Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of work you need to do to lose weight. “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time,” said Abraham Lincoln. And the best way to deal with losing weight is to do it just for today. Don’t look too far ahead, or you’ll get worried and anxious. Focus on the now, and focus on the next step: the kilogram you’ve decided to lose this month. Success is like a staircase: you climb it step by step, on step at a time. To make a house, you lay the first brick, then the second, the third, and so on.
Everything you do ads up: every little step, every tiny effort to change your eating and exercise habits. With time and practice, you will find it easier to eat a healthy diet. At first you may need a lot of willpower, but after a while your actions will become automatic. You will adopt good habits and you won’t need bucket loads of willpower. Patience is the key to lasting results, as you continue despite difficulties and setbacks. Discouragement may set in, but you don’t allow it to influence your decision. You go on in spite of it.
Accept that you will make mistakes: if you overeat from time to time, don’t see it as a failure. Mistakes are great learning opportunities, and how you deal with them makes the difference between giving up and persevering. People abandon their diet because they find it too “hard”. They want to do it by the book, or not at all. They don’t allow themselves any flexibility. This “all or nothing” attitude is detrimental, as you’ll end up punishing yourself and eating even more. “I broke my diet, so I might as well eat as much as possible today, and start afresh tomorrow.”
If you make mistakes today, there is no guarantee that you won’t make any tomorrow! You can’t follow your diet until you fail again and succumb to binging. This kind of thinking is harmful and counter-productive, because it won’t lead you anywhere. It’s also depressing. To fail over and over is not motivating. Erase the concept of failure from your mind once and for all. There is no such thing!
You’re on a journey, and losing weight is a process. It takes time to change and to make adjustments. It’s all about learning, and you can never fail if you look at it this way. You may have eaten too much or indulged in calorie-laden food on one occasion, but your next meal can be a healthy one. Look at the big picture and at your overall progress, rather than concentrating on isolated events and actions. Motivation is not always steady: strong one day and weak, almost inexistent the next. Accept that you can’t be perfect and you won’t be so hard on yourself!
This book is not a “diet” in the traditional sense. You don’t have to stick to it religiously. There are no commands, just suggestions to help you improve your wellbeing and body shape. It’s about freedom, choice and responsibility. It’s not just about the food you consume and how many kilograms show up on the scales. The transformation you’ll experience is internal: in your mind as well as your body. It is long-lasting because it’s a change of attitude towards food and yourself. You don’t have to feel guilty any more. Instead of beating up on yourself, you accept yourself and forgive yourself. You use your mistakes to expand your knowledge and experience. This is how you get to know yourself better.