Thursday, October 6, 2011

Really ready for a diet?

I've been thinking a lot about my struggle to stick to a diet.  On reflection, it reminds me of an addictions counselling theory.  It's pretty famous among us counselling types, actually, by two folks, Prochaska and DiClemente and is a theory of change and readiness to change.

In a nutshell, they say that there are five stages in making changes.

Precontemptation - where we're not thinking about change and not wanting to make a change.

Contemplation - where we are considering whether or not to make a change

Preparation - where we are making the plans for what the change will look like

Action - where we make the change

Maintenance- where we maintain the change (ok, maybe that didn't really need explanation)

The original theory stops there, but many people consider relapse to be a sixth stage.

Now as an experienced counsellor I have learned that if someone is in the contemplation or preparation stage, and begin to make changes, they will often not succeed because they simply aren't mentally prepared to actually make these changes.

I think this is a big part of my problem, I'm definitely thinking about making dietary changes, but haven't actually made the decision to do it, yet I keep starting diets anyways because I think I should.  This is frustrating and leads to repeatedly failing at diet after diet and feeling worse and worse about myself.

So as hard as it is to slow things down, I need to realize that I'm in the contemplation stage.  I need to think about whether or not I actually want to change my diet.  I have decided to spend the next two weeks using this blog as a forum to explore my personal pros and cons of going on a diet.  This is scary because I have to be open to the possibility that I am not ready and therefore will not do it, even though there's an oppressive SHOULD hanging over me telling me that I have to diet.  But, just plunging in when I'm not ready has done a lot of damage and so I really do need to do this.  To stop planning my next diet, stop "starting tomorrow" and really think about what it is I want.

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