There’s a simple reason most diets ultimately fail.
Most diets possess at their core a sense of giving up something that you want. Relinquishing that which you desire.
But we don’t view sacrifice as simply releasing something from our lives.
We see it as a trade. A bargaining tool. A giving up of one thing with the promise of gaining (or, in the case of dieting, losing) something else.
The rational mind realizes that the short-term denial of dessert will lead to the longer-term goal of a smaller waistline.
But the rational mind isn’t always at the reins.
And the more emotional brain steps up to the podium to present its case:
I went to the gym today. I deserve a cookie.
I ate well at breakfast and lunch; dinner out won’t kill me.
And those statements are literally true. A single cookie won’t derail a diet. Indulging at a single meal won’t make much difference. But it rarely stops there.
The problem comes from our deeper psychology. Because when we feel deprived, panicked that we may lose something, we quickly go from scarcity to splurge.
So, before any diet books are purchased or points tallied, the successful “dieter” begins with the mindset. Shifts the thinking from a perspective of paucity to one of abundance, focusing on what is to be gained rather than the feared losses. When approached from this angle, it’s amazing that what once were viewed as sacrifices, simply become matter-of-fact. The martyr mindset is replaced with an appreciative one.
This sacrificial mindset doesn’t only derail diets.
It also derails relationships.
When someone approaches a deepening relationship or marriage focusing on what is being given up, it creates a sense of loss and lays the groundwork for future binges.
Yes, relationships require change.
But healthy ones demand compromise.
You’re not giving up.