weight loss or fitness aspirations.

What I do recommend is that you find some aspect about eating healthier and moving your body more that lines up with your core beliefs and goals.

For example, instead, of “I want to lose 35 pounds by the summer by following this particular diet and exercise regimen,” you might resolve, “I will eat at least 2 green salads each day and will not choose cookies unless I've had 5 (or more) servings of vegetables first.”

This second resolution is more specific and it also might better line up with your beliefs that a diet rich in vegetables will help keep you healthy, which lines up with your commitment to live a long and physically healthy life.

The commitment is to a healthier, more vibrant and energetic life and not necessarily to a particular number of pounds lost-- although that might be desired (and attained) as well.

This specific change in phrasing might not speak to you.

Find a different way to approach your diet and fitness goals and then re-phrase or re-think them so that they resonate more fully with what's most important to you.

This different approach can help you incorporate new ways of eating and exercising into your life with less internal resistance than you might have encountered in the past. You might even find yourself enjoying following these resolutions along the way.

Continue to play around with your resolutions until you find what works for you.

*Coming up on Friday....Part 2 of Tips to Help You Return to Your Diet and Fitness Resolutions

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Amy, for the great reminder to eat with mindfulness. How easy it is to slip into eating because it tastes good!