I, like everyone else in this world, struggle to stick to a diet. Somewhere between weekly cheat meals, is when it’s the toughest for me. People at work asking me to go out for lunch or the lunch meeting where pizza is served is a common place in my world and I’m guessing it’s not far off from yours.
The temptation is tough and sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on social time. That’s when I realized I was playing the victim role. I was allowing my diet to be the mean bully keeping me from hanging out with friends. So I needed to change the way I was thinking.
Enter Sheldon Cooper
I am a big fan of the Big Bang Theory. I’m not sure if it’s because I have a scientific background or I’m just a sucker for Chuck Lorre created shows (Also a huge fan of Two and a half men before Charlie went on his “Winning” campaign). Either way I love the show, more specifically Sheldon Cooper. His total lack of social skills and his obsessive compulsions I find hilarious. Although he is getting a little soft in this recent season. Thanks Amy.
I’m not going to write a thousand words or so on why I love the show. But I will get to my point.
For the few people that don’t like to the show or have never seen it, Sheldon has a very black and white view on things. Some might say he has a little Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) sprinkled with a hint of narcissism. All faults aside, I used his idiosyncrasies to help me stay on my diet. Sounds ridiculous, I know. Hear me out.
First, some of the characteristics of OCPD are:
- Preoccupation with orderliness – rules and regulations
- Functions well with lists and schedules
- Rigid and Inflexible
That sounds like a recipe to stick to a diet.
When you’re on a diet to lose weight or just generally get healthy, every excuse you can think of sounds like a legit excuse to fall off the wagon. This is when people create their work around to not feel victimized by the diet. This is a poor work around.
Instead, I make getting healthy my #1 priority. I am going through this for a reason, I have to get to that reason.
I found taking Sheldon’s personality quirks and applying them to my situation, I am able to:
- Adhere to my diet more
- Have quicker results
I don’t have more will power than anyone else, although some might think I do. Will power only goes so far. I honestly just find different ways to make it easier on myself. No one likes to suffer.
This is what I do, colorfully illustrated by Sheldon quotes:
“THURSDAYS WE EAT PIZZA FOR DINNER.”
According to the show, Sheldon always eats pizza on Thursdays, regardless of what else is happening in his world. He puts his himself above everything and everyone else.
While I can’t eat pizza on Thursdays while I’m dieting, I use the same rigid, selfish thinking.
So I tell myself, if It doesn’t come in my lunch bag, I don’t eat it. No if ands or buts about it. I always pack my lunch the night before so I know what is in it and I know what to expect. By telling myself this I know what I have to eat and leave no wiggle room. My adherence to the diet goes up. Wiggle room causes indecision which leads to bad choices. How many times have you made a quick decision only to regret it later? Mic drop.
By putting my needs first, it eliminates temptation associated with foods not allowed by the diet I’m following. Someone should think about my needs for being on a diet, why not make it me. This adds accountability.
Being selfish gets a bad wrap sometimes. But focusing on my health can be a selfless act. Think about it, if I treat your body like crap, I more than likely will shorten my lifespan. If I act a little “selfish” and give my body proper nourishment and exercise I can live forever (not really but you get the idea). I compromise on something’s; I don’t compromise on my health.
“MY BOWEL MOVEMENTS RUN LIKE A GERMAN TRAIN SCHEDULE.”
I have a schedule and stick to it. Sound boring? I bet you have a schedule too if you think about it. Whether you eat 6 times a day of 3, keep to that schedule. During the week I’ll eat 7 times, on the weekend I’ll eat 5-6 depending on when I wake up. If it’s not my scheduled time to eat then I can’t eat, simple as that. If I find myself hungry between meals (which happens a lot when I switch up how I’m lifting), then I eat more at the previous meal or prepare a smaller interim meal. I know my body so I can prepare. No vending machines. Dieting isn’t complex, keep it simple.
“I HAD TO LEAVE, THEY WERE HAVING FUN WRONG.”
I stick with people that will support my health quest or they simply don’t care what I eat. If they try to pressure me to stray, they don’t have my best interests in mind. I move on.
“CHINESE FOOD, VINTAGE VIDEO GAMES. AFTER THE NIGHTMARE OF ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN THURSDAY, THIS IS FRIDAY NIGHT THE WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE.”
I make straying from my schedule preposterous. This sounds ridiculous (like the rest of this post), but it actually works. Pretty well actually. The trick is to actually believe it. This goes along with the saying “Fake it until you make it”. Whenever someone asks me to go out to eat, it triggers something in my mind that would be absolutely absurd. Like going streaking and then making naked snow angels when it’s 10 degrees outside. I make going outside of your diet like cheating on my wife. Thankfully I’m not a swinger or I’d be 300 lbs.
Like I said sounds ridiculous but it works, for me at least.
As stupid as this whole post sounds it has really upped my compliance to my dieting. I can control what and when I eat and I don’t have to worry about sabotaging my progress. My will power only goes so far especially when my blood sugar is all out of whack from going low carb.
Here is a Fitness Tip Friday video to help with low blood sugar.
Now I want to hear from you. Do you have any weird tricks that you use to stick to a diet? I want to hear them. Comment on this post and tell me all about them. I’d love to hear from you.
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