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100 Day Challenge Bunch - Day 4: Boundries, Not Diets


You've probably heard people say that diets are bad for you and that you should "never diet again!" In truth, the problem isn't usually with diets themselves, but with the rigid, perfectionistic ways we use them.

If you're like most people, when you're on a diet, you try hard to follow it perfectly. Each day you strive to take in the exact number of calories, fat grams or carbohydrates allowed by the plan.

But if you slip up and eat a delicious (but forbidden) food, you figure you've blown it, so you might as well eat more. Soon you throw the entire diet out the window. This all-or-nothing approach never works because when you are off your diet, you cancel out the progress you made while you were on it.

Boundaries define your diet.: Like it or not, to lose weight, you have to follow some type of system. Your plan can be quite rigid and meticulous, or as simple as deciding you'll eat less and increase your level of exercise. Instead of getting stuck on the word diet, learn to think of it as boundaries for your eating plan.

Picture your diet program as a road or a path. You can define the boundaries of your diet road based on the number of calories, points, or other factors you choose to follow. As you walk on the road each day, your goal is to stay between the sides of the road. Unlike strict or rigid diet plans, boundaries stay flexible. They provide guidelines, but at the same time, they allow for common sense and good judgment.

During times when you're strong and focused on your diet, you move the boundaries closer together, making the road narrower. When you take a break from your program or work on maintenance, you widen the boundaries and allow more variety in your plan. But even on a really bad day, you never eliminate the road or get off of it completely.

Set guidelines, not rules: Boundaries should give you benefits, not punishment! They should provide guidelines for you to live by, but not burden you with rules. You can define boundaries for any type of diet or weight-loss approach. Depending on your needs, you can simply adjust the edges of your plan to match where you are in life. By doing this, you'll be far more successful than if you punish yourself every time you step off the road.

  Tami Replied:

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. - - Harriet Braiker

Today's task: Draw a picture of a wide road, with a narrower road inside of it. Inside of the narrower road write phrases of how you will strictly follow your diet plan. Inside the wider road, write how you will follow your plan but will allow yourself a little leeway. On the outside of your road if you would like, write reasons why you won't go off the road. Scan it in, post in on your blog or hang it where you can see it everyday or both!!

  Sharon VA Replied:

This is one lesson I never really thought deeply about. I will take some time today to draw it out.
Thanks for your quote on excellence vs. perspective. It puts the task in a different light.

  Tami Replied:

I just did mine and posted it to my blog.

  Karen Replied:

I don't think I have ever drawn the road out either. I always learn new things in this book...
I will draw my road today while we are on the road.

  Eileen Replied:

Never thought about drawing a road either - think I'll give it a try.

Have a "green" day".

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  Anonymous Replied:

I too never thought of making and seeing a road...thanks for posting yours Tami...I only had a couple things on my was good to see yours and get more ideas...I really like the "only 2 bites" one

  Pinkdream Replied:

I like this lesson because it makes you realize you don't have to be perfect to be on program...I can't wait to see all your roads!!

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  Anonymous Replied:

Thank you, Tami for posting your picture. Having an example really helped me.

  Pinkdream Replied:

Tami...awesome example...

  Kate Replied:

Tami, great road map!
The Day 4 message is particularly important for me to embrace. I'm totally an "all or nothing" type of "dieter". When I get off track it's not uncommon for me to continue gorging until I literally can't swallow another bite, and have trouble even breathing. I don't seem to have a "moderation button"; definitely something to work on for my future well being.

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  Anonymous Replied:

I have always struggled with either being 100% on or 100% off. Of course went I took my detours there were a lot of negative feelings associated with deviating. I can be my own worst enemy. This time around I am much more open with my boundaries. I have deviated from my plan and then simply started right where I left off. I have struggled for years and years with being a perfectionist. Often times I don't want to start anything because of the fear that it would not turn out perfect. I have slowly been working on letting go of the notion of perfection. I never thought to connect the need to be perfect with my weight loss. Hmmm...things to ponder.
Tami-great map. I am going to try to figure out how to post mine to my blog.

  Tami Replied:

I struggling with all or nothing too...oh well, I've blown it by eating that Oreo...might as well eat what I want the rest of the day.... drawing the road has been helpful. I'm going to print it out big and put it by my computer at home and work!

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.