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Image by Annie Spratt


Food Fabulous

Notes from midlife

This is why your diet is doomed to fail

plate with sad face drawn on it i

Most women I know – and certainly every single one of the women I work with in my nutrition clinic – have done countless diets by the time they reach midlife. Some of these women have even been on what I consider good diets, eating the right kinds of things and enjoying some success, only to find themselves back to square one the following year. So what is happening?

It usually plays out a bit like this. You are propelled into action as a result of some immediate and urgent pain. One common scenario is you’ve been shopping for an event to discover that nothing you tried on in the entire shopping trip fitted or looked good. It's crushing and inspires you to start another diet.

Women all over the world are motivated by this kind of pain so they set their goals, get results and - by doing that - they get out of that immediate and urgent pain.

But now that they are out of pain, the need and the urgency to do the work has gone and so has their motivation because their motivation was the pain. No pain, no motivation. They go back to doing exactly what they were doing before they started the diet. Things might be okay for a little while but soon they stand on the scales absolutely nothing has changed. They are back where they started and so the pain returns and, along with it, the motivation to start a new diet. And this is the reason why so many women spend a good deal of their life on some restrictive plan or another. (Admittedly, it is given an extra dimension in menopause when sometimes nothing seems to work, then you get a glimmer of hope, then it ebbs away - but that's a different tale...)

The solution is more straight-forward (and more fun) than you might think.

The missing piece lies in creating a life you love and moving towards it rather than away from the pain (after all, there’s only so long that can go on and it never brings lasting results).

Let’s try this…

If you could wave a magic wand and have everything be the way you wanted it in six months’ time, what would that look like? Consider what you really want. List what you would really like for your health, your weight, your fitness and your lifestyle. Get it all down. Don’t be held back by what you think is achievable because oftentimes we let ourselves off the hook. This will keep you in the unfortunate position of never quite achieving what you actually want in life.

Now list as many ways as you can think of for how your life would be improved by achieving this.

How will you feel? How will you look? How will life be different?

Bring in WHY you want this.

What are the other benefits? There’s always a ripple effect – just like dropping a pebble into a pond. You change something and it has an impact on other areas in your life as well.

Who else will benefit? Other people are impacted by the new you? If you achieve what you want, you will show up differently in your life and others will feel the benefit. What will that be?

drop of water in pond

If you want to get super clear on how this looks for you and writing it down is important. It helps to see it in black and white. When you write it down, of course, you will have it to refer back to in the future. Take time to complete it. This is your wellness vision. Consider, it’s entirely personal. The only person you are completing this for is you. The more detail you add, the better. I want you to see it, hear it, feel it. Make it real.

Whenever you are hoping to make some changes to your health, this step is absolutely pivotal to the breakthrough you are looking for.

Once you get clear on what it is that you want and you make a plan, then take committed action towards your goals. Most people can hang in with pretty much any kind of plan for a few weeks but then you hit some challenges. If you have not taken the vital step of figuring out what you want and why, you can revisit the exercise to get you back in the zone.


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