What really motivates you toward your weight loss goal? I know we all have certain concerns like an upcoming wedding, reunion, or to improve health. Those are motives that move us toward the goal of weight loss, but what motivates us day to day?
It's hard to get immediate feedback when we're dieting. We can eat perfectly on our diets, but it will take a lot of those days strung together to see progress. We know it's not healthy to be overweight, but the consequences seem so far away that it's hard to maintain our efforts. It's kind of like smoking. I think more people would quit if they believed they would have a serious health problem right away. I think doctors will say that we really do have immediate gains from quitting, but they are microscopic at first. I don't like having diabetes, but one thing I do like is testing for glucose. I get to see how I'm doing right away, and I can adjust my diet and activity if I need to bring it down. If you were on Atkins for any length of time, you might have used test strips to check for ketosis. So long as your test turned purple, your diet was working. Some doctors, however, say it's dangerous to be in ketosis! I don't know about you, but I wish I knew who to trust. People put Dr. Atkins down for years, and after he died, medical science changed the thinking on eating carbohydrates and encouraged us to eat less starchy food. I wasn't necessarily an Atkins fan, but I did feel sorry that he was never vindicated when he was alive.
Now they're saying that we harm ourselves when we drink diet drinks, even that drinking a sugared drink instead would be better. I've never been a diet drink fan until they came out with Coke Zero. Sometimes I think we drink sugar-free drinks to compensate for high calorie, high sodium foods. My husband has been drinking Diet DP for years, and it never contributed anything to weight loss. Again, we can't see the immediate benefits of not drinking diet drinks, so we put off quitting for another day. I've heard that many health problems are tied to artificial sweeteners, like headaches, muscle aches, etc. If I thought I could lower my pain by staying away from the blue, pink, and yellow packets, I would try it. I may just do that.
The trick is to look for subtle signs of difference. Assess how you feel. Change something that you can see, like coloring your hair, dressing differently, wear bright colors, etc. A lot of weight loss folks say not to weigh daily. I do better when I do weigh. It keeps me on my toes, and I know to allow for fluctuations during the week. My favorite example is to think about a young boy going down an escalator while he is yo-yoing. He still goes down, but the yo-yo still goes up and down on the trip.
So what motivates you in your day to day dieting?