We all find ourselves at a crossroad when it comes to ‘diets’: do we continue despite frustrations, or just give up and try something else (even if something else has worked short term in the past, only to result in weight regain).

There must be a certain tenacity when it comes to a healthy way of living; whether it’s in regards exercise (or lack thereof), the quality and quantity of food, getting enough sleep, or learning strategies to manage stress.

There will be days, or weeks, of really poor food choices. There could be many reasons: friends visiting, a partner buying processed foods which trigger cravings, stress due to isolation, boredom, or any number of external situations or internal dialogue.

We might blame the food, or more likely, blame ourselves for not having the fortitude to say ‘no’ to the food triggers. We get discouraged because a week goes by and we see nothing happening to the scale (or not seeing changes in our size); the internal dialogue shifts to: “I’m not losing”; “Nothing I try ever works”; or, “I’ve worked so hard and nothing is happening”.

One has to put blinders on and forget any indiscretions; this is life and we can’t control every situation. However, we can learn from them. Ask yourself, “if this situation occurs in the future, how can I change my response to the food?”

For example, I watched a friend kindly refuse (over and over again) the chips, cookies and wine that she was being ‘pressured’ to enjoy by another friend. I admired her tenacity in that moment.  (Yes, I caved, and enjoyed a bit of everything offered, but regretted it later due to how poorly it made me feel). I commended her ability to say ‘no’. She responded that it wasn’t easy, but that she knew she would feel both mentally and physically worse later in the day if she ate those types of foods and drank too much wine.

We must have long-term thinking about our health. Although we can’t achieve perfection in choices every day, inherently we know that the better we get at saying ‘no’ to ourselves and others (when it comes to food choices), the better we will feel and the better our health will be.

Everywhere we go, we are confronted, not with natural whole foods, but highly processed, highly advertised, highly addictive, cheap processed foods which worsen our short- and long-term health.

So, tomorrow and every day afterwards, keep learning and practicing to say no to the junk; think about your long-term health and the damage these foods do to our waist line, our immune system, our psyche, and so on.

Be tenacious! Keep moving forward to your health goals. Never, ever give up trying.

Dr. Doug