Have you ever tried a diet, expected it to work, believed in it, committed to it, only to find out it doesn’t work?
It’s a huge disappointment, that will no doubt leading to even worse results than what you had before the diet.
Since starting this new weight loss plan, I can’t tell you the number of people who have offered me advice on how best to lose weight.
I need to eat more vegetables. I need to eat only vegetables.
I need to drink at least 3L of water per day. I need to drink at least 6L of water per day, including two cups of water before every meal.
I need to have 6 very small meals daily. I need to have only 2 meals, but they can be regular portions.
I need to exercise every day. I need to exercise every other day. I don’t need to exercise at all as long as I ingest a spoonful of turmeric daily.
Everyone has something to say. Everyone has ‘the best weight loss method’ to offer.
Try Weight Watchers. Try the keto diet. Try intermittent fasting. Try the low carb diet. Try the cookie diet.
*Side note, the cookie diet is a real thing. Eat cookies; lose weight. Look it up. They sell it in Costco.
These are just the new fad ways to lose weight. I’m not saying they don’t work; I haven’t tried any of them personally, so I simply wouldn’t know.
If you Google how to lose weight, you’ll see a number of methods that are ‘tried and true.’
Making a Change is Not a Quick Fix
Does anyone remember the cabbage soup diet?
When I was a teenager, my mother went through this one. I don’t remember the details but it was basically cabbage soup for every meal.
If I remember correctly, she did lose the weight she wanted to lose, but it wasn’t sustainable.
That’s the thing about all these diets. Unless you commit to doing it for the rest of your life, you won’t be able to maintain the weight loss.
It’s just not sustainable. It’s not even practical.
Seriously, can you imagine eating cookies for the rest of your life? Okay, well maybe you could, but I couldn’t.
Eventually, you get sick of whatever it is that is on your plate, and you need a change. The key here is not falling back into old habits.
That’s the hard part. That’s the part that the majority of people struggle with.
If you don’t commit to doing this diet, whatever it might be, completely and properly the way it was designed, you either won’t lose the weight, or you’ll lose it but gain it back as soon as the ‘diet’ is done.
We all know that a diet is not meant to be a fad, or a quick fix. We know it’s meant to be lifestyle change.
But what happens when you get sick of eating whatever it is that is helping you lose the weight?
You revert back.
A few years ago, I went on a diet that involved calorie counting. That’s all it was.
No exercise plan. No actual food plan. Just count all the calories that go in, and don’t go higher than this number. For more information, use the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app.
I lost 30lbs in less than three months. Then I stopped counting calories, but I had a good sense of what I could eat and what I couldn’t eat.
After that, I successfully maintained this new weight, watching it fluctuate by only 3-5lbs from time to time. Nothing I really concerned myself with.
I maintained this weight for nearly two years.
Then I suffered something traumatic. I nearly died.
PTSD and Mental Health
I was 24 hours from death before a doctor, after two other doctors couldn’t, found the issue and put me on the correct treatment plan.
I spent a week in the hospital, and another two weeks at home recovering before I was able to go back to work.
Within three months from that incident, I gained back all the weight I had lost and then some. It wasn’t the food I was eating.
In fact, it took a long time before I had the energy to eat a healthy portion of whatever.
I tried all sorts of things, including seeing a doctor to make sure nothing else was wrong with me. I wasn’t allowed to exercise right away, but when I was given the ok to work out, I worked hard.
Still no results.
After well over a year, I went to the doctor again, only to learn that I’m suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I had no idea that I suffered from PTSD, or the effects that it could have on my body.
The end result is that I had to get help for a problem I didn’t even know I had, in order to move forward with any weight loss method.
Because your mental health matters.
It’s all connected. It all relates.
If you’re not taking care of your mental health, your physical body will suffer. If you’re not taking care of your physical health, your mental state will begin to perish too.
All those diets that aren’t sustainable unless you make a lifetime commitment? We can say the same about mental health.
You need to make a lifetime commitment to taking care of your mental health in order to have any lasting impression.
There are going to be days when you want to quit. There are going to be days when you’re not getting the results you want.
Don’t give up. Push forward. Keep seeking help.
Don’t be afraid to change it up. Just like if one diet isn’t working right now, and you might change to another one, the same goes for mental health cures.
Allow yourself to take a break from one method, if it means that you’re going to try another.
What works for some people might not work for you, and that’s ok.
There are hundreds of ways to lose weight, and there are hundreds of ways to cope with mental illness.
You need to first acknowledge that it’s a problem, and then work towards solving the problem, and maintaining the lifestyle.
Don’t be afraid to change up your methods, but don’t give up. As soon as you stop trying, you will revert back.
Let’s make it a goal to do this together. To stay strong. To push forward.
We can do this.