So the healthy eating plan I faithfully resolved to follow, whilst nursing one humdinger of a hangover on January 1st this year fell by the wayside come February.
Then the strict carb free regime embarked upon in order to knock 'em dead at my best friend's wedding in May didn't even get as far as knocking them even a little bit sideways. Not to be beaten, the Beautiful Beach Body Plan was going to be the answer to my summer holiday prayers...it bombed.
So here I am again, fearful in the knowledge that not only is the 'party season' hurtling towards us at frightening speed, there is a very real possibility that 14lbs MORE of me will be welcoming in 2013.
Why do we do it (I say we, secure in the knowledge that I am definitely NOT alone here)? And how do we get out of the diet/binge cycle? There are few of us who are satisfied with a weight loss of 1-2lbs a week... we want instant results. Problem is of course, any diet that promises rapid weight loss is going to be nearly impossible to sustain, and any pounds lost will be quickly regained, along with a few friends, as soon as you go back to your previous eating patterns.
We've got best part of three months before the party season hits (note, I refuse to mention 'that time' by name until at least November!) - call it 12 weeks.
Be satisfied with the 1-2 lbs average weight loss of a sensible, healthy, sustainable eating plan and you could be looking at a lot less of you singing Auld Lang Syne. Easier said than done obviously, or I'd be sitting here nibbling on celery and salsa dip instead of the Pringles and sour cream I am currently indulging in.So I've looked at why diets fail, and what can be done to turn those failures into success.
Firstly, if a food is forbidden you will instantly crave it. So choose a diet that allows you a small bar of chocolate, lump of cheese or the odd glass of wine. You want results and you want them fast. Face the fact that it took months, even years, to gain the weight you're trying to rid yourself of and short of severing a limb you're not going to rid yourself of it overnight. Steady weight loss is weight more likely to stay lost.
You wake up every morning thinking 'I'm on a diet.' If you are 'on' something it follows that you intend at some point to come 'off.' Change your mindset and accept that this is a lifestyle change. Explore new foods, allow yourself the occasional treat and don't be a slave to the scales.
You think it has to be all or nothing. So when you succumb to that chocolate biscuit your immediate thought is 'I've blown it'... and five minutes later you're left with nothing more than an empty packet and a slight feeling of nausea. You know it's an excuse, that one biscuit won't undo what you've done, even one bad day needn't turn into one bad week, one bad month...failure. Forgive, forget and move on.
You think it's all about food. Your weight is not determined only by what you consume - there is the small matter of exercise. You can practically double your weight loss if you introduce regular exercise into your daily routine. You don't have to join a gym or get up at 6am to do 50 laps of the pool before work. Walking is still the cheapest and easiest form of exercise there is, and is ridiculously easy to build into your daily routine.
You're trying to go it alone. Time again it has been proved that slimming is more successful with group support. Get together with some like minded friends once a week or sign up for one of the more established organisations. Slimming World and WeightWatchers both run classes locally.
Southend on Sea Borough Council runs an Advantage Card Scheme which gives residents of Southend significantly reduced rates for a range of services and sports facilities within the Borough, which could be just the impetus you need to up your exercise levels. Go to www.southend.gov.uk for more details
Or if you fancy something different why not get together with a couple of friends and try out SAS Pole Fitness, with beginners and intermediate classes held every Thursday night. All that remains now is for me to try and practice what I preach...wish me luck!
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