How many of you are thinking that you have one last day before your new diet starts with the New Year? Such thinking could be sabotaging your diet before you start.
When driving home for the holidays (or when you take any long familiar drive), you are likely to increase your speed as you pass familiar sites that let you know you are starting to approach your destination. In the same way, as you focus on the impending restriction, you are likely to allow yourself extra indulgences in this last week of the year.
These extra indulgences do have an impact on your weight, your health, and even your metabolism. You are also familiarizing your palate with sweet or rich foods, teaching your body to expect such things. This can increase the chances that you will experience cravings for such things in January when you intend to avoid them. Life change is hard work, and you may be making it more difficult by indulging prior to restriction. The cravings are not a need requested by your body, but your body expecting consistency.
The other problem I have with this last chance thinking is the expectation you have for your diet change. Is it really your last chance? Your last good meal? Is a diet like facing a firing squad? The death of taste, satisfaction, and all enjoyment of eating? Telling yourself that your new diet is going to be difficult and awful and unenjoyable sets you up to experience it as difficult and awful and unenjoyable.
Instead, even before the behavior change, you can focus on all of the positive reasons you are making this choice and what you may enjoy in this adventure. I will spend less money on medication. I will have more energy to play with my kids. I will learn to prepare meals from scratch. Such thinking may lead you to make better choices even before the ball drops and you ring in 2011 and your exciting new life.
December 31st, 2010