Saturday, January 17, 2015

A diet starts on Monday, but a new life starts the moment it’s ready.

I’ve been around the diet block a long time, and I’ve noticed something alarming.

Why does a diet always start on Monday? Or at the New Year? Or next week? Or after the holidays? It’s like there’s something engrained within us that restricts us from starting at 2:27 p.m. on a Wednesday.

Let me pause and talk about child birth for a moment. Even if you’ve never been pregnant, I’m certain that you have known someone who has been. If not, then I’m sure you watch TV, movies, or read. The point is, you should be able to agree that a baby doesn’t wait for a Monday, or the New Year, or the first of the month, or after the holidays. The baby doesn’t care what plans you may or may not have. Labor begins when it begins.

Some babies come close to when they’re expected, or a little late. When this happens, the parents are usually well prepared. The nursery is painted and all decked out in cotton candy colors. The house has been cleaned and organized, and cleaned and organized again. And possibly even cleaned and organized a third time. (It’s called nesting, and it’s real.) The hospital bags have been packed. When the baby actually arrives, the foundation is solidly in place. Even first time parents are able to start off strong on their own—even if they need to use their ‘phone a friend’ card a few times. There might even be some frantic calls to the doctor, but they are able to navigate their way through the unknown territory.

However some babies come early. When this happens, not only are the parents unprepared, but there could be complications for the baby. The baby might have to fight to grow.  The baby will need a lot of support. An extended hospital stay might be required. The baby might not hit milestones at the same rate as other babies born at the same time who were not pre-mature.

So what’s all this baby stuff got to do with dieting? Nothing.

That’s because dieting was probably the stupidest thing ever invented.

For one, diets don’t last. I can give you countless examples of people who have lost weight on a diet and then gained everything back. Why? Not because that person is a failure, but because diets are stupid.

Second, a diet can make a person feel horrible about themselves. Sure, once they start losing weight they feel good. But it’s not easy getting there. There’s the comments and policing from others—for example a dieter often hears, “Should you be eating that on your diet?” There’s also the disappointment you feel when you ‘fall off the wagon’ or gain everything back once you reach your goal.

A diet is not meant to be sustainable, but a new life is.

If you are one of the many, many people out there who have made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, then I encourage you to look at it with the right frame of mind.

You are starting a new life, and you need to give it the attention it needs.

It’s possible you’ve been working toward this for a while and you’re well prepared. You’re that new parent with all the books and articles and a schedule to boot. If you’re in this camp, just remember that you can’t become complacent. A new life is constantly evolving and maturing and requires different levels of nurturing and support throughout its life cycle. Don’t allow your new life to go into cardiac arrest—keep taking the pulse and adjust as necessary.

However, if you induced labor at the start of the New Year, then it’s possible your new life is like that baby born too early. Maybe you’ve wanted to get healthy for a long time but haven’t felt ready, yet you were pushed into starting something because it’s the New Year. If this is you, then your new life will need lots of support and attention to make it grow strong. It will take extra effort, and you might need to lean on others for help.

I induced labor on my new life back on September 13, 2014. In many ways I was ready, but in many others I was not. Luckily, I found the right environment at FXB to let my new life thrive.

I hope you find what works for you, so you can enjoy a sustaining and amazing new life.

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