Starting another weight loss program? Not so much…

I started this ‘weight loss’ program through my job a few weeks ago.  I was excited to start because I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It felt like the ‘honeymoon’ period because it is new and I had high hopes that ‘this diet is going to save me’ or that it’s ‘going to be the one’ to finally lose the weight and keep it off forever.  Doesn’t it seem that way when you see others who’ve lost their weight and kept it off?  Not that we should compare ourselves to others, but guiltily I do sometimes.

When I dug deeper into their stories, I realized, it’s never the diet tactic, or strategy that causes the success, it’s something inside the person that shifts, usually changes in their thinking and approach to diet and lifestyle. Sometimes these changes are a result of a major life event, someone passing away, being diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease resulting in a rapid shift in thinking.  Other times, it’s just they’ve heard it enough times something ‘clicks’ for them.  It’s not the program or plan, it’s their thinking or approach that’s changed.

When I started this program, I guess it was the ‘child’ in me that hoped and dreamed this would be the case, but deep down, from all I’ve experienced and researched, the realistic side of me knew it wasn’t.

The program kicked off discussing tactics like monitoring appetite, eating only when hungry and chewing slowly.  I learned about these recently while reading Dr. Koenig’s book. When I started using these tactics, it really did work.  My problem wasn’t believing it didn’t work, but that I didn’t follow them 80% of the time which is the larger issue.

After the second week of the new program, the director announced we needed to avoid sugar for 3 weeks citing the benefits of being off sugar, quick weight loss, feeling better, insulin changes, etc.  These facts are true. But, when she announced this to the group, I immediately started feeling anxiety. It brought me back to the many times I’ve done it before and failed repeatedly. I ended up on an eating binge for weeks afterwards and the benefits I experienced off sugar were wiped away like a rush of water down a stream, it was very discouraging.  I just couldn’t see myself going through the whole 3 weeks white-knuckling it again.  Yes, the director had ideas to alleviate a lot of the cravings but I know after a while, it still gets to you.  When we had our session, one woman said she did well until about the 6th week when she binged the entire weekend.

I just can’t go back on that roller coaster again.  I have to find another way.  I asked myself the tough questions, am I ready to address the root cause of my overeating? My thoughts, self-talk, habits to take back control of my health?  It’s not about not eating sugar or tracking food, although both will assist in losing weight. It’s about balance, the 80/20 rule in conjunction with letting go of the all-or-nothing approach – the perfectionism way of dieting (which is just an excuse). I know there is a physiological component, that’s why there is a surge in Type II Diabetes cases, but I don’t believe cutting out sugar is the answer.  It has to be holistic approach – cutting back and replacing habits slowly.

Have you experienced the same challenge? Have you been told my multiple people (i.e. doctors, friends, diets etc.) you need to cut out sugar completely but have struggled to do so because of your past experiences dieting? If so, please share, what happened and what’s worked?

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