Have you ever noticed how Mondays are big confession days? “The conversations run something like this:
“OMG!… I ate wayyyyyy too much this weekend!
For the rest of this week I need to eat zero fat,
dry salads and egg whites to repair the damage”
Then Friday hits aaaannnnd the same weekend over indulgence happens again. It is not a coincidence that on Social Media, that every Monday is Motivation Monday.
This pattern does not improve anyone’s body. Studies show it actually sets the body up for preferential fat storage.
So why is this behavior so mainstream?
The reason for this is simple and it is not what you imagine. We have all been taught that we need be consistent to see results. So when consistency fails. We think we are a failure.
We are not a failure. We simply haven’t aligned our diet with our lifestyle.
“Trying to fit a restrictive diet into a reasonable life is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole.”
I lived a restrictive lifestyle with restrictive diet for years. My diet and lifestyle were aligned, but I was always annoyed. When we ate out, I only ordered plain shrimp cocktail, maybe raw oysters, no sauce, salad without dressing and no alcohol. My physique reflected that in being super lean, conditioned and cut (excessively toned), yet I was crabby all the time. At parties I drank sparkling water only.
Then there were the cheat meals.
Because I figured I would not ‘get to eat that food’ until the next cheat meal, I ate like I was going to the electric chair. Usually that resulted in a stomach ache.
I finally hit a tipping point, and decided to relearn how to trust myself to eat moderately. My goal was to get my physique goal and life style goal on the same page. But this time I wanted a fun, wine drinking lifestyle. This required me to relax my standard of leanness. I am strong, lean enough for my taste, and I enjoy dinners out with wine regularly.
This has been a transition, and likely there will always be a learning curve. But, it is way more satisfying, and more in-sync with my preferred lifestyle.
A restrictive diet and a restrictive life are impossible to sustain long term, mainly because who wants to? We can only keep that up for so long, because to be honest there is no satisfaction.
And to be even more honest, restriction for me led to unreasonable overindulgences. I made those Monday morning confessions too. (Not always publicly)
Food is social, food is a source of pleasure. Humans are designed that way, and this is why the restaurant industry exists!
Consistency becomes easy when your nutrition and lifestyle are in sync. Your physique will always reflect your lifestyle.
Great. But how do we get to that point?
Begin by examining your lifestyle, and accepting the physique that matches it. Make reasonable modifications on both sides to get them to match. This shift in perspective will naturally lead to consistency. You will not exhaust all of your efforts to be compliant. And you will not have those painful cheat meals.
Here is the treat I ate while writing this blog:
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Cheers and Mangia!
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