By Chris Wilson
Here we are only days into a brand new year offering hope and change. Unfortunately, for most people who recently sold themselves on doing a “180” in their life, come February, it’s back to reality.
Why are Americans so willing to continually sell themselves on the idea of change and a new approach to life and within weeks resort to old habits? Why are we (me included of course) determined to make January the beginning of greatness, of prosperity and fulfillment? Is it because we all realize with every New Year that we get older and closer to the end?
Sorry, I’m not trying to be bleak but think about it for a moment. We get a dose of reality with every birthday and as we age, we think about the changes we need to make in order to age gracefully.
What Might These Changes Be?
I think it’s safe to say that no one wants to suffer through illness and disease looking miserable and old. We want to feel good, look good but usually on our terms. Sadly, those terms often include lose weight quick schemes, fad diets and lots of wasted money.
Sure, we all can lose 10-20 pounds in a month by sticking to a strict diet. But who stays on that diet forever? Very few, that’s who. Eventually, we always go back to what’s easy and what makes us happiest.
Let me be the first one to tell you, diets will always let you down. That’s my number one reason for people failing at finding true health.
Our society is driven by big business and food sells! Eat this, don’t eat that….drink this, and never drink that. What may work for a few weeks or even a few months will always let you down in the long run. Moderation is completely understated and probably is the one truly realistic formula for success when it comes to nutrition and fat loss.
But moderation doesn’t sell books, DVDs or air-time. We all know that one or two cookies probably won’t have much impact on our belly but who can control their overwhelming desire for 5-6? I know during the holidays I lack all discipline and cannot avoid the 5 pound weight gain. I know that to be fact. So, if that’s the case, what am I doing the other 10 months out of the year to look and feel great?
I’m “moderating” how much of that junk goes into my body. Fast food, sure I eat it…once per month. Ice cream, sure I buy it and indulge in 3-4 bowls per month. Those calories aren’t hurting me. In actuality, they are helping me.
How can that be? Easy. By allowing myself to “temporarily” satisfy that powerful desire to eat high calorie, high fat, sugary food, I tame the beast.
Follow me here, I just love analogies. If you have a dog that LOVES to run (and most dogs do…duh) it’s essential that you find time in the day to let that dog do its thing. If the dog is kept inside and not allowed a reasonable amount of time to run, jump and play a little every day, that dog is miserable. The dog becomes less of a dog and loses its sense of self. That dog will never be content or happy. In other words, the dog needs that time just like it needs breathe.
People operate similarly. If we allow ourselves to enjoy “a cookie” or “scoop of ice cream” once in a while, two things happen:
- Bad food urge fulfilled
- Guilt meter goes up a notch
Number one is perfectly clear but let me clarify what I mean with number two. Most of us seeking to be truly healthy have a way of getting down on ourselves when we cheat. Without letting those feelings get out of control, they can actually help us stay focused and on task.
What About The Feeling of Guilt
The feeling of guilt over the small bowl of strawberry ice cream can be enough to catapult us through 3-4 days of nearly flawless eating habits. That’s how we get from over-indulging to moderation. That’s how we get from daily desserts and treats to “reward food” for being good boys and girls most of the time.
I understand this is not ground-breaking information here but it’s honest and it’s accurate. If we do more to practice moderation and allow ourselves some cheats a few times per week, we can uncover the bodies we long for, lose that annoying 10 pounds and the most important part, do it for the rest of our lives.
Remember, diets don’t work. Band aids don’t heal large wounds. Buckets of water don’t put out an inferno. What works is consistently keeping yourself in check when it comes to foods robbing you of true health. If you can make the goals to look good and feel great BIGGER than the slice of pizza you reward yourself with, you’ve won!
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