Here is a question for you: How much “fun” is it to be in a weight losing mode with the necessary components of avoiding many of the foods and drinks we tend to enjoy? I believe the answer is: “Not very much FUN at all”.
We often equate “dieting” to sacrifice and deprivation. This is analogous to being in some sort of “prison” in which our “rights and freedoms” (to eat and drink what we want) have sort of been taken away from us. Similar to the prison analogy, we look forward to the day(s) that we are “paroled” or “released” from these restrictions and are able to dive back into the old life style that provided lots of more immediate gratification.
A question that many new patients will ask me during the initial consultation: “Does your program allow for a CHEAT day?” The answer is “No” and I go on to explain that we try to have people not view their journey as going into a dietary “prison”, but rather, accept a lifestyle change that will ultimately bring them much better health and happiness.
This entry was inspired by a few recent patients that went on their summer vacations and came back with very large amounts of weight gain to the extent of wiping out 4-6 weeks of hard work and focus with one week of eating way too many carbs and drinking way too much alcohol. In retrospect, the patients discussed with me that the “prison break” mentality occurred, i.e. they viewed the vacation as a “parole/release” of some sort, basically “vacationing” from their dietary efforts.
The point: Yes…vacations and other trips will present challenges and it may be very difficult to lose weight or even stay even during those weeks. However, we cannot allow the “prison break” mindset to take over and compel us to completely zone out of our efforts. By doing so, lots of weight gain will occur, followed by self-loathing for allowing this to happen.
Another way of looking at this: It is a sort of “prison” to be bound to medications that are treating weight related co-morbidities, have chronic pain, poor self-esteem, low energy, have our nice clothes not fit, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a “prison break” from those negative issues that accompany poor weight control? Stay steadfast and focused on your efforts to control that weight and try very hard to NOT allow the “prison mentality” to set in as this relates to your journey.