I have had slimming and weight loss on my mind a lot as I completed my latest book, so it is no surprise to me that this week’s post is on that very topic.
If you have ordered my new book Thirty Slim Days, thank you so much and I hope you get loads of useful information, inspiration and ideas from it. When I wrote this post it was number 8 on the Amazon charts and I am crossing my fingers that it gets to number 1, because that would be so exciting!
If you would like to read a sample, you can see it on Amazon here (click on 'Look Inside').
What I have spent a lot of time thinking about is why diets don’t work and what are we meant to do instead? Can we incorporate a structured eating plan without setting off alarm bells in our head?
Diets only address the food aspect, and they completely ignore all the stuff that’s going on in our mind. Beyond the initial excitement phase of starting a new eating plan (if you have one), you rely on willpower to keep you going and after a while it just gets too hard. You feel worn down and before you know it you are sinking back into the pleasure of your former favourite escapist foods.
I am not against structured eating plans to reset but you have to work on your mindset at the same time, otherwise it’s only ever going to be temporary. I have decided that temporary isn’t going to do it for me anymore. I am looking for a lifelong way to be slim, elegant, happy, well-fed and healthy. I know it is possible.
After a time of plenty, it is a welcome breather to have a period of elegant austerity. It feels refreshing. Naturally slim ladies do this as a matter of course, but the rest of us have to learn how. I don’t mind saying that it does not come naturally for me.
The naturally slim lady if, after the Christmas break, for example (when she probably did not overindulge to the same extent as everyone else, but still had more treats than she normally would), will have a January of simple and healthy foods. What she likely won’t do is set far-reaching new year’s resolutions or join a punishing bootcamp – she doesn’t need to.
Just like the naturally slim woman, I decided to take the drama out of food, eating and my weight. There really was no need for it. And common sense comes into it too. When you sit back and look at the big picture, or look at it as if you are designing a menu for someone else, it’s not so hard at all. Deep down we all know what is healthy and what is less so.
If you’re like me, you just hoped for many years – decades – that the crappy junk foods that tickled your palette would magically become good for you. No, it will never happen. To get past that, I let myself feel sad that I couldn’t eat my ‘favourite’ foods and look nice and feel good. I was fighting a losing battle and it was one I would never win.
The only way I was going to win was by changing what I considered to be my favourite foods. If you are like me, and have mini-obsessions, you will know what it feels like to think that if your current favourite food is taken from you, you don’t know how you will survive.
Thinking back to years ago, there are food items I was obsessed with that now I don’t even think about anymore because I have moved on. This sort of thinking is similar a two-year-old and their toys. If you asked them to give up the toy they were holding right now, they wouldn’t want to give it to you. But if you let them leave it of their own accord, they wouldn’t even notice.
I was like that with food – like a two-year-old having a tantrum.
Once I let go of the drama and introduced myself to a structured eating plan which allowed me to reset how I ate and lower my weight because I wasn’t eating so much junky snack food, all was well. And by structured eating plan I'm not talking about anything fancy - just good real food. Fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, good carbs, limited or no processed junk and sugar. Writing down what looks like a good plan and then following it.
I think some of us need that sharp jolt when we go from free-for-all to a strict menu plan. Then, in the ensuing weeks we can happily add back in some of the non-triggering extras and we are happy.
If I try to take things away gradually, I get bratty about it and feel deprived. If I have a period of resetting things every so often when I feel called to, it’s a shock to the system but I’m ready for it. Then, when I add items back in it feels like a bonus!
If you are one of those normal people, you are probably wondering why all the fuss. But if you’re like me… you probably know exactly what I’m talking about! So… which one are you? And do you find it easy to reset your eating… or not?
All the best for your week and I can't wait to hear what you think of Thirty Slim Days!