BDS Day 19: Stop Fooling Yourself
Monday, March 19, 2018
In my opinion, this is often the fork in the road for most dieters. At some point, you have to 'face the music' regarding your dieting efforts and really take a close look at what you are or aren't doing. If you are going to be successful at this weight loss effort then you really do need to face yourself honestly and truthfully regarding what you need to do in order to take the extra weight off. I have found that it still gets down to the simple formula of 'calories in and calories out'. However, that formula also has so many variants involved that you really need to find out where you are on the spectrum when it comes to what works and what doesn't.
As for me, I still find that the amount of calories that I eat is most important. I have also found that eating at the lower end of my caloric range gets the best results. SP has set my caloric range at 1220-1570 calories. It is advised that for health reasons most people should not go below 1200 calories. Your doctor may advise differently but that nod really should come from someone professional and not your friends, family or the latest diet trend.
If I am to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day as per my Diabetes Meal Plan than that means I should average around 330 calories per meal and around 100 calories per snack. SP does have the option that you can also 'eat' your activity calories. It works for some people and for others it does not. You may be thinking, "Well, that sure isn't a lot of food" but you have to rethink what kind of foods you are choosing to eat. Also, you need to pay closer attention to the balance within each meal. The combination of protein-carb-fat is always a safe and good one to follow. The protein is for release for longer term energy needs, the carb is the for shorter term energy needs and the fat is for satiety.
As you can see there is not a lot of wiggle room for 'sweet treats' but on occasion you can have a 100 calorie snack that does include something you used to eat 'with abandon'. Or you can learn to find suitable substitutes that give you the same taste or texture sensation but still are more nutrient dense. Over time most seasoned dieters do find their own 'go to' foods in the snack area that satisfy both.
I have the best way to stop fooling myself is to simply report only what you actually ate or did. I used to pre-plan a whole week for both meal plans as well as my workouts and then as life has a way of happening something throws a monkey wrench in the works. The food I was going to have for lunch another family member got to it before I did. The workout that I had planned was cancelled due to instructor illness or bad weather or I had to work late and couldn't get to my destination on time.
It is times like this that you can either 1) have a back up plan or 2) be honest and simply say it didn't go as planned today but tomorrow is a new day and I can get right back on schedule. I find that a combination of either of these works. If I am out of berries and have already tracked those I can substitute a slice of melon. It may not be an even draw in terms of calories but going over or even under 10-30 calories one day will not totally derail your food plan. IF you have made lunch or dinner plans out and at the last minute you find out you need to eat elsewhere (this happened when I arrived at one of my favorite restaurants only to find out they had moved to another part of the city) then review the menu of the new venue and pick the least 'damaging' food you can and let it go.
I think one of the biggest changes I made that really helped me was to stop trying to do all of this so perfectly. That is also a form of fooling yourself. Accept the fact that you are just plain going to have some off days and move on. The only time you really have to be concerned about your off days affecting your weight loss efforts is if they become a 'trend'. If it does seem like 'life' keeps interfering with your best intentions and plans than maybe you need to see if you can either alter some of those life situations and/or make your food and exercise plans less rigid and more flexible. Either way sometimes something has to give.
Fooling yourself really is a form of self-denial. It also has been called rationalizing, justifying and just plain b.s.ing yourself. The best way, in my opinion, to come clean about fooling yourself is to start tracking what you eat and what you do. Not what you think you might eat or do but what you actually eat and do. This is one way that will convince how key this act can be in turning your efforts around.
Weigh yourself. Then track everything you eat or do for one week. You can use a notebook and pen if you want. It also helps if you add notes like when you ate, how hungry you were and the state of your emotions. Then, one week later weigh yourself again. You can use this information to map out a successful weight loss plan that is uniquely yours. You make the rules that work for you. Since I have used my tracking as an 'information tool' I have also removed the stigma from what I ate and then get mired into self-recrimination and instead used the information as either a red flag when it seems to be detrimental to my overall goals to instrumental in assuring success when I see what I ate or did that allowed to lose 1-2 lbs. that week.
This puts you in the driver's seat and now you really don't have to fall back into all of the 'mind games' when things don't go as planned. As I have said before I usually know what I will weigh each week simply based on what I did or didn't do. That is a real sense of empowerment but it also means that I have to face myself if I have been reverting to playing games with either not measuring my portions (and they start to get larger and larger) or not really doing a genuine workout but texting or talking on the phone while half watching video or rationalizing that you can't really do that form or routine but you are there 'watching it'.
I hate to admit this but one of the more difficult habits I had to replace as I have been recovering from emotional overeating is just plain lying to myself in sometimes very creative ways. I made a vow to myself when I began the New Year in 2016 that I would be as honest as I could be with not only myself but to others when I began sharing my weight loss journey. The good, the bad and yes the ugly. It is all there.
It is so easy to put a happy spin on all of this but sometimes it is one of the most hard things I/you will ever attempt. I don't write my blogs with any other intent or purpose than to chronicle my daily struggles to gain mastery over this one area of my life. As a result my journey has been full of surprises and also some bumps that really smart. I have learned a lot about me and how I came to this point in my life. However, as I have 'faced myself' I have also begun to learn that I am so much more than what I ever thought I was and that has given me a new sense of drive, purpose and confidence.
All lying did to myself was make me feel devious, insincere and insecure. That is no foundation to build long term success. Once I realized that I knew that it was in my best interests to start 'fessing up' and quit fooling myself. I am glad that I did. I am better for doing that. I can't guarantee that you will lose weight faster or be able to wear that favorite garment you have been saving but you will like yourself a lot better and it will come a lot easier as well. That is the best pay off I can think of and one I believe I can bank on.