The obstacles I give myself
I can see some patterns in my dieting efforts that contribute to making it much, much harder to lose weight and much, much easier to gain it back:
1. (Inspired by a similar confession read in a Weight Watchers pamphlet I was reading recently...) Despite knowing that dieting is difficult, long-term, and despite being surrounded by people (at WW) who take two or three years to lose 80 pounds, I think that I am different. I will take half a year to lose 80 pounds. Sure! Also, once it is gone, that weight will be gone permanently and won't come back - and it will be easy!
2. Just because it was small (a very large bite, maybe, of a great-looking, yummy sandwich my husband bought), it doesn't count. I'm guessing all that salami and cheese and mayonnaise and olive oil is somewhere around 50 calories. Sure! Do that a few times a day. Sure! It 'never happened' (almost).
3. I ate it. Even though I track what i eat, I 'forget' that I ate it.
4. When I think dieting is too, too difficult, I think, 'I can't DO THIS!' Of course I can. I have the Weight Watcher stickers that show I lose x amount of pounds. Then I fall off the wagon. And get back on a different wagon (see #5).
5. I change horses mid-stream. I decide it's more important to just exercise a lot. I lose some weight doing that, but it's not 80 pounds. Not even close. And my eating habits take a back seat to the physical activity emphasis - in fact, I justify that I can eat more because I'm more active. Then, for some reason, I skip days of exercising - for the same 'life interferes' reason that I decided dieting was too hard. When exercising recedes in the background, food is already in the foreground and I've really not lost much weight at all. I say, 'I really don't like to do xxxx (some type of physical activity)' the same way I say, 'I really don't want to eat low-fat cheese.' For some reason, that sounds better than the Nike slogan, 'Just do it!'
6. I decide that 'fat clothes' aren't all that bad.
7. I decide that there's a key to dieting that others have overlooked. I decide to give up amounts of X for life and that will make dieting easy and even fun. After some success (cut things out of your food choices and you will lose weight - take your pick of what to cut out - it doesn't matter what...) This means all the stress of dieting comes back. I give up Chinese food, Indian food, Mexican food, I only can go to x kind of restaurant, I can't eat fast food unless I narrow my choices to one or two items, I can't go to this or that kind of get-together because there will be too much alcohol, sweets, carbs, whatever. I feel like the only way I can make the diet work is if I stay home with my own refrigerator packed with select items.
8. None of the eating schemes satisfy the emotional eating, bored eating pitfalls and so I overeat anyway!
I give myself these obstacles. They are there, but when I handle them badly, it's on me!