I’m tired of hearing people (myself included) say, “I can’t eat that, it’s bad, and I’m trying to lose weight.” There have got to be times and places where indulging is okay. I am starting to think that the words “can’t” and “bad” play too big a rule in many people’s weight loss journeys. When you start saying you can’t do something or eat something because it’s bad, you are slowly but surely introducing negativity into how you think about weight loss. I feel that weight loss should be a positive journey from start to finish.
I recently had this discussion with a friend who is doing the Biggest Loser Challenge with me. She had gotten in the very bad habit of saying, “I can’t eat this if I want to win this week, it’s a bad food” or “Oh man, I only lost half a pound this week.” After so many times hearing or reading these types of things I wanted to shake her. In my mind, any weight loss, even if it’s 0.1 pounds, should be celebrated. There are very few instances I feel “only” should be used when talking about weight loss and those are as follows: “I only have 5 pounds more to go until my goal!” or “It’s okay I had a minor set-back. I only gained a pound this week.” I think that using “only” in a negative way drags down and undermines your accomplishments. The more you undermine yourself, the less likely you are to continue to have a successful weight loss venture.
This same friend and I also discussed my feelings about “bad” foods and the “can’t” mentality. When you label a food as “bad,” like cookies, and forbid yourself from having it at all during your weight loss, you set yourself up for binges and failure. No food is innately bad and you can have whatever you want, you just have to use moderation. How’s that old saying go? “Everything in moderation. Even moderation.” And that’s the trick. Keep those cookies in your house, but know when you have the calories, points, carbs, whatever to eat one or two. If you have a cookie or two a couple times a week, you aren’t going to crave them and binge on them later. Moderate yourself.
And, finally, know when you need to moderate even your moderation. Take for instance today, my birthday. I might not be partying it up this evening, but I know Friday I’m going out to dinner with friends and family from all over the place. You can bet your sweet patooty I’m not going to want to count every last calorie and skip my own birthday cake just because I’m on a weight loss journey. I’m going to moderate and eat well the rest of this week and during the day Friday so that come Friday evening, I can have a big old slice of cake and not feel bad about it.
Good luck staying positive, everyone!