Uh, Oh! Time to Change Your Ways!

It’s not bad food that makes you fat; it’s bad habits and attitudes.

Posted Sep 27, 2014

A successful change in diet is about changing your behavior as well as your food choices. You have to change the way you think and the way you eat. If you try to make too many changes too quickly, you may give up before you reach your goals. That’s because too much change, too soon, is disturbing (if not downright overwhelming) for most people. Change also requires commitment, also difficult for many. For now, simply come to terms with the idea of change. Identify the habits that need changing and start thinking about steps you can take to get the process started.

Some people thrive on change. But more commonly, people don’t like the prospect of varying their routine. If you are afraid of or threatened by change, it will be harder for you to break old thinking patterns and eating habits and allow yourself to move forward. Eating might have been the way you coped with change in the past, but now that you know that’s not good for you, relying on food is no longer an option.

If you‘ve been dieting most of your life, and your weight has gone up and down as a result, you might be afraid to make another commitment to losing weight. If you went on a low-carbohydrate diet, gave up all that bread and pasta, and still had weight or health problems, you might not want to put yourself through anything similar again. Instead of promising yourself you’ll lose weight, promise you’ll start taking better care of yourself by eating healthier foods and getting more exercise. Losing weight then becomes the extra bonus you get for healthier living.

The changes that create the most turmoil are those we feel we have no control over. It helps to understand and accept the fact that you have no control over most external events in your life. You cannot change the outside world or the people in it; you can control only the way you respond to difficult situations and maintain your self-control. To an overeater, that means your greatest power lies in changing your response to your eating triggers.

Change does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. A lot of people make the mistake of losing faith in themselves and giving up after one indulgence. You haven’t blow anything with one meal, one “bad” food or one indulgence. Tomorrow’s a new day, as they say, and you can pick up your healthy eating habits again just where you left off.

You know you have enough motivation to get started, but what you need now is a firm commitment to see yourself through times of what may be radical change. Have faith in yourself, even if you’ve been unsuccessful in the past. It’s another time, you’re at another stage in your life and you might be more prepared to make the necessary commitment to change.

Sometimes you can change your behavior directly but at other times you might have to change your attitude and your approach first. Maybe you need to have a difficult conversation with your parents or your mate before you can focus on your eating habits. That probably means you first have to confront your fears about having that conversation to begin with. Maybe you’re looking for inspiration to get more exercise. Do you need to try a new machine at the gym or do you need to boost your attitude about exercise in general? When change in attitude and behavior are difficult, particularly when those changes involve other people, it might help to think about what kind of physical and emotional shape you want to be in six months from now. You probably can’t get there without taking a risk or pushing yourself in a different direction. When you’re clear about how you feel and what you need to do, it’s easier to take action. Never easy, but certainly easier.

You can make small changes in your life to help you get used to the idea of bigger changes and become more flexible. When it comes to your diet, a small change might be trying a new food you’ve never eaten before or switching up your meals so you have dinner food for breakfast. Try anything you can think of that will easily bring a small change into your life. And as with everything else circling around your need to get healthy, an optimistic viewpoint about changing your ways will get you better results.