Test: Are You On a Diet?

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By Pat Barone, CPCC, MCC, BCC
“America’s Weight Loss Catalyst”

We hear a lot about “lifestyle change” today.  In fact, most diets call themselves a “lifestyle change”, even the popular commercial ones that are nothing more than a prescribed food plan.

I guess it makes customers THINK they’re doing the big job, not the little (short-term) one.

My favorite “lifestyle change” quote came from a friend who dropped a lot of weight (temporarily) during the Phen-Fen pharmaceutical debacle.  As she ordered lasagna and whipped four packets of sugar into her tea, she proclaimed “It’s not a diet! It’s a lifestyle change! I feel so different!”

Well, with real change you don’t “feel different”, you ARE different.

Don’t be fooled. My friend’s sad truth is that she was losing weight on the scale but not burning fat. She was, however, burning valuable other elements of her precious body and wound up with heart valve degeneration and heart disease. She regained the weight and became diabetic. Today, she is very ill.

The experience of watching this sad progression spurred me on in my own quest for positive, healthy, sustainable weight loss.

It’s not about food, or weight.  It’s about taking charge.  With lifestyle change, we make powerful decisions and don’t let anyone get in the way of our health.

No one will do this job for us.  It’s up to each of us.  Eventually we all have to say “NO” to the diet industry that wants us fat so we can continue to be “good customers.”

The Test

You’re on a diet if: you are losing weight quickly
You’re pursuing lifestyle change if: you are losing weight slowly

You’re on a diet if: you are focused on food change
You’re pursuing lifestyle change if: you are focused on behavior change

You’re on a diet if: you eat according to someone else’s plan
You’re pursuing lifestyle change if: you eat according to your body’s needs, discerned and decided by you alone

You’re on a diet if: you need high level, excessive exercise that constantly has to be increased in intensity, duration or exertion
You’re pursuing lifestyle change if: you vary exercise based on your body’s needs

You’re on a diet if: you’re focused on willpower and mental effort
You’re pursuing lifestyle change if: you’re focused on your body’s cues and needs

You’re on a diet if: food = trouble or food = enemy
You’re pursuing lifestyle change if: food = energy

You’re on a diet if: you are focused on looking a certain way or seeing a particular number on the scale
You’re pursuing lifestyle change if: your focus is energy, vitality and health

You’re on a diet if: you think positive change is about manipulating the body
You’re pursuing lifestyle change if: you think positive change is about internal change and finding peace in your life

You’re on a diet if: you’re focused on now
You’re pursuing lifestyle change if: you’re focused on the big picture of your life

Long-term sustainable change is actually easier than fighting the body and living in food struggle. But don’t tell the diet industry that little secret!

Pat Barone, “America’s Weight Loss Catalyst”, is an internationally accredited Master Certified Coach and Board Certified Coach who works with clients to radically change their relationship to food, their bodies and their lives. She’s an inspiring speaker, author and coach who built her successful coaching business, Catalyst Coaching® LLC by helping her clients confront limiting beliefs, learn new levels of self-care and know true nourishment.

Her well-researched educational products, from CD classes to workbooks to e-books, have positively impacted thousands of people and her “enLIGHTen Your Life!™” program is based on a multi-level approach to one of the most complicated subjects human beings face: excess weight.

Pat’s education alone (certifications in personal training, weight management consulting (nutrition) and coaching) is formidable, but it is her personal experience that makes her unique. After 25 years of struggle, Pat lost over 70+ lbs. and has sustained her weight loss since the year 2000. The medical professional defines permanent weight loss as weight loss sustained for 5 years and more.

She is featured as NBC15’s on-air life coach in Madison, WI and her website and blog are found at:  http://patbarone.com.  You can follow her fan page on Facebook at AmericasWeightLossCatalyst.

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