The most common words you will hear from somebody who’s trying to lose weight are “Starting tomorrow, I will go on a diet”.
The second most common? “Starting Monday, I will go on a diet / I will give up sweets, chips and pasta / I will go to the gym / …”.
The thing is, your body doesn’t care what day it is. It won’t suddenly stop craving sugar. It won’t suddenly become a lean, mean, fat burning machine, or whatever the latest fad in the diet industry is at the moment. Your body doesn’t care.
So what does you body care about? Well, it does care what you are doing right now. You eat a doughnut, your body starts imediatelly digesting it and gets a sugar high, then an insulin spike. You eat an apple, the sugar high is lower, the insuline spike less spiky, and you get some nice vitamins out of it. You eat some brocolli, there’s almost no spike and there are some pretty nifty vitamins as well. You eat some lean meat or some beans, the body gets the building blocks for muscles and some other vitamins that it could not get anywhere else. You get the point. Although we might think in terms of days and weeks and abstract things like hours, our bodies don’t really do the same thing.
So, rather than using our future diets as an excuse for having that extra piece of cake, why don’t we evaluate what we are doing right now? If you want that extra piece of cake, have it. No strings attached. No extra reps of sit-ups that will somehow magically offset the sugar and fat damage that you are doing to your body right now. No excuses. You want the piece of cake and you accept that you are harming your body now but the taste or texture or whatever is worth it. And if you make the decision based on right now rather than that mythical Monday diet, you might find out that often you’re really not that hungry. If you think both about the pleasure and the consequences that happen right now, the cake seldom seems to be worth it.
The thing is, we’re very good at tricking ourselves. We might think that whatever we’re going to do on Monday will undo the damage that we’re doing today, but there are 2 issues with that thinking. One, what you do today often impacts what you are able to do next Monday. If your body is addicted to sugar, it will continue to crave it on Monday. If you don’t excercise today, your body will get weaker and it will be less likely that you will be able to exercise on Monday. And two, by the time you get to actually pay for your “sins” on Monday, you are far away and removed from them and you feel less guilt, so you might decide, eh, I don’t really need to start today, I’m actually ok the way I am. We’re quite good at tricking ourselves right?
Now, I’m not saying that we should be feeling guilt for what we are eating. Guilt is a destructive emotion, at least in my experience. I have not guilted myselft thin in the last 16 years, though God knows I’ve tried. So rather that feel guilt, accept your decisions and strive to make better ones, now, today, right in this moment, rather than in some nebulous future Monday.
“You pays your money, and you takes your choice.” as the saying goes.