Why You Cannot Stay On A Diet

by Dave Jackson

As I sit here, the top button on my khaki shorts unbuttoned for comfort, my tummy muscles at ease, I am convinced I can easy summarize why your dieting plans are always short-circuited. I can say it in five words: “Life gets in the way.”

This is probably one of the toughest battles for me this year, mainly because I’m not serious about it and there are no immediate consequences yet, except for the 50% of my clothes that no longer fit.

Take for example, this week. Sunday began as another beautiful day in paradise (Naples, FL). Awesome weather, just chilly enough to sleep in a little when I’d normally wake up and jog to the beach and back. Around 10 AM we’re off to church and as always, a stop at a restaurant on the way home.

Sunday afternoon was made for relaxing, no? No one calls the house. Good stuff on the TV, usually. Lots of killer snacks in the corner of the kitchen. Life is good.

I tell myself that today is my day to cheat – eat anything I want – and that tomorrow I will start a regimen that anyone would deem outstanding. Food is good, relaxation great and Sunday goes down in the history books.

It’s now Monday morning, and true to myself, I don my jogging shorts and shoes and head out to the beach listening to Brian Tracy’s Action Strategies for Personal Acheivement. I am stoked!

I’m back to the house around 7:50 AM and my wife is up preparing our daughter’s lunch for school. On the side she’s already separated for me a large dish of my favorite, steamed broccoli. It’s smothered in Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acid which gives it a salty, tangy flavor. Perfect.

I’m hungry after my run, so I have a nice helping. Much too late it dawns on me that they say you should put off eating anything after a jog or workout so your body can burn from excess fat. But the broccoli sure tasted good.

As life would have it, I work long into the evening – e-mails, articles, follow-up work, preparing for Tuesday. Come Tuesday morning, my hand reaches over to the alarm clock before it goes off and pushes the switch to the off position. Today would be a great day to work out on the home gym… but…

My body aches from my jog yesterday, so maybe I need to start out a little slower – AND, if I rest more, I’ll be sharper, feel better, etc. – yes, here come all the excuses to NOT work out on the gym. Want more? My desk is piled high, I need to go to Costco early, today is trash day and I have to clean out the garage, my wife needs help with something.

By this time, my mind is thoroughly convinced that I do NOT need to be wasting time working out, so much to do! And so I tell myself that Wednesday will be perfect.

Tuesday night rolls around and Wednesday morning is chuck full of things to do: Take my daughter to school, make a business presentation in town, have Thanksgiving soup with my wife and daughter at school, and run a company during breaks.

So any promises made to my mind Sunday are broken by Tuesday morning. My mind is very smart and simply says, “Right. You tried it again. I could have saved you the hassle.” After doing this many times (making a ‘promise’ and then breaking it) the mind simply says, “BS!” How can we change the pattern?

Three things will help me, and maybe you. First, I need to plan this weight loss/diet/exercise thing. It must be something I sit down and plan on paper just like I was planning a vacation. The whole week needs to be planned, and repeated. Secondly, I need to be accountable to someone. This is almost impossible to do alone. So, find someone to report to on a daily basis.

Thirdly, keep a progress report, a journal. A blog may work, but writing it down on paper will do as well – and you don’t have to mix your posts with your dieting triumphs if the topic isn’t right.

So there you have it: The reason why so many fail, and the way I can stop failing and make this work! Wow, I’m juiced already! Tomorrow, I plan on getting up early and heading down to the beach. Then I’ll make sure I do nothing by hydrate for the next hour. I’ll keep portion sizes small and frequent through the day and Thursday I’ll hit the home gym. This is going in the planner and I’m going to make this happen.

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