How many of you have ever said, “I’m going to start my diet on Monday”? That was my typical go to. At some point during the week of my many diets, whether I messed up on a Friday or a Tuesday, frustrated and angry with myself, I said, “The heck with it!” and ate whatever I wanted. When you listen to your body tell you when it is hungry and full, you don’t need to set start days to eat healthy.
In the past, over and over again, I told myself I would start my diet on Monday. But wait! I always took it a step further and proceeded to eat until I felt sick and miserable through Monday morning. Of course dieters know it is proper protocol to eat as much as you can of whatever you want, or whatever you are not supposed to eat on your diet until your start day! And who made up the dieting rule that diets are supposed to start on Monday anyways?
Where in the world did illogical thoughts come in and say it is normal to eat until you feel sick? I don’t know about you, but I do not like feeling sick. Shame and inadequacy always breathed down my neck because I messed up on a diet or ate too much before starting a diet. Head games! Absolute unhealthy head games!
Every Meal is a New Opportunity for Success
If you overate at your last meal, you did not fail. It means you are still in the process of changing old behaviors. If this happens, please try to notice any external triggers that caused you to overeat. By recognizing those triggers, if they occur again, you can logically choose a healthier response to diffuse it.
Your goal is to improve your health, not live with the old excuses that hinder your peace of mind and keep you in bondage to dieting. You will know in your heart the difference between, oops! I made a mistake and ate too much, or I’m going to eat all of this because I want it! The first statement is part of the learning curve. The second comment describes someone still holding onto more food than their body needs.
As you manage your weight, and gradually incorporate more plant-based foods, please notice if you stop eating when you are comfortably full. Also, do you wait until you are hungry to eat? The great thing about following the principle to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are comfortably full is, if you ate a little more than you wanted to at your last meal, you don’t have to wait until Monday to start over again. You only have to allow your body to digest its current contents, then patiently wait until your stomach signals hunger again. When it does, that is your green light to give yourself permission to eat.
Please release yourself from the old thinking that hunger is bad and if I eat I will gain weight. Hunger is a good thing; it indicates that your metabolism is working. Hunger is the natural way your body was designed to communicate to you that it is time to eat. Your body needs food to survive and run efficiently.
Relying on your body’s natural signals instead of diet rules and regulations, removes the stress and condemnation that usually comes with dieting. This is a gentle re-learning process, not a rigid discipline.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2 NKJV)