The Real Reason Why You Will Break Your Diet
Here, we discuss self-care, self-comfort and self-indulgence so that you can determine why you break your diet.
Let’s cut to the chase. No matter how determined you are at some point you are going to come off plan or break your diet. This might be a planned break but more often it will be because you are seeking comfort. Whether it’s from a bad day at work, a stressful situation, feeling tired or simply just needing ‘something nice’.
Many of our customers at New You agree that they have used food as both a reward and a comfort. When they begin their weight loss journey substituting their usual eating patterns with New You Total Food Replacement, customers often comment on how often they reach for food to comfort, even when they aren’t hungry.
And this… this pattern of using food to soothe or comfort is why – unless you change the pattern – you will break your diet. Again, and again. The reason behind this is that somewhere along the line, self-care and self-comfort became muddled.
What exactly is self-care? Self-care choices are those that improve your physical, mental, or emotional health, and move you towards your desired outcome. In essence, self-care choices move you forward.
What “moving forward” means is something only you can determine based on your personal preferences, desired outcomes, and what you need on each particular day. For example, getting a massage may be a form of self-care that moves someone forward on a given day, whereas doing a challenging training session may be the self-care that moves them forward on a different day.
Contrary to what is often shown on social media, self-care is almost always less glamorous than bubble baths, massages, and pedicures. Something that is often misleading about many of the self-care posts on social media is that true self-care choices aren’t typically the easiest choices.
Examples of self-care include:
- Choosing to reduce calories to lose weight to improve health
- Drinking enough water
- Turning down a social invitation because you need alone time
- Going for a walk
- Opting for an early bedtime in lieu of another night out
- Pursuing personal development
Acts of self-care are an investment in future you.
When Self-Care Turns Into Something Else
While self-care will look different for everyone based on their personal circumstances, it can be easy to confuse self-care with behaviours that aren’t serving your best self, or that may even move you away from your desired outcome.
The Difference Between Self-Care and Self-Comfort
Self-comfort is a type of behaviour that is focused on soothing and coping rather than moving us toward our desired goals and direction.
Choices of self-comfort usually involve things that are “easier” in the moment, such as coming off plan when friends are ordering a takeaway, skipping your morning walk for a lie-in or sacrificing much-needed sleep for more television or social media, etc.
Chosen often enough, self-comfort will keep you right where you are, as opposed to moving forward towards your desired outcome. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with self-comfort, and everyone chooses it from time to time. The important thing is that you are clear on the possible consequences in order to make an intentional choice.
When Self-Comfort Turns Into Self-Indulgence
Self-indulgence is self-comfort taken to extreme levels. Self-indulgence takes a self-comfort behaviour and multiplies it in excessive amounts. Where self-comfort is the easy choice, self-indulgence goes all in.
For example, if the self-comfort choice is staying up to watch an extra episode on television instead of going to bed when you’re tired, the self-indulgent choice would be binge-watching several more episodes and going to bed absolutely exhausted which ruins your next day. If self-comfort is having a second brownie, self-indulgence is eating half the tin.
When done often enough, self-indulgent choices move us backward, away from our desired result.
Choosing Your Self-Care, Self-Comfort, and Self-Indulgence
The purpose in distinguishing between self-care, comfort, and indulgence is to help you get clear on which behaviours serve your best self, and which behaviours may be keeping you stuck where you are or moving you backwards. Once you’re clear on these, you can make a choice as to what is truly worth it, and what isn’t.
- Self-care choices move us forwards.
- Self-comfort choices, when done often enough, will keep us right where we are.
- Self-indulgent choices, when done often enough, will move us backwards.
The choice, whether it be self-care, comfort, or indulgence, is yours to make.
If you want to finish 2019 strong, take the time to ask yourself the following questions:
- Which behaviours do you participate in that make you feel good and move you towards your desired outcome?
- Which choices do you consistently make that provide comfort, but aren’t truly worth it? What are some alternatives that would fall under self-care?
- Which behaviours provide comfort, and are absolutely worth it?
- Which choices feel a little overboard, and you suspect are moving you away from your goals?
- What are some alternatives that would better serve you?
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