by Eric Sudler, M.S.
It’s come to my attention that the time of year to obsess about weight has come upon us. Summer is fast upon us which means that it is the season for us to suddenly realize how unacceptable our bodies are. That means we have to diet, fast, exercise, avoid food, and do anything it takes to get that perfect beach body that is essential to make it through the summer.
So what do we do? We run out and try to find the quickest and easiest way to get into shape so we can show off as we strut down the beach. From extreme diets involving baby food to fasting altogether, there’s no end to what some people will go through to achieve the physical appearance that they feel like they should have.
Now do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with getting in shape and dropping a few pounds. However, like most activities in life, there is always a more rational way to go about it. Uncondtional Self-Acceptance (USA) is a concept in which an individual is able to accept their strengths, weaknesses, shortcomings, and accomplishments whether they be physical, mental, spiritual, or social. Accepting these things enables one to make more rational decisions in terms of changing one of these areas of our lives. Rationally, we would understand that significant weight loss takes planning, patience, and consistency. These three elements usually take a significant amount of time. Old fashion portion control, exercise, and small lifestyle changes still seem to be one of the best ways to keep the weight off. There is no quick fix. No amount of baby food will change that. Weight that is quickly lost is just as quickly found.
Unfortunately, I was recently talking with a close friend who was convinced that she could transform her body in time for a series of summer events that were rapidly approaching (beach, pool parties, etc). In my opinion, she looked more than fine. However, years of comparing herself to friends and celebrities have left her in a very unaccepting state when it comes to her body. So, against my better judgment, I have created a brief checklist of things that she or anybody will need in order to squeeze into that bathing suit in a matter of days:
This will come in handy during the times when you break your extreme diet and must sneak into the kitchen unnoticed by friends and family to stuff your face.
These come in handy when the diet ultimately fails and your friends ask you why you’ve just eaten an entire pizza.
You’ll need a lot of these as you try to reach your rigid standards only to fall short of what you should look like. Next, of course, it will become apparent how awful it will be if you do not reach supermodel status by next week which of course makes you less of a person and detracts from your worth. You can’t stand it because you’ve never been through worse in your life.
A Deserted Island
This is essential for success. This is the only place temptations might not find you and your plan could be successful. If there is absolutely no one to bother you with parties, graduation dinners, father’s day outings, 4th of July BBQs, regular BBQs, birthdays, banquets at work, breakfast, second breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner™ (small meal to hold you over between lunch and dinner) dinner, dessert, midnight snacks, or life in general, you should be fine.
There you have it. An overabundance of the above categories is usually what results from taking shortcuts to our goals. So instead of trying to force a quick fix to getting in shape, just be patient and weight for it. It’s very much worth it in the long term.