If you’re like thousands of others who have tried many, if not all, of the fad diets out there, I can imagine it’s very frustrating. It seems there’s a never-ending stream of ‘perfect’ diets that come along in one magazine then the next. But after reading about the new ‘super diet’ in a magazine, complete with obligatory ‘size zero’ 20-year-old model all freshly bronzed and complete with newly air-brushed bits, you feel this is the one and can’t wait to start.
The mind takes over, thoughts of that young model in the skimpy bikini flashing pearly whites from the cover start running through your head. You start feeling excited about hitting the Mediterranean beaches in the summer, full of confidence in your new-found YOU.
Sounds great doesn’t it? It seems wonderful, until the reality of the cabbage leaf diet kicks in after less than a week. That’s when the headaches seem to last continuously. That’s when the taste of cabbage has begun driving you nuts. And your friends? Well, let’s just say they found a few more interesting things to do than listen to you go through your 101 Recipes for Cabbage book with them.
Can you blame them?
It’s no wonder people can stay on a diet like that for no more than three hours, let alone a week. The same goes for many of the other diets out there based on calorie reduction rather than the basis of all healthy living: the quality of the calories. That’s why, in my opinion, the weekly weight reduction classes at your local village hall are not a good idea. Yes, you can lose weight, some do. But you also can have, say, two donuts for your sin or points tally for the day and be a very happy bunny, knowing you “done good.” But in reality, you have hit your target in five minutes with a food void of vital nutrients the body needs to function properly, let alone to its optimum. You still can get diabetes being slim and eating rubbish!
Sounds pretty crazy to me.
With the thought of the impending diet, we have the initial euphoria and excitement of getting into the new bikini or dress. Then the mind takes over again, with thoughts of doom and gloom, of being confined to eating what you really don’t want. Thoughts of when the diet is supposed to be over come more quickly than the thoughts of that holiday to faraway shores. The mind is in turmoil before you have even started. To be honest, it’s doomed to failure for all but the most hardy of souls. You’re looking forward to that first gin and tonic, chocolate cake or brownie, or all three, when you finish. But, in reality, it won’t be just one.
The mind is looking at it from a perspective of lacking, in other words, that you don’t or can’t have it. That only is making your mind focus more on what you don’t have, and that causes fear. The fear is the same fear a smoker faces when he is looking to quit. It’s the fear of never being able to have another, as you are ‘giving something up,’ relinquishing it when you want it. It’s not that they don’t want to stop, many seriously do. However, the fear inside their minds that they cannot have another one keeps them from stopping. It sounds like a crazy Catch-22, but that’s the way it works.
What’s the answer? It’s not just as easy as saying, “Eat something different.” but in a way it is. The mind has been programmed in many ways. From a young age we are programmed for what to eat. TV commercials, magazines, newspapers, shiny boxes of food, and big yellow arches all are taken into our subconscious minds. These foods all use additives, MSG and sugar to make things taste better and sweeter. This programming begins mostly from a very young age. So, in combination with outside programming, we are facing a losing battle unless we know what is happening or that what we are eating is not good for us. We need some reprogramming or different thinking.
The hardware (body) does what the software (mind) tell us to do. It’s really very simple, to do something different we need to change the software.