#3 — Stop calling it a diet.
“Stretch your mind and you will reach beyond your current reality.” ― TemitOpe Ibrahim
EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: Any advice or recommendation given in my writing is what works for ME and may not be the best regimen for you based on your psychological or physiological makeup and stability. Please consult a doctor when making decisions about your health.
Why does it seem that other people have no trouble eating salads every day and turn down fast food with no issue, but, for you, it seems it would take willpower the strength of the gods to do such a thing?
You have tried to stay committed to your diet time and time again, but it just never seems to work, as something always happens that seems to make it impossible to stay on the wagon.
Every time you commit and tell yourself that nothing will happen that will stop you from creating the type of body you desire and getting into the type of shape you want, something comes along that makes you think the universe is just conspiring against you.
The problem is that you must have a complete mind shift change if you want to give yourself the best chance of being successful and must almost completely change the way you approach the diet. The way you think about that very word itself could be part of the problem.
Here are three philosophical tips that should change your thinking on what and how you eat that can make all the difference.
1. Make it life or death…because it really is
This first tip may seem harsh, but it’s extremely helpful and makes sense if you really think about it.
I’m sure many of us have heard the quote by Naval Ravikant, “A healthy man wants a thousand things, a sick man only wants one.”
Many of us have read this quote and it makes so much sense, as we shake our heads and think about how important it is to take care of ourselves to ensure that, as we age, we have a decent quality of life and are not a burden on our loved ones.
However, how many of us truly stop to think are we doing the things we should do every day to ensure that?
We think about the future, but unless it is right there in our faces, we just assume we have more time and that we don’t have to be so serious about it right now.
And while the reality is that perhaps that is the case, what if you approached your diet as if your doctor told you that if you didn’t change it, your death was inevitable?
This is what happens to many cancer patients who, when they are told that they have to stop smoking or risk death, have a 90% quit rate.
While it is still rather unbelievable that 10% of cancer patients still smoke even after being diagnosed, the reality is that anything that has a 90% success rate to help people quit something as addictive as nicotine (evidenced by the 10% who still can’t stop even though it means IMMEDIATE shortening of their lives), there has to be something to it.
Think about it.
These people clearly are pretty hardcore smokers if they are now in the place in which death is a reality in their immediate future. They are probably not your average occasional smoker who can take it or leave it.
Yes, these are probably the 20% of the smokers who smoke 80% of the cigarettes in the world, and yet 90% of them are still able to quit when told that they have to.
Therefore, what if you mentally told yourself that this diet means life or death for you, and if you didn’t stick with it, then it would mean your eventual death?
While this is a bit melodramatic, it is ultimately true when you think about it, and if you stay focused on telling yourself this daily, you have a much better chance of passing on that cheeseburger and fries and choosing the salad instead.
2. Never…EVER…listen to your Emotional Logic
This is a big one because if you will really read this in detail and think about it hard enough, this one trick in itself can help you achieve almost anything in life.
Most of us understand what we SHOULD be doing.
Most people are smart enough to know the right things to do. The difference between those who are successful in life and those who never end up achieving the goals which they desire is that those who are successful don’t self-negotiate themselves out of sticking to their original plan.
I created this concept after listening to one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived, Kobe Bryant, discuss how he was able to achieve all that he did in life.
As I shared in a previous article, there are these things called MOD’s (Moments of Discomfort) that we will all experience in our lives from time to time and how we respond to those MOD’s will be everything in regards to the overall trajectory of where our lives will take us.
Make the right decision within the MOD, and the next one will be a bit easier to overcome. Make the wrong decision and the next one can be just as difficult if not more difficult to overcome.
When these moments come, the mindset you need to have within yourself is one of refusal to negotiate and talk yourself out of going through with what you committed.
Often when we are most highly motivated, we are thinking the clearest as it relates to what it will take to be successful in life. This is why right after a motivational workshop or speaker of some type, we are gung-ho on all of our goals and write down a number of different things that we will do to be successful.
The commitments and ideas that we write down following such sessions are often EXACTLY what we need to do to experience the level of success that we desire.
Whether it’s waking up every day at 5 am to exercise, stopping drinking altogether to be more focused, or getting out of that toxic relationship that you know is only holding you back, it is usually at this time that we are the clearest about what we need to do to truly create the life of our dreams.
What occurs is that shortly after this, life happens and a Moment of Discomfort (MOD) appears that makes it a bit challenging for us to do what we committed to doing.
That alarm goes off, and your body is screaming for you to stay in bed.
You have decided that you are not going to drink for 90 days to see what happens, but you’ve already got three texts asking you to come out on a Friday night to happy hour.
You’ve told that toxic person that you no longer want them in your life, but they keep calling and texting and now you’re lonely on a Saturday night.
When this happens, you’ll find yourself trying to convince yourself why it will be “okay” not to follow through with all of your commitments.
You’ll try to convince yourself that you don’t have to wake up EVERY day or you don’t have to cut people COMPLETELY out of your life.
You can just give yourself this break this ONE time. You’ll be okay to jump back on top of your commitment tomorrow.
When this happens, you have to deny it and say NOPE and stop listening to yourself. As shared in this article, you have to close your ears to any negotiations that take you away from following through on the commitment you made.
By refusing to even consider any discussion of you not staying committed to what you’ve already decided, you make it much easier for you to be successful at any endeavor for which you embark, as you will eliminate 99% of the reasons that you would not be successful in the long run.
Refuse to listen to your Lesser-self trying to convince your Greater-self to be less than, and you’ll surely be great in the future.
3. Don’t think of it as a diet but a lifestyle change
This is the last and probably the most important tip to help you be successful.
When you’re thinking about making a change to the way you eat to create a healthier version of yourself, you should NOT refer to it as a diet.
One definition of diet is “the kind of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats” so it does relate exactly to the item to which you’re changing. However, the other definition of diet, “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons,” should not be considered in relation to this because this somewhat implies a finite time period as it relates to this.
Instead of thinking of your changes as a “diet,” you should refer to it as a lifestyle change in which the way you eat and live going forward isn’t something you’re only going to do for a certain amount of time.
This should instead be something that you are committing to sticking with for the rest of your life.
The change in what and how you eat shouldn’t be something that you’re doing as much as it should be someone that you’re becoming.
You have to think long-term that the way you eat today will be the way you will eat for the rest of your life to create a sustainable healthy lifestyle. It can’t be something that you are only going to do for 90 days or six months because as soon as you lose the weight and go back to eating the way you did before, you’ll gain all of it back.
To try to only put a finite time on it often causes people to make it too restrictive for long-term sustainability and ends up sabotaging the entire attempt to live a healthier life.
And while there’s no guarantee that all of these will work, there’s a good chance that at least one of these could be exactly what you’ve been missing to stop trying to make a diet “work” and instead make a new lifestyle change begin.