Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why do I always end up on the diet naughty step?

As the weeks move on, and I tick diets of my list, it is slowly becoming evident that I'm a pretty terrible dieter. I probably don't need to tell you that... if you've been following my blog it's pretty clear. I now know why I'm one of those girls that's constantly dieting but never thin.

The weight is moving in the right direction - albeit rather slowly. But to be fair that in itself is pretty amazing considering how bad I am. Today for instance I stood on the scales... nervously... not wanting to look... trying to balance from side to side to make sure the weight went down. It had today - one pound less. Phew!

But I was far from perfect this week - and I think I found the answer why in an unusual place... whilst wathcing Supernanny.  You see the thing is a lot of the same principles for avoiding a tantrum in your kids can be applied to dieting. You need discipline, you need to be identify the warning signs of a possible future strop (or in my case the possible future eating of cream cakes). Apparently giving a child choices is good - I think from the small sample of diets I've already done I known when I don't have a choice my dieting goes downhill pretty quicky. But at the same time you need boundaries - I need rules, I need a list of what I can and can't eat.

You also need to not over use the words "No", "Don't" and "Stop". Maybe in my case I would be better if i did use those words - or even just try them once... but the theory is explaining why you shouldn't do something works better.

When you think of all those things, and apply them to the diet I chose this week you can see why I struggled. I opted for the Special Kay diet - you may remember it from years ago. They now have a different version that doesn't involve relpacing two thirds of your meals with cereal. But I went for the old fashioned one - the one that promised you'd drop a jean size in a week, and be able to wear that red swimsuit in the adverts.

I started the week thinking I was rewarding myself. Living a relatively carb free world for weeks I'd been craving cereal so badly... but it turns out you really can have too much of a good thing. And anyway perhaps I didn't deserve a reward - there were certainly no gold stars on my dieting behaviour chart to date.

On the whole days one to five went smoothly; I just had my bowl for breakfast and my bowl for lunch. (and the ocassional handful here and there as a snack - that technically wasn't allowed). I tried to introduce choice though to stop me cheating... Special Kay Red Berries... Special Kay Blue Berries... Special Kay Sustain. The problem was the evening meal. I didn't have the boundaries I needed. If you tell me to have a healthy meal that isn't enough. I need to be told "don't eat pasta"... "you must not eat carbs after six" etc. Otherwise my creative mind can make pretty much everything healthy. One night I had sticky toffee pudding - a balanced diet has a bit of everything. Another night I had a naan bread with my curry - I haven't had one of those for ages... but a balanced diet has a bit of everything. So really like a child the boundaries weren't set and I pushed them, and displayed the lack of self discipline I really need to tackle.

So this week I'm going to try and find a diet that does have rules and regulations...but also choice. I'm not going to say "No don't eat that burger"... I will say "eating that burger will make you big and fat". I will have a reward chart with golden stars and everything, and maybe even certificates. One website I was just reading suggested making up a song to beckon your child to the dinner table. I sense this could get annoying for those around me... But perhaps if I follow these rules... perhaps if I apply them in addition to the next diet I do... i might, maybe, just about avoid ending up on the naughty step this week. Maybe...

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