Don’t Tell Me What To Do!

 In Diet, health, Lifestyle

By Cheryl Hansen


I have control issues. Just ask my husband. Or my kids, friends, co-workers, dog and Mother Nature. My desire to control everything around me doesn’t necessarily lead to success—quite the opposite, actually. Mother Nature got me good when it snowed in May this year. How many times do I have to tell her, “No snow after March 31!” She just laughs and laughs.


I had the brilliant idea last weekend to dust off a book I’d used a year or two ago—a diet plan that I’d actually been pretty successful with… until I wasn’t. I figured I would follow the plan for a few weeks to “get back on track.” But the Universe intervened (she works closely with Mother Nature) and I couldn’t find the book. I found a few others, deciding instead to pull some fun and healthy recipes to make this week. I was nearly sucked into one of the other book’s “guaranteed-success” plans—only to grimace at the shopping list of items I knew would end up collecting dust in the back of the pantry alongside the seaweed sheets I bought last time. Then it hit me: I don’t like being told what to do.


That, in a nutshell, is why so many diet plans work for a while—then fail miserably. Eventually, I get tired following someone else’s rules. What I really need to do is follow my own—I need to embrace the control freak inside. As my husband says, “Do what you’ll do.”


I know me. I know my body. I know what will work and what won’t. I’ve spent years searching for that magic bullet—a new way to eat that will finally make sense and the angels will sing and the sun will shine and I’ll be thin and happy forever.


Turns out I’ve been looking the wrong way. Instead of trying one diet after another—none of which is truly designed with me in mind—I need to put all of that energy into finding healthy ways to deal with stress—big and small. I need to find new ways to celebrate, commiserate, mourn and relax. It’s not that I don’t know what to do, it’s that I have trouble doing it when deadlines and daughters, camping and carpools, school supplies and sunburns—basically life—messes up my perfect scenarios.


It is a huge relief to finally accept that when it comes to my diet—I got this. I really do. The key for me is to own it—in good times and bad. And I suspect if I’m the one calling the shots—finally—I’ll be less likely to rebel and resist—even when it snows in May.


And I sure as hell won’t make me buy seaweed sheets.

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