Consistency

Strong & Lean Australia trainer Patricia front squatting

Ever been driving to work and got a flat tyre?  Did you pull over, swing open the drivers door, head to the boot, retrieve a screw driver from your tool kit and then methodically walk around and slash the crap out of the other 3 tyres as well?

Didn’t think so.  Welcome to the mindset of some people when they are dieting.

The above is one of my favourite questions I like to ask when talking to clients about dieting and training.  I often use it in response to clients who are trying to throw the towel in on a Wednesday because Tuesday and Monday didn’t happen.  There’s still 5 perfectly good days left in the week,  Why ruin them all when you’ve only had 2 bad ones?

Fat Loss Is Hard

Stop thinking dieting and getting results SHOULD be easy.  It’s not. Dieting in this modern day and age is hard. It’s hard because everywhere we turn some company is trying to take your money by satisfying you with a momentary sugar induced dopamine hit.

And this is how we all get out of shape, by simply consuming more calories than we burn by making poor choices in times of stress.

NOTE– yes there is a time and a place for treats.  No I’m not some food nazi manifesting my unresolved childhood trauma through extreme dieting.  I manifest my unresolved childhood trauma through my relationships like everyone else.

Initially you feel great after eating that sweet treat that reminds you of your grandma’s hugs.  But once that dopamine dissipates the little voice in your head taps you on the shoulder and often we are left with the following diatribe of rubbish in our ears :

“You stuffed up.  You’re hopeless.  Dieting is too hard.  Bugger it,  do whatever you want today and then start again tomorrow”

Enough Unqualified Advice

According to psychologist Melanie Greenberg PH.D, this “I buggered up one meal up I may as well bugger them all up” type of thinking is representative of an all or nothing approach.

It’s representative of a tendency to evaluate yourself too harshly and is what makes you give up for the day altogether.

It’s representative of a tendency to evaluate yourself too harshly…

It’s representative of a tendency to evaluate yourself too harshly…

Relax, you’re not hopeless, dieting is a challenge.   It is not impossible.  It takes time to master.  You don’t have to master it straight away.  You don’t need to get results instantly.  And you’re not a failure if you get a flat tyre every now and then.

The one who wins in the physique game is the one who perseveres.  When you mess up breakfast, simply acknowledge it by saying “I didn’t eat according to my goals”  then put the extra effort in to make sure lunch and dinner are spotless and accommodate for the shortfall.
Your body doesn’t understand perfection.   It understands consistency over time.

When I look at a persons nutrition I think in terms of calories over 7 days and in a month not one meal.

Do you think if you choose the pizza over the chicken salad you will instantly get fat?

No.

Do you think if you choose the chicken salad over pizza you will instantly get ripped?

No.

If you consistently choose the pizza over the chicken salad though?

It’s a process.  You are always going to be catching yourself, correcting and over correcting.  Your fitness journey is like your weight routine.  It evolves.  You aren’t doing the same thing you were doing 2 years ago are you?  ARE YOU???  Your approach to food will change if you stick at it and If you understand flat tyres happen from time to time.

You can’t control a tyre randomly blowing.  You can control what you do in response to it.  That being said if you like to go driving through a field of nails then expect to blow tyres.

What Should You Do

* This I cheated on my diet so I’m giving  up type of thinking represents  an “All or None” approach to life.  All or none approaches sound cool but seldom work long term.  It’s not the one binge that will derail you, but what you do in response to it.

* “Failure is part of the journey and can create opportunities for improving your skills and approach.  When you get up and back on track right away, you will go into the next round all the stronger for it.

* Give yourself some self compassion.  Keeping up healthy eating and exercise over the long term is difficult, especially when there are competing demands and role obligations.

* Don’t strive for perfection.  Perhaps you’re putting an incredible amount of pressure on yourself to succeed. When you tell yourself, “I must lose 10kg  by Valentine’s Day, or I’ll never get a date,” you’re setting yourself up for emotional turmoil, as well as weight-loss failure.

Losing weight in a set amount of time is great, just don’t let perfectionism ruin your attempts.  Let consistency create your results

So next time you get a flat tyre, don’t go and slash the other 3 eh!

References
https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200401/weight-loss-and-faulty-thinking
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-face-adversity/201112/more-faulty-thinking-traps
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201409/eight-toxic-weight-loss-thinking-traps-you-should-avoid

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