Reverse Engineering - Know What You DON'T Want
Imagine that I asked you to design the perfect desk lamp. Unless you have designed a damn good desk lamp before you might struggle a bit.
Now imagine that I asked you to design the worst desk lamp ever. I bet you could do that with much less trouble.
The problem is, when we don't have any experience with what works, we get tangled up in focusing on achieving the perfect outcome which limits our creativity and our ability to act. You might not have had any experience in finding what works when it comes to losing fat, all you know is the things you have tried that haven't worked.
I don't know how to maintain my weight. I have tried before, but I have always failed. So trying to come up with the perfect plan is a completely daunting task.
But to describe the WORST MAINTENANCE DIET EVER is relatively simple because I have heaps of experience in that department.
How can I put back on all the weight that I've lost in the last 6 months, plus a bit more, not fit into my clothes and feel bloated, depressed and miserable?
- Frequently eat food from cafes, restaurants and fast food outlets that I don't know the calorie content of
- Stop planning and logging what I eat
- Cease weighing myself daily
- Eat until I am overfull/stuffed/feeling sick
- Have a 'last supper' every time my weight creeps up because it is back to dieting tomorrow
- Eat a high carb, low fat diet
- Eat the same amount of calories and the same food every single day
- Find fault with how I look, especially things I am unable to change
- Stop doing cardio
- Eat what my husband eats
- Eat everything that is offered to me - meeting food, birthday cake, party nibbles
- Make certain foods 'bad' and off limits forever - limit myself to 'clean' food
- Let hunger and tiredness get out of control
- Buy and eat junk food when I am in the house alone
- Try to make up for overeating by over exercising, under eating the next day or fasting
- Eat sparingly during the day and save up my calories for a big dinner or meal out
- Try to behave like a 'normal' person
- Keep trigger foods in view
- Believe that I have to have an 'off season' weight increase
- Believe that I have to eat more to build more muscle
- Believe that 'staying the same' is not an achievement in itself
- Feel conspicuous and embarrassed that I stand out because I look different and eat differently to everyone else
- Eat things I don't like because they are good for me
- Stop taking my supplements
- Avoid being hungry at all costs
- Eat when I'm hungry, not at scheduled meal times
- Wait for tomorrow to start afresh if I go off plan today
- Try and do everything on my own
- Have days when I don't shower, get dressed, or leave the house except to go to the shops for snacks
- Listen to my mother (and other people) when they say I am too thin.
It is not necessary to go through and re-frame all these points into a positive strategy because all I have to do is the opposite - (2) Plan and log what I eat (7) Cycle my calories and menu items (24) Take my supplements (26) Eat at scheduled meal times etc.
The simple instructions are - Do the Opposite of Items 1-30.
By knowing what doesn't work, I now know what does.