It's how you follow your diet

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I spent my day yesterday about 45 minutes from my home, driving from gym to gym to leave notices of my speaking engagement in support of “Fat Boy Thin Man” in that region about three weeks hence. (6:30 pm., Ames Free Library, 53 Main St., North Easton, Mass.) The response was very enthusiastic, except for one guy who seemed not to care where I put the poster because, I’m convinced, he was going to remove it as soon as I was gone.

In the best instances, conversations resulted, usually including the question, “so what’s your best dieting advice?”

Regular readers here will know that I don’t believe in dieting, which is not the answer most people want to hear.

This is my response when I’m pressed:

Get a very clear plan, and follow it rigorously.

Some people will interpret “rigorously” as “anally,” which is the same meaning with a negative value judgment tossed in. That’d be OK, I guess, except once someone thinks of a discipline in a negative way, it’s far less likely to be followed.

In this context, that’s how “cheating” enters dieting — “I should do that but it’s not that important; I’ll do it tomorrow.” There is no cheating in what I’m talking about; to me, the minutest deviations are as serious as plopping down in front of two hot fudge sundaes.

In the days I’d let my diet go to hell yet again, I could look back and see that it hadn’t gone overnight, but in increments: I’d let some little thing slip and “gotten away with it.” So even if it wasn’t right away, I’d do it again, or worse, escalate it slightly, and keep escalating until I was completely out of control, again. I saw that if I had seen the first slips as important, I’d never have gotten to “completely out of control” again.

Clearly, what’s on my food plan is very important to my nutritional health. But even more important is treating my plan seriously, no matter what’s on it.

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
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