The Difference Between This and Dieting

I’ve mentioned this before, but I realize not everyone has read every post on this blog, nor do those of you who have necessarily remember every pearl of wisdom and turn of phrase I write here.  I understand that to readers who aren’t working through a similar process (or haven’t in the past, or aren’t close to someone who has or is), it’s hard to distinguish between being “on a diet” and making permanent changes to the way one (me) approaches food and drink.

In an effort to be both clear about what I’m working on and to keep this blog relevant to readers who aren’t working on similar changes of their own, I’ve come up with a couple of examples that might be helpful:

The difference between what I’m doing and going on a diet is the difference between giving up smoking and just quitting until the cough clears up.

The difference between what I’m doing and going on a diet is the difference between giving up drinking and sobering up for a big meeting.

Going on a diet is fine if you’re trying to lose a few pounds for the reunion.  I’m not.  I’m changing my relationship to food and drink.  If I were on a diet … and I’ve been on plenty … I’d have a goal – like I do now – but I’d know that as soon as I reached that goal I could back off and relax.  Go get a cake from Publix and celebrate.  Open up a bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles and wash it down with a convenience store drum of Coca-Cola.  Sure, that wouldn’t be ideal, but that’s what going on a diet is.  It’s a climb up the mountain knowing the downhill trip is, well, downhill.

That’s why I’m not on a diet.  There’s no “yippee, I made it!” party at the end.  Yes, I’ll be mighty happy when I get to 207 next year, but that’s not the end.  I’m not going back to soda, to white bread, to sweet tea, to any of that stuff.  I won’t tell you I’ll never have a slice of birthday cake again – that would be ridiculous.  I want to get to a point where I can do that occasionally.  I want to be able to eat “just one” without it driving me crazy.  And if I can’t get to that point, then yes, I’ll stay away from that stuff entirely.

This is a lifetime lifestyle change.  The part where I lose the weight, that’s just the short-term, getting-started phase.  That’s why it’s not a diet.  I hope this helps me explain it a bit better.  I’m not going to harp on this anymore but I felt it needed to be written.

In other news, I’ve learned that at least one person I work with reads this blog.  Which turns up the accountability heat.  There’s nowhere to hide.  Which was kinda the point in starting this blog.  Thank you, readers!

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