Your Excuse: "I Feel Deprived Because I Can't Eat the Foods I Love"

The Excuse Buster: Starting a weight loss program often results in an "all or nothing" mind-set. You vow to never eat junk food again, follow your diet plan to the letter, drink gallons of water, push yourself to work out religiously, and lose those pesky pounds once and for all. This attitude usually stems from a strong sense of dissatisfaction about your current state (i.e. fat), and a strong determination to reach a "better" state (i.e. thin).

But entering into any plan with such a rigid focus can only set you up for failure. How many times have you gone on a binge before a diet, eating every "bad" food you could think of - just because you didn't know when you might be "allowed" to eat it again? How many times have you slipped and eaten something that wasn't on your food plan, and then despaired that you had blown your whole diet? The problem with rigid ideas about what is "allowed" and "forbidden" is that they only make you crave the forbidden foods and mire you in constant cycles of deprivation and frustration.

Your chances of success are much greater if you instead strive for a sense of balance in everything you do. Certainly making positive changes is beneficial, but it is possible to do this in a much more balanced way, rather than binding yourself with chains and taping your mouth shut.

How? Simply stay AWARE and make wise decisions. Each moment of your day before you eat, drink or do anything, ask yourself if the action you are about to take will support your goal. Will eating a cookie support your weight loss goal? Not necessarily, but will it destroy your diet altogether? Probably not. There are no "rights or wrongs" with this process. Sometimes you may indeed decide to eat the cookie. Sometimes you'll decide that you really don't need it. The difference will be that YOU are the one making the choices for yourself, not some preconceived notion about what is acceptable or not.