If you’re doing great with your diet and exercise program, you probably don’t need to read this note.
But if you’re struggling, going on and off your diet, you may want to ask a critical question:
Is this the wrong time to lose weight?
Your answer can go either way. Sometimes, it really isn’t the right time to be on a diet. And if that’s the case, you may need to take a break from your efforts.
In my last newsletter, I talked about having a “Grace Period.” This involves times when it makes sense to take a break while you heal from physical or emotional issues.
In my own life, I’ve had to extend my Grace Period a bit because I’ve continued to have heart problems. Next week, I’m scheduled to have a small procedure (ablation) to stop my heart from being so irregular.
I have concluded that right now, I need to continue my Grace Period for a while yet. But during this time, I’m working hard to “minimize the damage” and follow healthy patterns with my eating and exercise. Once I’m past this and done some healing, I’ll be ready to go back on a tighter plan again.
Look at what’s affecting you
Before you breathe a sigh of relief and conclude you can skip your diet for a while, look carefully at why you’re struggling. Decide if your reasons are legitimate or whether you are simply excusing your behavior by blaming the fact that it’s “not the right time.”
Use these questions to help you evaluate your timing.
1. Major life issue
Are you currently dealing with a major life issue such as getting a divorce, moving to a new home or finishing a degree? Issues of this magnitude usually happen only a dozen or so times in life. When they do, it’s truly not the right time to start a diet.
2. Time and energy
Is something demanding a huge amount of your time and energy right now? Things such as remodeling your home, planning your daughters wedding or even being a school teacher at the end of the year can take a lot of time and energy.
In my case, it’s dealing with a major health issue. If like me, you’re already feeling drained, you might need to hold off on dieting for a while.
3. Normal life
Are you simply dealing with your ordinary life? Just because your days are crammed with events, work demands and small children doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not the right time to work on losing weight.
Look carefully at how you answered these questions. If you’re in category one or two, accept your reality. Instead of constantly feeling frustrated or guilty over not sticking with your diet program, take a break for a short time. Of course, continue to live on a maintenance plan so you don’t lose the progress you’ve already made.
Make it the right time
In reality, you can make any time be the right time to lose weight. Simply choose a time period that looks fairly reasonable and label it the right time. Then move past your excuses and make it work. Tell yourself that you are capable of eating right and exercising in spite of your hectic life. Then find a way to do it.
To read more about the best time for dieting, see Day #44 in 100 Days of Weight Loss.