my diet starts next week

Have you ever heard someone talk about next week's diet, while gleefully shoving another piece of cake down their neck?

It's one thing to choose a future dated starting point because you want to get your ducks in a row before you start. Maybe you're spending time this week:
  • Researching calorie counts of the foods you eat most often.
  • Researching ideas and building a menu of foods you should be eating, or re-calibrating portion sizes of foods you already eat.
  • Tracking your current eating habits, to be more aware of potential pitfalls.
  • Clearing your pantry of the worst offenders and shopping for better alternatives.
  • Taking the first step forward with a 1, 2, 3 workout program.

It's another thing entirely if you're treating your future diet like a death sentence, and you need to get as much "living" in while you can. This sets you up for failure before you even start:
  • The 3-5 pounds you're going to gain this week is just that much more weight you'll need to take off later.
  • By making a big deal out of each glorious dessert, you're strengthening your desire for "bad" foods, which will make it that much harder to put them down later.
  • You're treating the upcoming diet as a temporary diet, rather than a long-term modification of eating habits to a more healthy lifestyle.

Treating a diet like a diet - like die with an extra t on the end of it - is a mindset doomed for failure. If that's your gameplan, save yourself the complaining and just forget about it.

You'll be successful when you can embrace a new, healthier lifestyle - one that you're planning on keeping for the rest of your life. Think slow and steady, small changes, and an overall healthier and fitter you. And then get started - whether that's today or next week doesn't matter.

- Chris Butterworth

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