I’m not someone who goes on diets. Low-carb, no-carb, Mediterranean, Atkins, Whole 30, keto, and on and on. My personal dietary guideline is to eat a wide variety of mostly unprocessed foods. As Michael Pollan wrote, “Eat food. Not too much.” Typically, if I need to lose a few pounds I just eat less of it.
However. Age and hormones seem to be conspiring to make even that simple solution not so simple anymore. At least that’s what I tell myself.
Which brings me to the meat (ha!) of this post. My challenge MIGHT have less to do with my age and MORE to do with my growing willingness to “cut myself some slack.”
So I’ve been taking stock of the lies I tell myself that trip me up in the quest to drop those insidious pounds that sneak on when I’m not looking.
- It’s been a tough day. I deserve . . . chocolate, cake, a glass of wine, crusty bread with butter . . . fill in the blank. (On the flip side–it’s been a great day! I deserve . . .)
- This ONE cookie/piece of candy/handful of chips won’t really matter.
- It’s a special occasion. I’ll just eat less at the next meal.
- I did really well yesterday, I can relax today.
- I went for a really long hike–that’ll make up for an extra . . .
- It’s shameful to waste this food.
- I haven’t really eaten THAT much today.
- And, of course, it’s hormonal. There’s nothing I can do about it.
Why do I let myself get away with these lies? First, I rarely stop to recognize the lie. I have that all too human fault of wanting what feels good NOW and any excuse will do. Second, I really, really, really want to believe the lie. Often I do believe the lie. My intentions are good and we all know what the road to hell is paved with.
So how to break this cycle? Well, the first thing I’ve done is to start keeping a food diary so I can’t lie to myself about how much I’ve eaten on any given and just how calorically packed that food is! And the second thing? Well, I’m just going to have to be willing to pause and identify my lies.
How about you? What lies do you tell yourself?