Adventures in Weight Loss!

Resisting temptation in the dessert.


S – 980 kcal consumed, 0 miles walked, 200 kcal exercised:  20 pts

S – 960 kcal consumed, 0 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 0 pts

M – 975 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 100 kcal exercised: 30 pts

T – 990 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 100 kcal exercised: 30 pts

W – 1200 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 0 pts

T – 1100 kcal consumed, 2 miles walked, 0 kcal exercised: 10 pts

Last week’s weight: 103.3 kg

This week’s weight: 102.9 kg

Weight difference: -0.4 kg (25 pts)

Total ponts: 115

Resisting temptation in the dessert.

Temptation. If you’re on a diet, and you’re talking to other people about said diet, you will probably hear this word a lot. “How are you dealing with the temptation?” “I could never get over the temptation.” “Can’t I tempt you with this massively tasty donut?”

People seem to be obsessed by temptation and its relation to dieting. While the concept does grate, after a while, there is an undeniable skin of it throttling the core of good intentions in every diet. Temptation can come to us in a number of guises; the form that most people refer to is the innate craving for flavour and filling that probably led the dietee into trouble in the first place; this is perfectly natural, and is fairly easy to overcome through discipline. Some people even try to test themselves, by buying food that they like and forcing themselves not to consume it; this has less to do with the diet and more to do with testing one’s resolve, which is an unnecessary complication in the effort to lose weight.

The form of temptation that I usually succumb to (and, if you look at the figures above, you’ll see that I have done so courtesy of one particularly irksome email and aided by a delicious loaf of bread) is comfort-eating due to depression and anxiety. The problem with comfort eating is that it’s a learned response, often impressed on the person by themselves through years of experience. The cycle is simple, but powerful, and can often feed itself (haha! puns): The person is affected by an outside source that saps their self-esteem, which makes them feel low. They withdraw into their shells and look to cheering themselves up; often, they will suspend their diet with the rationalisation that their happiness is more important than their diet – a true statement, of course, but one that must be attended to with a view to balancing the two. The person feels good for a while, but doubt and guilt begins to creep into their mind again as they feel that they have failed in their diet, and so they look for something to cheer themselves up…

As with any destructive behaviour, the key is to change the way in which you think. For many years, I myself would fall prey to extremely low moods, self-harm, and massive amounts of comfort-eating (I swear, it’s not as bad as it sounds, but the prettier you phrase it the less truthful you make it). That changed when I went into therapy, and learned a bit about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. The lessons I learned from those sessions in modifying the way I thought about things have proven incredibly useful in my efforts to lose weight. Case in point, the blog itself and sublimating the feeling of reward I get to be attached to the benefits of losing weight, is one way of changing the way I feel about dieting. Because I view the effort as being beneficial not just to me, but also entertaining and encouraging to others, any hassle, discomfort or annoyance I pick up as a result of the diet can be mitigated by the enthusiasm I have for the greater benefits and social/literary implications.

So, although I still suffer from little slips after a hard day, there are a number of things that are different for me that I’ve found really help:

-          It’s not the end of the world! Because I have the option to do more exercise to compensate, or even just the fact that although it didn’t hit my target but still allows weight loss to occur, I don’t feel as guilty for not QUITE making it. Therefore, it doesn’t spiral downward and instead becomes a blip to keep an eye on.

-          Rather than feel discouraged when I fail to meet a target, by changing my attitude towards dieting I now feel excited when I do, which gives me motivation to work towards my targets and goals, instead of trying desperately to escape ineffectively the negative repercussions.

-          Because I have an audience to deliver results to, I generally think twice before eating anything. Similar to the external influence that pushes down on the depressive person and makes them nervous, this influence really helps to provide external expectations of quality and achievement – perfect for somebody who frequently lowers their own expectations as their own self-confidence plummets.

Anyway, I hope that this article gets you thinking about your own approach to weight loss! What about your own experiences with keeping up the faith while sticking to a diet? I’d love to hear about it!


Comments are closed.