Recently, a client shared their success achieving a diet goal. They had been putting in the time and effort to reach a personal goal of losing weight. They shared the success of their story with well-deserved enthusiasm and satisfaction.
They also shared the challenges and emotions associated with trying to lose weight. Over the course of the conversation they spoke to the intentional effort and focus it took, behavior changes that happened, trade-offs and food choices, as well as a host of other “little things” that occurred which helped them persevere.
As I reflected on the conversation afterwards, I pondered on a thought around how full our plates get with day-to-day expectations, commitments, etc. The many choices that we encounter on a day-to-day basis are similar to the many choices at a buffet. You can choose to take a few small portions, mix and match, or you can go down the line and fill your plate with as much as it can hold. Then, go back for seconds if you dare!
Day-to-day we encounter similar choices with work, family, friends, etc. How many servings do we take from the buffet of life every day?
Ask yourself…How many servings does it take to fill your plate? When do you decide enough is enough? Are you consuming so fast that you don’t give yourself time to register you’re full? Are you consuming quality vs. quantity? Is the content of what you are consuming healthy or junk? Are you being mindful?
If one can be disciplined, set boundaries, and manage expectations from the world around them then experiencing anxiety, stress, and/or feeling overwhelmed with relationships, work, family, or the demands of day-to-day life might allow for them to feel mentality “fit.”
On the other hand, if one has a full plate and they are overwhelmed by the demands, expectations, and everyday challenges then they may find themselves not as “fit” as they would like to be.
When was the last time you took a self-inventory around how full your plate is vs. continuing to consume and become overwhelmed by the buffet of life?
A critical first step is to be kind to yourself. Take a compassionate and non-judgmental approach to the process of examining what and how much is on your plate. You are not trying to beat yourself up.
Similarly, the next step(s) in your efforts may encompass some of the characteristics my client shared about their diet success.
- It is going to take intentional effort and focus.
- Behavior changes will have to happen.
- Trade-offs and choices will need to be identified and followed through.
- A host of other “little things” will be discovered and implemented along with way.
Lastly, remember that the most successful “diets” or “weight loss” plans occur over time, in small amounts, with supporting resources, and most importantly are sustainable. We are all capable of cutting people, activities, work, etc. out of our life for a short time. Inevitably, our plates will find a way to get full again.
Therefore, identify how full your plate is, what is the right amount for you to feel mentally “fit” then be intentional with your efforts, take your time, enact small changes, seek support, do what works for you, and be compassionate and kind to yourself along the way.