Happy holidays! And welcome to the last big blow-out week before you start “THE DIET” right after New Year’s. By this point in the holiday celebrations, most of us have a house that’s fully loaded with chocolates, tamales, gifted tins of cookies, candy canes, and eggnog. It’s traditionally a time to clear the house of sweets and other seasonal treats, mostly by eating them in copious quantities. What kind of person wants to waste good butter cookies anyway?!
Our excuses range from “it’s only the holidays once a year,” to “I’ll be on a strict diet soon enough,” and “hey, everyone gets a little fluffy in the winter, right?” Alas, if you think you can turn off self-indulgent and unhealthy behaviors with the snap of your fingers in January, you are probably mistaken. It’s a gargantuan task to go from sleeping in, binge-watching Netflix, and eating leftover pie for breakfast to a clean eating plan featuring nothing but protein and produce. This is a huge part of why so many diets fail – it’s just too much work to get your head wrapped around it all of a sudden and to shift from slothful to energetic and motivated.
Want to make your next health shift more successful than the last one?
Stop calling it a diet! D-I-E-T is a four-letter word. And for most, it inspires unhelpful rebellion, irritability, and negative feelings. Call it an eating plan, a lifestyle change, a health improvement program, or whatever tickles your fancy. But not DIET!
Pick a plan that sounds like it will require change and be some work (because nothing that actually works is effortless), but not one that’s going to take over your entire life.
Pick a plan that seems manageable, has appealing foods, and suits your lifestyle. If you never cook, a plan that requires four hours twice a week for batch cooking from scratch is a failure from the start. If you hate salads, opting for a raw food heavy plan is going to make you really unhappy. If the mere thought (let alone the smell) of bone broth is enough to make you retch, well, you get the picture.
Join a helpful and supportive community of women like you – women with PCOS – who know your struggles intimately and can support you in addressing the unique challenges that women with PCOS face as they try to make significant lifestyle improvements. I highly recommend my PCOS Psychology group on FaceBook. It’s not a diet/eating plan group, although we talk about that stuff in there. It’s about addressing the psychological challenges to getting well when you have PCOS. It’s free, it’s interactive, and I personally respond to every post. I’d love to see you there.
Create some accountability. Having just one person – a friend, a relative, or even an office buddy – who knows what you’re trying to do and can support, encourage, and nudge you as needed – can be invaluable in sticking with your plan. Be reciprocal in helping them meet their goals, and you’ ll gain even more benefits.
If you take all five of these steps, you will dramatically increase the likelihood of success with your new eating plan, exercise plan, or other health change plan. PCOS is tough, but you are tougher (and smarter!). There’s definitely a better way.
P.S. Be kind to yourself, and enjoy the rest of your holidays!
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