Consistency Versus Obsession



You're at a restaurant with your friend, and you watch them log everything they order into an app to make sure they don't go over their calorie goals.  As you watch, in your head you're thinking... COULDN'T BE ME!  If that's what it takes to be successful on a diet plan, count me OUT! The good news is, it doesn't have to be like that. Don't get me wrong, higher levels of competitive activities and sports call for that type of attention to detail for a period of time, but not long-term. This is mainly due to the fact that extreme diets and workout programs can have long lasting mental and physical effects on a person. So it is important to be able to recognize signs of obsession.

Obsession is an extreme preoccupation with a particular activity or behavior to the point where it interferes with other aspects of your life. When it comes to diet and exercise, obsession can manifest in several ways. Some people may become fixated on counting calories or tracking every detail of their workouts. Others may become obsessed with achieving a certain body type or weight, leading to unhealthy behaviors such as restrictive eating or excessive exercise. Obsessive behaviors can lead to stress, anxiety, and even physical harm. For example, over-exercising can lead to injuries, while restrictive eating can lead to nutrient deficiencies and other health problems.

On the other hand, consistency simply refers to one's ability to stick to a plan or routine over an extended period. When it comes to diet and exercise, this means committing to making better nutritional choices and engaging in some type physical activity regularly. The key is to maintain balance and perspective. Consistency involves making healthy choices most of the time while allowing for life to get in the way occasionally. 

Here are some tips to help you maintain consistency without becoming obsessed:

  1. Set realistic goals: You won't become a supermodel overnight. Don't let social media fool you. Work with a trainer or nutritionist that you trust to help you set reasonable goals.

  2. Develop a routine:  Evaluate at your schedule before you start anything, to make sure what you're doing is realistic for you. This will help ensure that you've chosen something that has potential to outlast the initial excitement of starting something new.

  3. Progress, not perfection: Don't think you'll go from complete chaos to military boot camp overnight with your habits. Remember that every time you make a better choice, you've taken another step closer to your goal. Take time to reflect on where you started, enjoy the small wins, and keep moving forward. 

  4. Listen to your body: Instead of completely cutting carbs, change the obvious first and gradually add more challenging tasks.  Cut fast food and processed sugar. Then, pay attention to how your body responds to different foods and continue to adjust your routine accordingly.

  5. Ignore Naysayers: There will always be people who think you are fine the way you are and that your goals are unreasonable.  Ignore them. Surround yourself with positive people that support you and ignore the rest.

The Takeaway:

When you follow extreme diets or workout routines, it can feel impossible to maintain probably because it is and it was never meant to be. BUT, when you choose to make better choices daily as opposed to taking your life from 0 to 100 overnight, you learn that slow and steady wins the race every single time. Enjoy the process.