One of the things I’ve found transformational in my weight loss journey was creating personal boundaries and codes for myself.
For a long time, I did not have those in my life. I generally got what was right and wrong, but because I didn’t establish what I would and would not allow into my life, I found that I would compromise what was important to me sometimes because I didn’t have that structure.
One of the things that I feel very passionately about is diet bets. I often see people on Instagram and Facebook spearheading diet bets. I’ve been contacted by these companies, and I just decline and delete. The reason I feel so passionately about not putting that out there, and why you don’t see me doing that, is because, as a child growing up, I watched somebody who was very close to me, who struggled with his weight, over and over and over again doing diet bets.
This was before the internet; we’re talking the ‘80s here. We’re talking a bunch of guys at work betting money on who could lose the most weight. And guess what? He could lose the most weight. He could also binge and put all that weight back on when the diet bet was over.
I watched this over and over again, and it really affected me and my thoughts around weight loss. This is why I don’t put diet bets out there — because I don’t see this whole getting healthy, weight loss thing as being something with an end point.
Because I know my boundaries and parameters, because I know my real views on these things, it makes it easy for me to hit delete. I want to encourage you to really look at your life. Look at your feelings about weight loss. Look at what’s worked for you and what hasn’t worked for you, and start to really think about what healthy boundaries you want to set.
I decided earlier in my journey that I would not lose weight for money. I would not bet on my health because I had seen it crash and burn so many times, and it just wasn’t a healthy situation. So I created that boundary for myself, and it’s been something I’ve really stuck with.
I share this with you because, as somebody who puts out a podcast, as somebody who does a blog, I feel a responsibility to you not to condone things I know don’t work. I’ve maybe seen one case where somebody got started on a diet bet and actually got somewhere, and that was Tracy Reifkind. I think that’s the only person I’ve ever met who started from that place and actually progressed. The majority of people do not.
If you’re seeing the same people doing diet bets over and over and over again, I think that should be a signal that maybe the emphasis isn’t on maintenance. If the emphasis were on maintenance, then we wouldn’t need to do the diet bets over and over again, right?
I’m not coming from a judgmental place. I’m really coming from a place of wanting to protect you and encourage you to just observe and say, “What’s good for me, and what are the parameters that I want in my life, and what am I willing to do? What am I not willing to do?” I think creating those boundaries is an essential, healthy part of getting to a healthier body and maintaining it.
This is just something that’s been weighing on my mind. I know that with the new year, we are coming up on diet bet season. I encourage you to start thinking about how you want to create your own boundaries going into that season.