Overeat, Restrict, Over-exercise—Just for now?

It may make you happy for now but...
Dana used to tell me she'd allow herself to eat "whatever", just until the holiday season was over, and then she'd buckle down and resume her restrictive approach to food management again. 

Rob cancelled his November appointments, preferring to wait until after January 1st to begin to improve his eating and his cholesterol level. And Stacy continued to restrict—in part because she knew that after her next doctor visit in a few weeks, she was going to be held accountable for her actions. Yes, she was going to need to turn her eating around or she'd be finding herself in a rather unhealthy predicament.

If you're like my patients and thinking you'll get by just for now, whether you'll continue to drop a few more pounds before you start normalizingyour eating or you continue on your path of overeating, it's time to face the facts—you're not really planning to change. At least, not for long term.

I know, I know, you really do want to change. You may, like Dana, hate how challenging it is to do the simplest tasks, and how incompetent it makes you feel being foggy headed and spacey. Like Rob, you may be savoring what feels like your last supper, your last chance to get it all in before you take your diet seriously and have to give it all up. Or like Stacy, you may fear the consequences of eating enough—even if you know it's the right thing to do, for both your physical and mental well-being.

The truth is, this approach of just for now will do nothing to improve your relationship with food. If you continue to feel like it's your last chance to indulge, then plan to refrain from your favorite foods, you'll find yourself deprived. Sure, you'll do fine for a while—even a few weeks—until you're exposed again, or have a weak moment, a triggering situation. And then once your guard is down you'll overeat, again determined that it will neverhappen again.

And if you starve yourself or restrict your intake, fully intending to get your self back on track—once you drop the weight, that is—the behaviors that result will be anything butnormal.

Putting off change-now that's a big mistake!
If you're serious about change, it can't wait until Monday—or for January 1st. And when you have a slip, you need to wrestle with it now and learn from it.  Ask yourself  "What happened here and what can I do next time to prevent this from happening again?"  But then you've gotta move on. (I say when not if you slip, because the truth is, slips do happen—so brace yourself.) You can't make it a slide until the first of the year, thinking you've already ruined it.

Please don’t wait until 2013 to resolve to change. Because if you're really serious, the change can and should start now.

I know it's hard, and I know you're struggling. But its not going to get any easier with the passage of time. So use your resources and start moving forward, won't you?

Thanks for reading.
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