There seems to be one universal truth when it comes to dieting. No one really enjoys the process though we all eagerly await and anticipate the results. The problem is that far too many men and women around the world focus so much on dieting and perfecting their external beauty that they forget the beautiful people they are inside along the way. Our culture is becoming obsessive about the perfect body and the perfect body image.
If there was one message that should make it out to everyone dieting it is this: dieting should be more about health than beauty. You should not need to conform to some preconceived notion of what is or should be beautiful. If we create a world where everyone looks alike it would be rather boring in the end.
You need to focus on being happy with who you are in order to achieve the greatest dieting success you will have ever dared dream. Many of use eat out of emotional need or a simple need for comfort when we are depressed, hurting, uncertain, or simply in unfamiliar territory. There is no solution that will work for everyone when it comes to making peace with who you are and this by no means indicates that you should no longer seek to be the healthiest you, there is. It simply means that your focus should be more on coming to terms with who you are as a person than in creating a new person or imagine behind which you can hide.
Dieting for the most part is an opportunity for many men and women to become someone else. Whether that someone is the person you used to be or some person you think you want to be, you are quite unlikely find happiness at any weight until you accept you for the person you are inside. This is often a difficult process but one that is well worth the effort. Once you’ve accepted the person inside you can address the specific needs that often lead to the excess weight to begin with. Depression is a common factor in weight gain as well as an inability to lose weight. By finding contentment depression will no longer a controlling factor in you life. For many, this is the freedom they need from their weight problems while others will find there are still hurdles remaining.
The important thing is that you stop allowing the person you are to be defined by what the scales say about you. Once you’ve reached a point in your life where you are happy with your appearance and feel that your personal fitness level is in hand you should discuss things with your doctor and see what he or she has to say. We do not need a nation of size 5 women. We need a nation of women who are self-aware and self confident and not afraid to be who they are on the inside regardless of how they look on the outside.
Finding the beauty within is often the most important aspect of dieting that there can be. Take the time while dieting to get to know the person you are and introduce that person to the person you want to be. In time the two will work out a healthy compromise and you will find that image isn’t really everything no matter what the glossy magazines try to tell you.
Setting Goals When Dieting
As with most things in life, setting goals is very important when dieting. When you look at things truthfully and objectively you should notice that most of the things you’ve accomplished in life have been accomplished because you not only had a goal but also had a clearly planned and well thought out process for achieving that goal. That being said, why is goal setting so important when it comes to dieting?
First of all, it is difficult to achieve a goal if you do not have a clearly defined goal. There are times in life when it is almost impossible to tell whether you are succeeding or failing because you aren’t certain exactly what the desired outcome should be. Identifying your dieting goals before you begin eliminates this particular possibility.
Second, having dieting goals gives you a measuring stick by which you can judge your process. This is important so that you know when your efforts are failing behind and when you’re moving along schedule or ahead of schedule. In other words, you will know when to celebrate and when to give yourself a swift kick to the rear.
Now that we know why we set weight loss goals, let’s discuss how we should go about setting those goals that are so important for dieting success. You want to set goals that are aggressive without being impossible to achieve. If you set goals that are beyond your reach you will find that frustration will be your dieting partner until you reach the point where you give up all together. In order to avoid this you should take great care to insure that your goals are possible for you to achieve.
When it comes to weight loss be specific when setting your goals. Rather than setting a total goal of 40 or 60 pounds start with a specific goal such as 10 pounds in one month. Then you can extend the goal to the next month until you’ve reached the overall goal of 40 or 60 pounds. It is much easier to lose 10 pounds four times than it is to lose 40 pounds at once. It’s a trick of the mind but it works. Ten pounds sounds simple and achievable. Forty pounds sounds like an insurmountable obstacle.
Another thing about goals is that you want to hold yourself accountable but you shouldn’t call the whole thing off if you only lose 9 pounds instead of 10. Instead, find out where you dropped the ball for the final pound and set your 10-pound goal for the next month.
You should also take great care that you are working with your personal goals and not the goals that someone else is pushing on you. The truth is that if it’s personal to you, it will be much more rewarding than if you are doing this for someone else. If your heart isn’t in it, there are very few goals that are going to motivate you properly.
Finally, you should establish small (non-food) rewards for accomplishing your dieting goals. Perhaps your reward will be a new accessory for your new (or new old) wardrobe or a pedicure for your new look. Make your reward something fun and frivolous and teach yourself that accomplishing your goals can be accomplished by something other than food. This is a key to dieting successfully.