Losing the “0n” or “Off” Mentality

Avoid the on or off lifestyle.
Avoid the “on” or “off” lifestyle.

I met with Anthony this week and we talked about  his challenges and successes. Like anyone trying to lose weight, Anthony wants desperately for the weight to be off! However, when you’re doing it right, weight does not drop off quickly and changes need to be made for the long term, not just until a wedding, reunion, etc. What I’m talking about here is getting away from the “On a diet” or “Off a diet” mentality.

In my humble opinion, (and you know I have many of them), I really believe that being “on” a diet puts the mind in a very negative place. Being “on” a diet tells the brain, “You must suffer. You can not have anything you want ever again. You need to be hungry all the time and eat food you really don’t enjoy.”  Hmmm, I don’t know about you, but with that kind of mental input, there is no way one can possibly beat the weight loss game.

So I told Anthony, “You need to approach this different than you have ever approached weight loss before. How? By looking at any changes that you make as long-term changes, not just something to change until the scale shows the appropriate number. Rather, make changes that you can sustain. Never say never and always know that there are moments where less than healthy choices will pop up. You just have to be prepared. And, if you fall in to eating something that isn’t great, don’t belabor the issue, acknowledge it and know that a healthy lifestyle is making good choices most of the time.”  You see if you’re in that “on” or “off” mode and you trip up, the guilt is overwhelming and the negative self-talk goes in to full gear. However if you’re in the healthy living mindset and eat something that’s not on the good-for-you list, you tell yourself, “Back on track tomorrow. Eating this way does not leave me feeling the way I do when I eat well. I look forward to healthy eating tomorrow.”

The healthy living mentality is your best defense against a negative experience as you strive to change unhealthy habits to healthy ones. Try, just for this week (as I encouraged Anthony to do) to think “lifestyle” not diet. To think about the long-term and choices that seem appropriate vs. so painfully out of character for you you’ll never stick with them. Acknowledge the positive changes you make, even if they’re small.

Healthy living is supposed to encourage a healthier you, both mentally and physically. The best way to achieve that is to find your center and avoid the “on” or “off” when it comes to lifestyle change!

Here’s to your success.

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