Patient Confession: "Nurse, You Are Going to be Mad at Me. I Cheated On My Diet."
By Pam Davis, RN CBN
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard some variation of this statement over the years. As soon as someone says the phrase, “I’ve cheated.” I always ask who exactly have they cheated? Every single time the individual has arrived at the right answer… “Me.” I then like to dispense a little tough love by saying something like this: "What you put in your mouth has no effect on me whatsoever. It doesn’t make me upset, it doesn’t make me gain weight, and it doesn’t make me lose weight. You are responsible for your choices, not me. Therefore, what you do or do not eat will not make me happy, sad or mad."
While everyone on your medical team is eager to share hints, tips, guidelines, menus and recipes on how you can stay on track with your new lifestyle, you are ultimately the one responsible for following that plan. I believe when we think of the way we eat as simply a “diet,” we tend to confuse it with other diets we’ve tried in the past. For most of us, a diet was a temporary means to an end. You go on a diet to lose weight for INSERT EVENT HERE (high school reunion, mom and dad’s anniversary, etc.). You go on the diet, you lose some weight, the event happens, you go back to your previous way of eating and in less than half the time the weight is back and usually more than before.
The type of eating plan you follow is not intended to be a temporary means to an end. Well, it can be, if you choose to only follow portions of the plan or to only follow the plan until you’ve lost the amount of weight you want to lose. But if you then allow previous habits to sneak back in, you are cheating yourself from facilitating lifelong lifestyle changes that can lead you to a healthier and longer life.