I Started a Diet and Quickly Decided it Sucks.
I started a diet and decided within the first 2 days that it sucks.
I generally eat very well - even better when I'm really hungry. And who doesn’t like an extra serving of pasta, sourdough crispy toast with melted butter and jam, or chocolate tahini if it’s coffee time? And speaking of that square of chocolate, size apparently matters. No amount of spinach, kale or juice can remedy that.
My diet requires that I restrict these aforementioned pleasures because that is my particular weakness. So while I do focus on
nutrient dense eating, periodically when I perform a self check, I might notice that my belly is getting soft. That’s *my* body’s way of telling me something is not going well. It’s a signal I can only ignore until the stack of jeans I can comfortably wear becomes shorter.
This is why dieting sucks. It’s like waking up from the sweetest dream to trek in the cold sleet with whining kids in the back seat, late, in traffic, with a forgotten violin sitting by the door at home on concert practice day. That dream is my carbs and chocolate. Coming out of that dream is jarring but as I see it, eventually the dream will end one way or another. That part of me that likes to have control, prefers to be the one to sound the alarm with a plan of action.
Am I starving? No. I don’t believe in those types of diets. They are neither sustainable, nor kind. Am I suffering with all these extra veggies? No but I also know that pasta can't be on the menu until I readjust a little. Those ensuing smaller portions will be thoroughly savored BUT, right now, I am not hungry AND I am actually starting to feel better. Once you step out into the rain and cold and traffic with whining kids in the back seat, there’s always that choice for karaoke in the car which always makes everything better for us.
Dieting overall sucks. To contemplate, start, and actually follow through with it sucks but is totally worth it when it comes from a place of good intention. I’m not talking about fads or crash diets. For millennia, across cultures and religions, we see various forms of diets in the form of fasts. There is something profound in deliberate awareness of what we put into our bodies. It fosters connection with our inner selves, empowerment, perspective and clarity among other things.
Autopilot can eventually turn into the comfort of that lazy sweet dream, and that’s ok. We are programmed for comfort. I started a diet and quickly decided it sucked but stuck with it for the same reasons I would if I were caring for a loved one. As the beneficiary of that caring discipline, I am happy to report, it doesn’t suck any more. The increase in water and raw veggies alone makes me feel more invigorated and helps me reflect more objectively. Eleven years into this lifestyle change thing and there's always a deeper level to connect with, more clarity on the wisdom behind self care and its process, more confidence to proceed, and plenty of opportunity for self compassion. Day 3. Onward.
Theresa Velendzas, MS offers Life Coaching for wellness and personal success. This blog pops up occasionally to share things in her practice she enjoys or thinks others might. Methods used include tips for training and a psychotherapeutic approach to sustainable self care, mindfulness and wellness you can read about here. For more information message Theresa directly at Theresa@altraform.com .