6 Ways to Overcome Yo-Yo Dieting
Who here would call themselves a previous or current yo yo dieter?
I will admit that I am also part of this club.
If you are like me, You have tried MANY diets and every time you think THIS TIME you are going to finally lose the weight and stick to your goals. You purchase everything necessary to get started. A few weird ingredients here and there, but it's healthy for you (or so they say)..so you go with it. This brings me back to my cabbage soup diet days, unlimited cabbage soup and a weird variation of foods. One day consisted of 7 bananas and a few cups of milk. As crazy as it sounds, I was committed.. and I was 9 years old. UGH!! I cringe when I say this! I still can't believe that at such a young age I already allowed the scale to dictate my value. I was willing to do whatever it took, and every time I would convince myself that this time things would be different.
Unfortunately after a week or two.. or sometimes less I would realize that the plan I had started really wasn't sustainable. I would fall off the wagon, feel like a failure, give up for a while eating whatever my eyes set their gaze on and blaming it all on my lack of willpower. Eventually this would bring me to a place of depression, and self defeat so I would move on.
South Beach Diet
Wild Rose Cleanse
Restrictive eating/binge eating
Over exercising/under eating
Shakes, diet pills
(these are just a few from my past)
This ongoing cycle is so dangerous! We don't realize at the time that yo-yo dieting is causing damage to our bodies, adding extra weight and disrupting our hormones like no ones business. Maybe we do know this, yet we don't care. We need help and are determined to find it no matter the cost. The sad reality is that a number on the scale has defined our entire being for far too long.
How can we get past this? I can promise you that the first thing that we have to do is GIVE UP. seriously, time to throw in the towel.
What do I mean by that?
Give up on a number, give up on being perfect because if we continue to put that pressure on ourselves we will inevitably FAIL. I know I am not the only one who has experienced this in the past...multiple times. It took a long time for me to figure out that I needed to come at life and diet change from a place of LOVE for my body rather than a place of HATE.
I have heard it said, and agree entirely that there is no amount of SELF SHAME or SELF HATE that will motivate you to reach your goals and eat healthy. This is a certain set up for failure. Allowing yourself to approach a healthy lifestyle in a place of love for your body means to be willing to see this choice with a new perspective. When you change your perspective from hate to love you are able to grow, learn and change, without going back. Often we see the journey as purely a momentary time of suffering, restricting and we then complain about what we are not eating or how slow the process feels, followed by resorting back to our old ways.
Can you see how approaching this absolutely has to come from a place of LOVE rather than HATE?
Here are six ways to get yourself off that yo-yo situation, because I know we are all so sick and tired of that ride.
No matter what we choose to get started in, if we don't allow our mindset to transition with our bodies, it doesn't matter what effort or money you put into a program or diet plan. If you are not willing to do some inner work, you will continue to jump around from diet to diet.
Just because it didn't go smoothly the first time does not meal you should call it quits. Good things take perseverance and consistently pushing forward despite the bumpy road.
Being consistent is being open to addressing multiple areas of your life through the journey including; mindset, stress, food and life choices, personal boundaries, and then choosing to focus daily to improve on these changes one step at a time. Even though it WILL feel like small steps, eventually this will bring the benefits of consistency (health, weight loss, release of emotions). The important thing with staying consistent is not striving to be perfect in these areas but to be willing to get uncomfortable and try, because change IS uncomfortable but it is in in those uncomfortable moments that we learn to GROW and new habits can be formed. It is so easy to give up when life gets hard, but remind yourself that you CAN do hard things.
#3)LET GO OF A NUMBER
Most of us have an ideal number that we would LOVE to see on the scale, maybe this number is attainable.. or maybe it isn't but the point is that we can no longer let a number dictate whether or not we choose to live a healthy lifestyle. Numbers can get us down. Sure it is ONE area that we can measure the success of our health goals, but there are so many other factors that need to be considered in the process. How you feel, how your clothes fit, energy levels, how smoothly your bowels are running (This is probably my clients favorite question during check ins!) are all extremely important for LONG TERM change.
Along with letting go of a number we have to let go of the time frame. Putting a crazy amount of pressure on ourselves to lose 20 pounds by summer is not a great idea.
What happens when that doesn't happen?
How do you feel about yourself?
How do you talk to yourself in those moments?
Have your goals been reached previously this way?
Stop and ask yourself these questions, be honest.
Most likely there is far more to it than simply weight, and this is what needs to be addressed. More often than not there will be some hormonal issues that could take some time to iron out, and putting yourself on a time frame is unrealistic without knowing whats going on inside your body you need to consider the whole picture. Weight is only PART of the story, it is not the whole story.
BUT I already know what you might be thinking, numbers really do matter.
Let me ask you something, WHY does it matter.
Honestly think about it, Why does weighing X pounds matter? If you think that happiness follows that number, that everything will fall into place once that number hits, the sad reality is that this is a lie that we are choosing to believe. We each have a pile of lies that we believe about ourselves but here's the thing, if we are not willing to the do hard work on the inside, even when you get to that magical number you will find that it doesn't satisfy you for long. Unless habits are changed and new ones are formed, all that weight you worked so hard to lose will come running back.. and they tend to bring a few friends!
#4)STEPPING OUT FROM FEAR OF FAILURE
So many of us give in because we are afraid we will eventually screw up anyway. GIVE UP ON PERFECT, You cannot be perfect at all times and trying to do so will create a ton of pressure and if you're like me.. the first place I would turn with overwhelm is THE KITCHEN.
You might be thinking, OK, great BUT HOW THE HECK DO I STOP THIS? How do I make myself stick to something? You have to choose something that you can actually see being attainable. I know I could not eat cabbage soup for the rest of my life, or drink a lemon cayenne maple syrup drink til the end of my days (these diets aren't meant to be followed long term anyhow, although when we don't know any better we do crazy things and put our bodies at risk for the sake of the glorious number on the scale). What I do know is that the way that I eat now IS sustainable, it's focused on health, not weight and it provides me with the nutrients I need to manage my bowel issues, sustain my energy and keep me free from PMS pain. This is MUCH more valuable than a number, although the numbers have decreased as well. That's the great thing. When your body isn't running on stress, caffeine, and sleep deprivation AMAZING things start to happen.
Walking through your journey alone can feel defeating and overwhelming. Allowing someone to come along side you that has been there, in your shoes of the ugly yo yo diet cycle, who has struggled with low self esteem and body image issues in the past can create a space of comfort and motivation.
Coaching is something everyone can benefit from. When we want to have a successful career, we go to school and become educated in our field. When we want to get a licence, we have to be taught how to actually drive a car. This goes for health coaching as well. We of course can continue trying every avenue and see what fits and what doesn't, but the job of a health coach is to simply guide you in the right direction while giving you the tools necessary to set you up for success for the long run and being able to understand where you have been and can see whats possible for your future (I am queen of the run on sentence!). It's your job to do the homework and be accountable to a coach that is not going to let you slide beneath the cracks. You have been there, in those cracks for far too long. As a coach I believe that being able to help motivate, and pinpoint the hangups or navigate through the plateaus is an incredible piece to the puzzle.
Are you ready to take action and see transformation? I would love to hear from you. Whether you choose to work with me or not, that is totally OK! The important part is that you connect with a health coach and choose to make steps towards ending the yo-yo diet cycle.
with love and whole foods,