Saturday, February 28, 2009

Instant Gratification

The core followers of THIS IS NOT A DIET on Facebook have been around for about 2 months now and cracks are starting to form. The friendliness and camaraderie are still there, but some people are starting to feel discouraged.

I don't blame anyone for feeling discouraged. I have my moments of discouragement practically every day, but being the analyst that I am, I think it's time to look at WHY we feel discouraged.

We live in a fast-paced world. With computers and I-phones and Blackberries, we can get our information in the blink of an eye. We can find 75 places to order a book, or just download the book in a few minutes. We can get the latest information on our favourite or most hated celebrity. We can find long-lost friends (this actually happened to me on Facebook). We can find every federal statute for Canada in English and French on Google in a second or two (forgive me, as a translator I find this totally amazing).

But speed has its dark side too.

We eat faster, we talk faster (another one of my bugaboos), we expect results instantaneously.

If I said to you that you could be 20 pounds slimmer by this time next year, you would be thrilled. But that means that over the course of the next 52 weeks, you would lose less than 2 pounds a month. That sounds much less thrilling, doesn't it? And yet, 20 pounds is a great weight loss, something to be proud of, especially and definitely if that weight were to stay off forever. But we are so fixated on NOW, NOW, NOW, that we lose track of our long term goals and the upshot is that we can't even reach our short-term goals. If we haven't lost 10 pounds in the last month, well what we're doing doesn't work. We give up.

This is my plea to all of you who may feel disappointed: Don't give up.

The golden rules of eating when you're hungry, eating what you want, eating consciously and stopping when you're full are not the rules of a diet. They are a way of making peace with food for the rest of your life. Now we all hope that the rest of our life is a long time. We need patience to re-form our relationship with food. We need time to regain the wisdom of the baby who only eats when he/she is hungry and always stops when he/she is full.

I'll be weighing myself in 4 days. Will I have lost anything? Don't know. Do I care? Yes, but I will not stop my quest to become friends again with food.

Bottom line: Slow down, my friends. Not only the speed at which you eat, but also slow down your expectations. Do all good things come to those who wait? I don't know, but I do know that rushing can get you nowhere fast.

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