What is it about dieting that makes us want to hide it from everyone else?
Why are we afraid to tell others that we’re trying to lose a bit of weight?
What makes it so easy to share our location at a bar on Friday but so difficult to do the same at the gym on Monday?
Why do we make dieting a solo act?
In my own experience, it’s because of this fear of being vulnerable and letting down this strong front.
Even more, it’s this fear of asking for help because that might tell others I have my sh*t a little less together than what it looks like.
In my coaching experience, I’ve found it to be something similar for a lot of my clients.
There’s this fear that this family member, friend, or coworker may see you as a little less.
In my experience as a client AND coach, dieting success only comes when we bring people along in our journey. Both clients and myself succeed after we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, after we accept that our sh*t may not be completely together, and after we ask for help.
No one should diet alone.
Dieting is not an admission of failure.
Neither is asking for help.
But maybe you don’t believe that, and maybe you need more convincing and facts besides me saying it’s worked for my clients and myself.
Before we get to that, know that this is not me telling you to start your dieting journey with me as your coach. This is written purely with the hope that you won’t attempt to do this alone, and that you’ll seek guidance from family, friends, or another coach.
With that in mind, here are four reasons you should not diet alone.
For the longest time, I considered myself to be one of the most driven and committed individuals out there, and then I’d find myself in the trail mix aisle at Target.
I was all-alone, and the only thing I was committed to at that point was eating as much of the good stuff from the jar of Peanut Butter Monster Trail Mix as possible.
Nobody to tell me to stop or to remind me that I have a goal I’m trying to accomplish.
Then I hired a coach, and I quickly realized how difficult a weekly check-in was after demolishing a container of trail mix that week.
My point is that you could be chalk full of focus, drive, and commitment, but that’s not accountability.
You KNOW I created a beautiful story in my head about why I deserved the trail mix – I’m having a terrible day, I’m celebrating, or I burn so many calories in one day it won’t really matter.
That story doesn’t fly with a coach holding you accountable for your goals.
Not one bit.
But that’s okay because I was unable to hold myself accountable and it was only taking me further from my goals.
You have your vice too or your version of Peanut Butter Monster Trail Mix.
Whatever it is about it, you love to indulge in it.
But when you have to tell someone that you didn’t move any closer to your goal this week because you ate the entire container of trail mix, the over-indulgence gets significantly harder.
It’s not guilt or shaming, it’s a reminder of what you’re working so hard for in the moments where you cannot remember that yourself.
Since most of us are not gourmet chefs, we enjoy sticking to what we know when it comes to nutrition.
Recently, I had a client who viewed breakfast as darn near impossible.
She LOVES eggs, but when shuffling kids to school or summer camp is your number one priority, standing over the stove to make eggs is not always possible.
She did what most of us would do….
“Breakfast is impossible, so I think I’m just going to try fasting until lunch.”
Let’s look at the rest of the day.
You run Kid #1 to camp on this side of town, drop off Kid #2 at a friends house somewhere not even close to camp, and Kid #3 at daycare on your way to the office.
Traffic was terrible, so you show up to the office just in time to run to your meeting.
Then you have a call right after, and then this project NEEDS to be finished by the end of the day so you have to give some serious time to that.
Before you know it, it’s 2PM and you’ve far surpassed the appropriate time for a fast but you still have SO much to do before you round up the kids in a couple of hours.
You decide to have one of the protein bars you keep at your desk, get back to work, and have a bigger dinner later.
That dinner is big alright…
One real meal a day was about all she was eating because breakfast was “impossible” for her.
Sure, I could pull out the corny saying “Nothing is impossible, the word itself hold I’m
Possible,” but that’s not what she needed.
She needed someone help her to get creative with her breakfasts.
Making eggs every morning was out of the question, but here are some of the alternatives she could try:
- Make an egg bake on Sunday and heat up a slice each morning.
- Blend up a smoothie or protein shake while you pack lunches for the kids.
- Mix together some instant oats, protein powder, and heat up in the microwave.
- Double the dinner you make, and enjoy some for breakfast!
It wasn’t that breakfast was impossible.
It was that she was sticking to what she knew.
She needed a coach to present some creative alternatives that were quick, easy, and in alignment with her goal.
It’s not wrong to stick with what you know, but sometimes life hits and what we know doesn’t necessarily fit.
Ask a coach, friend, or colleague to get creative with you and problem solve.
Before I brought someone along in my dieting journey, I considered myself to be this calorie-burning machine.
Well, if I’m a calorie-burning machine, that means I get more food, right?
I’m trying to lean out and build some serious muscle, so I need to increase my protein consumption.
Then there are carbs. Those are WAY better than fats (IMO), and if I want to burn fat, why do I need more of it? You don’t, so let’s just drop those.
I didn’t think I need an outside perspective because I was in the business and nobody knew what I liked better than me.
Competing as a powerlifter, hoping to lose body fat, while still wanting to enjoy life are three very different goals with very different requirements.
I may know what I like.
I may do this for a living.
But having an outside perspective look at my path provided SO MUCH clarity.
My coach was able to look at my body type, my journey so far, likes and dislikes alongside my goals to create a plan for ME.
He was able to identify that there were only 5 days per week where I was a calorie-burning machine, so we tied those days to higher caloric and carbohydrate intake.
The other 2 days were lower calorie days, so we tied those to days of higher fat consumption to provide my body with a slower, longer burning fuel.
I would have never thought of that because I was looking at myself from only one perspective.
Find a coach, friend, or family member who can look at you from an outsider’s perspective.
It doesn’t even need to be someone who can write you a macro prescription.
But someone who can really point out the days where you are cranking out calories, where you slip up in your meal plan, and where improvement can be made because we have a tendency to only view ourselves in a certain light.
That light doesn’t shine on all aspects of your life, but someone else can fill your gaps.
I have been in this business for a while, and too often I hear of individuals who don’t want to tell their family or friends that they’re trying to lose some weight.
It’s always one of two things:
1. “I don’t want to tell anyone I’m dieting.”
2. “I don’t want to make them feel like they have to do it too.”
Unfortunately, I see these people struggle WAY more in making this a lifestyle and
maintaining their results.
Because they don’t have anyone in their corner.
Dieting doesn’t have to be a shameful process.
You’re trying to be healthier, to live longer, and feel better – why do we feel we need to be ashamed of that!?
If you really want long-lasting results, you need someone in your corner.
Yes, for the accountability, creativity, and outsider perspective, but what do we all really want out of this journey?
Better yet, results that LAST.
Choosing to diet with someone in your corner is choosing to bring people along in your journey.
It’s building a tribe and support system that either follows suit or doesn’t pressure you to deviate from your plan.
When someone tells me they’re going to keep it from their friends and family, my heart hurts that they feel this shame.
I wish I could show them a video of the two paths – what it looks like to do this alone and what it looks like to bring your tribe along.
There’s no shame in dieting, the only shame is sacrificing your long-term results.
If you’re tired of dieting alone, and you want someone to hold you accountable, help you get creative, look at your path from an outsider’s perspective, and help you achieve long-term results, then click HERE to start that journey today. If I’m not the right coach for you, I still want to help you find a way to not diet alone.