Sunday, December 20, 2009

The "Tomorrow" Diet

Confession time. Who is familiar with the “Tomorrow” Diet? Common variations include the “On Monday” Diet, the “After this next holiday/graduation/birthday party” Diet, and the ever popular “New Year’s Resolution”Diet.

You know, the diet that will start tomorrow—or whenever? Sometimes, tomorrow even comes. More often than not, it doesn’t. Or it comes and slips away, to be rescheduled for another day.

There are some benefits to diet planning. In 2003, The Hubster and I started South Beach on a whim. I’d bought the book and started reading it and decided we absolutely had to start right that very second. I went home and made the announcement and we started the diet that evening…without the proper groceries, money to buy them, or any clue about what we were doing. We made it work, but it would have been much easier if we’d been better prepared.

Diet planning also has its downfalls. Anyone here ever had a “Last Supper?” The last meal you’ll eat before starting the diet that will change your life forever? Nothing like a big, greasy pizza with a side of bacon, a couple of tacos, some cheesecake, and an ice cream sundae to make sure you get it all in before those foods become taboo.

But food doesn’t have to become taboo. You don’t have to say “no” to pizza forever. You may have to say “no” to eight pieces of pizza in one sitting, but you can still eat pizza. (I use pizza as an example because it’s my favorite food. When we were on South Beach, it became a BAD word in my house and it was the first thing I ate when we fell dove off the wagon.)

Diets are bad. Diets mean deprivation. Diets consist of temporary changes made to drop a few pounds. But what happens when we slip back into our old habits? The pounds come back.

Instead of dieting, make changes you can live with permanently. A friend of mine tried a weight loss plan years ago that had her eating foods she didn’t like. I remember watching in awe as she ate a few tomato slices because “they were on [her] meal plan.” Seriously? This girl would wash the sauce off frozen ravioli meals, that’s how much she didn’t like tomatoes, but here she was eating them because some DIET told her she had to? How can that last?

Take me and South Beach as another example. It was a great plan. I lost a lot of weight on it, too. But I love fruit and didn’t like limiting it. I love bread. I love potatoes. I love PIZZA. I didn’t love a plan that told me I couldn’t eat those things. I never lasted more than six months on the plan and I always gained the weight back as soon as I started eating whatever I wanted again.

This time has been different. What started out as a diet for me, has become a way of living. And while I’ve progressed in leaps in bounds, I falter from time to time, too. Leader Pam gave me some great advice today. She told me to eat for nourishment. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Our bodies need food for fuel…not entertainment.

So make some changes. Drink more water. Eat fruits and veggies. Be more active. Today. Right now. Why wait until tomorrow to start a better way of life?


Charlotte said...

Love this!! I'm such a victim of the last meal mentality (I'm never going to eat chocolate again! Better finish off all this fudge then!!). So glad you have figured out how to balance fun with health:)

Fat American Girl said...

I just started a new way of approaching food, and I planned for it, set a start date, etc. I was afraid that the anxiety caused by not planning ahead, not steeling myself, not making a meal plan, would make me give up all together. So far, it's working, but then could say I've been doing some incarnation of the tomorrow diet for about 20 years...really hoping it'll stick this time.