Break the cycle

If you always do what you always did you’ll always get what you always got.

Many Wise People!

It’s groundhog day. You shower, avoid the mirror, get dressed as quickly as you can so that no-one catches a glimpse, wearing the same clothes that make you feel terrible, that are either too small because ‘one day they’ll fit’ or too big so that they cover the ‘multitude of sins’. 

You diet, grab the food you thing you should have, not the food that you actually want to eat. You don’t eat certain food because it’s ‘bad for you’ and you eat something else because it’s ‘good for you’. You pack a lunch that people around will approve of, so that they don’t give you the look that says ‘that is why you look like that’ or so that they’ll praise you for your consistent efforts. But you don’t enjoy it, and you are certainly not satisfied. It’s ok though because this diet will work. Loads of people have said so!

You exercise, you step count so much that you’re jogging on the spot in the living room at 10pm just to get the recommended amount done. You break your back to get to the gym in the morning or to that spin class you detest, and once you’ve done doing the things that are oh so painful you still aren’t doing the things that would be fun. The swimming, the sunbathing in a bikini, the trip to the theme park and going on the rides, the games in the park with the kids. But it’s ok isn’t it, because you’ll look and feel fabulous for all of this and then one day will do those things. But you don’t…… and you’re not…… yet?

Deep down are you happy? Deep down are you enjoying life, or just putting that brave face on for the benefit of others? Are you hungry for something more exciting on your plate, or even just something that has some flavour. Do you want to just for once not give a damn what your Fitbit says and sit on your backside on the sofa? Don’t you want to be comfortable in those clothes of yours? Don’t you want to love yourself, or even just like yourself a little bit?

Stop, just stop. I know all of those feelings. I understand all of those actions you’re taking. I have felt that pain and anguish and despair that you feel. And that’s why I can tell you with hand on heart that now is the time to break the cycle.

There is a famous saying that goes something like this – ‘If you always do what you always did you’ll always get what you always got’.

How true those words are.

All that dieting doesn’t work. Temporarily you’ll lose a bit of weight but you will put it back on, and possibly more, when you stop. You never get to that ‘ideal weight’ target that you have set for yourself because that goal keeps shifting. ‘Just a little bit more’. Free yourself. What if you didn’t follow a diet plan? What if you ate the food that you love? What if you ate what your body was telling you it needed and wanted? Your body is amazing. You can trust it to do that with a little bit of work.

What if you don’t have a target weight to get to? What if you just learnt how to be happy with yourself in the wonderful shape and size that you are right now?

Coffee cup and book

Exercise is good for you, sure, but are you exercising because of the health benefits or for your weight to change? Are you enjoying it? Is it a chore? If you love the gym then by all means carry on. There’s lots of satisfaction and health benefits to be found there, but I know it’s not for everyone. Exercise shouldn’t be an activity that you are dreading before you’ve even begun. Choose movement. Go for walks on a sunny day along a river bank. Go for a bike ride to explore new places. Try some fun new classes if you’re happy in that setting. Have a look around YouTube for some short exercise videos that you can try. You never know what you might find a new love for.

Give your body a break and instead of criticising it how about you take a little bit of time each day to praise it for the wonderful things it does for you? How amazing is it that your legs carry you around wherever you need to go. How incredible is it that behind that bit of weight around your middle that you are so unhappy with a baby once grew. How insane is the amount of weight that those arms and hands can lift. And how wonderful is it to use those hands to touch another human, to hug, to hold hands. See, there are some reasons to love parts of your body, regardless of the shape or size of them. 

This takes time. You can’t instantly love every part of yourself, but wouldn’t it be nice to just start to not dislike it? A little bit of kindness to yourself each day and it will come.

Wear the clothes that make you feel good and to hell with everyone else’s opinions. If you want to wear skin tight and skimpy then you go for it. You want to wear loose and light and airy for a summer day then go for it. Whatever you wear make sure it fits, feels comfortable, and essentially that you genuinely like it. Time to get rid of the clothes that don’t serve you well.

You also may not be able to do all of these things at once. One at a time is fine. Whatever you do though, break the cycle. Make that change. Make yourself happy.

Have a day off. Have a week off. In fact, get rid of all of that pressure once and for all. Today is the start of something new, but this time something good! 

Please note:  This post is intended to be general information that applies to people who don’t have diagnosed medical conditions and are not pregnant, and any figures correct at the time of writing. As always, please see a registered professional before making changes to your diet⁠.