Amazing NEW diet!?

Every day I field questions about the “diet-of-the-day.” Have I heard about it? Does it work? Is it safe?

Some of these trendy nutrition plans are based on sound scientific principles. Many are not. Most have a rabidly devoted following, which is why we have heard about them.  And, most of today’s diets will go the way of the cabbage soup diet, extreme fat-free diet, grapefruit diet, Ephedra and tapeworms. They will fall out of fashion in favor of the next shiny thing.

Suppose the diet-of-the-day is based on sound science and really works.  Why would it ever go out of style? Why wouldn’t this diet be the answer to the obesity crisis?

The diet-of-the-day will never be the answer for two reasons.

  1. Diets don’t work.
  2. Never mind, there’s one reason.

We know. And yet we cling to hope that if we could just STICK TO THE DIET we’d reach our  goals. I have conversations every week that include the phrase “Well, Dr. Rebecca, I know what to do. . . .”  Have you said these words? I can relate.  I was the queen of “I know what to do.” I have a graduate degree in “I know what to do.” And I was overweight my whole life since childhood.  I was frustrated and I thought about it almost constantly. And I could not fix it, even though I knew a lot of stuff about nutrition. 

So, what does work? 

In 2003 I lost the 30 pounds I was carrying around, thanks to an effective nutrition plan. It was fast and easy, a dream come true! But then I struggled to keep the weight off. A new identity did not come magically when I hit my “goal weight.” My body had changed but my mind had not. So I yo-yo’d.  Five pounds up and five pounds down, and 7 pounds up and four pounds down, and so it went.

It went on like that until I really, deeply understood that I was living a dieter’s mindset. 

The people I know who have achieved their health goals with sustainable, long-term results have focused on something so much more important than food.  They have worked on their mindset. The limiting factor in anyone’s growth is mindset. Your current state of health is 100% an outgrowth of your mindset. If you are white-knuckling every day, trying to rely on willpower – that’s the flashing neon sign letting you know that your current mindset is not “Future Healthy Me.”

And “Old Me” is fighting back. 

I cannot explain how to create a new mindset in a couple paragraphs. But I will tell you that this is the basis for the coaching work I do today helping people transform, one healthy habit at a time.

I look forward to the time that I am no longer fielding questions about the diet-of-the-day, and I am instead celebrating the daily successes that come from creating a new mindset, one healthy habit at a time. 

Ready to start the real work of creating your healthiest self? START HERE

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Are You Willing to do What Successful People Do?

Effective-Ways-to-Create-Healthy-HabitsAs a health coach I occasionally work with clients who move toward their goals like an arrow toward a bulls-eye. More often however, there are times in the journey to health when people really battle to stick with their health program. Why is that? What is it that separates the two groups?

I can identify certain qualities and patterns in my clients and colleagues who have been successful in achieving their heath goals and the health coaches I have met who have achieved long-term health and ultrahealth:

Successful people have a strong and detailed image of what they want to achieve.

Nearly always, in the process of getting healthier, the initial momentum toward health is geared toward getting out of pain, physical or mental. Focusing on getting out of pain is a limited mindset and will only carry you so far, because the will to stay on track gets smaller as the pain gets smaller. The most successful people I work with do not focus on their pain. They have a big, clearly defined future outcome. If you are struggling to stay on track it will be helpful to examine where it is you are hoping to go, and in what ways EXACTLY life will be improved when you get there.

Successful people do not plan for failure, but they do plan for Very Special Circumstances.

My most successful clients are consistently maintaining a high confidence level. If they are going to a wedding or a big holiday is coming up they do not plan to fail.  I am not saying that they stay on their health plan 100% every day. Nobody does that! But, suppose their health program says “No Cake.” They may plan to have a piece of cake in a Very Special Circumstance.  Successful people plan when and how much they will deviate from their health program. Planning a deviation turns a slice of cake from a mess-up to an acceptable treat. What do many of us do after we “mess up?” We really beat ourselves up – and then that drives us to really go off the rails. So, don’t mess up, PLAN.

Successful People Don’t Make Excuses

Everyone makes mistakes; failures to plan ahead, poor choices, distractions from priorities.  However, successful people do not spend a lot of time justifying mistakes. Mistakes are learning experiences. Excuses do not change the outcome of a mistake, except to maybe make you feel better, which can make is easier to have the same misstep again.

Successful People’s Goals Are Woven Into Their Daily Routines

Routines, routines, routines. I would challenge any of us to identify a successful person who does not have strong routines surrounding their area of excellence.  The activities that support your healthy choices need must be on the schedule FIRST. A healthy routine cannot be made cramming your workout or trip to the grocery store in while you are scrambling to do other things. Is it daunting to imagine scheduling yourself to exercise or meditate or preparing healthy food? Try setting just one appointment for self-care this week. As you add healthy routines, track your progress. Just as it is essential to have a detailed vision of the future you desire, it is also essential to review progress as part of your routine.

Successful people are not afraid to fail

Simply put, you must be sometimes in the position to fail or you will never have the ability to succeed.  Fear of failure is the shortest route to not-even-gonna-try. One mental experiment you might try is the “What’s the worst possible outcome?” Sometimes the worst case possibility, unlikely as it is, isn’t even that scary.

We sometimes avoid striving to be better because we are afraid it will be “too hard.” There’s a choice between the difficulties of adopting the mindset of success, better habits and routines OR the difficulty of living with the things that you wish were better about yourself, which difficulty do you choose?

Whatever the path you are following, winding or straight, feel the joy in your journey, keep learning and always be kind to yourself!

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