At 100 pounds overweight, I thought dropping pounds would make me happier. At 70 pounds gone, I feel better. But being thinner isn’t a magic mood elixir. I need to lose fat blues along with weight. Here are “happy pills” to salve diet burnout and depression.
* See pants half empty, not half full. Whatever your weight, focus on positives. Recognize progress. Quit agonizing over fat that’s there and celebrate what’s gone. Yes, I just said the same thing three ways. We overweight folks berate ourselves constantly and need it repeated. Get an attitude makeover; start being nicer to yourself.
* Embrace as-is you. Weight loss, like life, is as much journey, as destination. Depression comes when we don’t accept ourselves in situ. So you see residual thigh pudge or belly fat? Even at goal weight, you still might, especially with age or if you can’t exercise as much. See your beauty (inner and outer) not just the scale reading.
* Reward and re-reward! Lost weight? Do something nice for yourself. Gained? Do something nice anyway. Low self-esteem can cause weight problems. When I don’t like myself, I don’t take care of myself. Enjoy a non-food or non-alcohol treat. Reward with outdoor time and exercise and accomplish diet objectives, too!
* Don’t cut appearance corners. I sometimes neglect grooming, couture and even hygiene. I think, “I’m fat, ugly and not worth the bother. Several friends are technically obese, but they always look fabulous–makeup, coiffed hair, manicured nails, impeccable dress. Fat or not, flaunt a killer pair of heels. Accessorize with jewelry, hats, scarves. Tan. Get a waxing. Color or style hair.
* Indulge in non-caloric ways. You don’t have to be super-skinny to qualify pampering. Schedule a massage or spa trip. See an opera. Audition for a play. Sing karaoke. Buy that new book. Light candles and soak in a tub. Take dance lessons (extra points for exercise). Get out of the house. Splurge on a vacation. Plant a riot of spring flowers.
* Ramp up flavors. Nothing drags a dieter down like boredom. Introduce new foods. Switch entrees. Test-drive that vegetarian Thai restaurant. Sample low-calorie desserts. Check out recipes and cooking videos online. I tried Spice Appeal curry powder on my same-old salmon. The fish (and my diet) got a spunky upgrade.
* Pretty-up your palate. Diet food colors are boring: pale yogurt, ho-hum cereal. Perk up your plate, mood and diet with colorful foods ! Try raw juice blends. Explore farmers markets for cheery veggies and fruit. Sweet potatoes, squash, berries, red cabbage, apples, brocco-flower, spinach, peppers make decorative superfoods.
* Dress for fit, not size. People don’t see clothing sizes. They see how clothes fit. You’ll feel better about yourself, sporting curve-flattering not fattening clothes.
* Lose the moo-moo mentality. Don’t completely re-wardrobe for each dropped clothing size. Do buy a few new pieces. Too-small clothing makes you look fat; so does too-big. Plus, you get motivation watching your too-big pile grow.