Marathon or sprint?

In my younger days I was always on some form of diet – I’ve tried many – the ones where you spend a weekly fee, get weighed and celebrate ‘loser of the week’ (whole new meaning to the term ‘ loser’!); ones where you eat cabbage soup and very little else; meal replacement – shakes; meal replacement – shakes, protein bars and gloopy soups; not carbohydrates at the same meal as protein; very low calorie diets; eating very little carbohydrate and freely eating protein and any fats and so on…and so on.

Gosh – when I read that list back it is frightening.

What was even more frightening was that if I had put some weight on I would start one of the diets again with the view, ‘Well…it worked last time’. Thankfully I am beyond all that now. I was, however having a chat with a someone recently for whom this cycle of diet, put weight on , diet was a regular occurrence. When they uttered the words, ‘I’m doing that diet because it has always worked,’ I couldn’t stop myself from saying,’But it doesn’t work!’  They looked so affronted. I then explained my thinking – ie. if you are repeating a diet format to lose weight, again, then it hasn’t worked…as you have put weight back on. The restriction for a set time frame enabled  / facilitated weight loss but once stopped the weight piles back on. Enforced change has taken place – not actual changes…healthy changes that can become habit.

So I believe to get your body to its healthy weight is not about a sprint diet but more of a steady marathon of small changes over time that can be sustained.

Your thoughts?

 

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9 thoughts on “Marathon or sprint?

  1. In my experience, I can only speak for myself, I’ve found that I was better to focus on making my diet healthier rather than trying to actively lose weight. I lost 10 Stone (140 pounds) and have kept if off for over 4 years now. But I still am mindful of everything I eat. If I find I’m focusing on the weight rather than my health I pull myself together and start remembering that I started this for my health not a number on a scale or the praise of others. If I’m hungry I eat, but I don’t allow myself the wrong foods. If I slip up I have a solid foundation, built over the years, to get me back on track. I remember someone calling diet services a revolving door industry. If they really worked so well then they wouldn’t be needed at all. If someone like me could do it, I think anyone really willing to be healthy can do it too. You just have to do it for the right reasons and know it’s a lifetime commitment. It’s worth all the struggles, believe you me.

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  2. I agree totally Jo. I’ve tried a few ‘special’ diets in the past and they’ve worked at the time but then the weight has returned. I have seen so many people go to slimming clubs over and over again basically throwing their money away. It needs to be a permanent change of eating habits over time. I’m getting there slowly.

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  3. Absolutely a marathon! It really seems as if the harder you work to lose weight fast (for example, Biggest Loser contestants), the harder your body will work to negate the change and get back to “normal” as soon as possible. So while those results may be the most exciting, they’ll be the most fleeting, too!

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  4. ‘small changes over time that can be sustained’. This phrase has been playing through my mind since I read it a couple of days ago. I have been giving some thought as to what sort of changes I can make that I can keep going long term.

    I feel very pleased with myself that I finally took the plunge today and went to the pilates class that I have been putting off for a few weeks now. I don’t think I showed myself up. I tried not to look enviously at the super-slim gorgeous woman who could do all the moves when I was struggling to bend over all the rolls of tummy flab that seemd to be in my way (don’t you just hate those floor to ceiling mirrors in these dance studios?). What’s more, I have booked myself onto the class next Tuesday.

    I know that this is not a food change, but for me, the battle with food is in my mind. If I can get my mind in a good place, and feeling better about my body helps this, then the better choices around food follow.

    So….that’s one small change for now. In fact it’s been a big step for me, so thank you for giving me the nudge to do it.

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