I’m a slow learner.
For some reason, I frequently make the same mistakes twice.
Ok, that’s a lie. It’s often way more than twice.
I think part of it is stubbornness.
And part of it is a lack of awareness or avoidance of looking in the mirror and getting real with myself.
I made the same dieting mistakes for 10 years.
That’s a long time to have your head in the sand.
I made the same financial mistakes for a long time too.
Even Mel will tell you that I make the same mistakes when we argue.
It takes me a while to recognize destructive patterns and fix them.
And I don’t think I’m alone.
Because I have a bird’s eye view of a lot of common mistakes, specifically related to dieting, that many people make.
Some lessons are hard to learn.
So, here’s my top 5 list of dieting mistakes that should be corrected ASAP.
Fix these and you’ll save yourself a world of frustration and hardship.
In no particular order …
1. Thinking that eating less and moving more will get you to your goals.
This should be an extremely short term intervention. Yet, most dieters treat this as a way of life. And then wonder why they end up with a shitty metabolism and a cacophony of hormonal issues.
The solution: Eat to support your metabolism, lifestyle, and proper recovery like 90% of the time (or more).
2. Participating in “name” diets.
If your diet has a label … it’s probably not the right diet for you. Even if you feel better eating a certain way (like keto, paleo, carnivore, or whatever) … you’ll still need to make adjustments that suit your individual needs.
It makes zero logical sense that human beings can all be placed into a dietary box with a fixed set of rules. And don’t get me started on MLM type programs like Optavia.
The solution: Take the time to understand what makes YOU feel your best. Learn the types of foods that support your goals and stop blindly following someone else’s rules.
3. Avoiding the behavior / habit changes.
This is the classic mindset of … “I’m going to do this diet, then get back to ‘normal.” By definition, that means you’re going back to the place that you wanted to change.
Stop treating this like a transactional exchange. If I suck it up and do this thing … then I’ll get this result and live happily ever after. Except you won’t … unless you truly address the behavior and habit changes that need to occur.
I know it’s boring but if you don’t adjust your default operating system … you’ll always fall back into the patterns and behaviors that left you feeling frustrated and defeated.
Real change is hard, which is why most people avoid this work. But if you want sustainability … it’s the only way.
The solution: View this as a lifelong endeavor. Picture the person you want to become and think about how that person lives his/her life. Then, start casting votes in the direction of becoming that person through your daily actions. It doesn’t need to be a unanimous decision. Simply the majority.
4. Unwillingness to make sacrifices.
Change comes with inherent loss. You are literally giving up things that no longer serve you. You are killing off the current version of you and evolving. Like a lobster who outgrows its shell. There’s an intense feeling of pressure and pain before the lobster discards the current shell that no longer fits.
You are sacrificing a lot in the process of growth and change. It might require losing people who don’t support the new version of you. It might require losing parts of you that are holding you back. It might require giving up things you’ve done your whole life.
And, with that discomfort comes resistance. You will feel a noticeable pull back to comfort. You’ll fall back into old ways of thinking. Your brain will try to protect you by keeping you in the known and predictable.
The solution: You must have absolute clarity on what you truly want and why it’s so important to you. Without that clarity, you’ll easily succumb to comfort. When you know exactly what you want and why … you’ll embrace the discomfort and uncertainty that comes with it.
5. Doing it on your own.
This one is my favorite because we are so irrational and stubborn when it comes to getting help and support. Arguably the most important things we have … our health and our time … and yet we are so coy with how we treat those things.
If your child was struggling with speech, you’d get them a speech therapist. If your partner needed help with emotional processing, you’d recommend a psychologist. If your family member wanted to learn an instrument, you’d tell them to take lessons.
Yet, when it comes to your health, your body, your relationship with food … you think there’s some reward for doing it alone. Or, you try to justify the decision by convincing yourself that your time and money is better spent elsewhere.
In the end, you waste more time and money than you would by simply getting the help and support you need. An investment in yourself has the greatest ROI.
The solution: Stop pretending like you’re “saving” by not investing. You’re simply allocating those resources elsewhere. You’re making a clear declaration that you are not as important as where that money is going. That you are not a priority. Take a minute to assess how much time, money, and frustration it’s already cost you by not investing and committing to yourself. And then decide how you’ll feel if that goes on for another 6 months or 6 years.
The time to learn from your mistakes is NOW!
Well, there ya have it.
All mistakes that I’ve been guilty of making … many times over.
Don’t take 10 years to learn from them like me.
You’re smarter than I am.