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Are You a Debbie Downer Dieter? 6 Tips to Happy Health

debbiedownerWhat do you call people who always talk about everything going wrong in their life? Do you have someone at work who can’t wait to tell you the bad news? Some people just love bringing up the worse case scenario. They’re the first one to tell you how your idea will fail. They are the devil’s advocate – and they love to burst your positive bubble.

We call these people negative or pessimistic. We make fun names for them like “Debbie Downer” and “Negative Nancy” but, sadly, we all know probably more than one of these people. But, what’s worse than a Debbie Downer? A Debbie Downer on a Diet!!

Unfortunately, I think most dieters take the Debbie Downer approach to dieting. When they start their diet, their first response isn’t thinking about how great they are going to feel or look, their first thought is “I can’t have (fill in blank here)”.

For Better or For Worse

woman-scale-ball-chain-700If we went through our entire life this way, we would never get married, never accept a job and never really have any friends. When we commit to one thing, it almost always requires some type of sacrifice.

When Steve asked me to marry him, my first thought wasn’t “OMG! I will never be able to kiss another boy!” However, kissing other boys is something that has to go when you commit to one man. Instead, you think about all the good stuff. The wedding, your future together, the hopes of a family, adventure and happiness. It’s a very good tradeoff, and small sacrifice.

But, isn’t this how most people look at dieting? Their first thought isn’t “OMG, I’m going to look and feel so good!” Their first thought is “OMG, there goes all the fun stuff”  The ‘ole “Ball and Chain” mindset.

unhappy dieterMost dieters are so fixated on all the foods they CAN’T have, that they make the whole experience completely miserable. The entire day is focused on restrictions and lack of freedom – and they are going to tell everyone they know how miserable they are and how hard their diet is.

Is going on a diet really much different than marriage, a mortgage, a job or having kids? No! They all come with restrictions and a lack of “freedom”, to some level, as we know it. BUT, each one of those things has major perks and is worth the small sacrifice – and the same goes with diet!! There is a KILLER reward that goes with it!!

Food vs Fuel

broken-down-carDieting (eating clean or whatever you want to call it) is a commitment you make with your body. Eating healthy is something you MUST chose if you want to live well and be your best. Choose poor fuel, and choose poor performance (life, energy, power, movement, health). At some point, you will pay for your poor choices.

Food is fuel, not just something to entertain your taste buds. Run a car on bad fuel and watch what happens..Ignore it and never take it to the shop, and it WILL eventually breakdown on you. The same applies to our body – but, ironically, people act surprised when our body fails us after years of neglect or refusal to change their unhealthy lifestyle.

diet rewardYou will be ready to fully commit to your body when you realize “dieting” is worth the sacrifice. And, you will be successful when you focus on all the GREAT STUFF instead of focus on all the negative stuff.

The great part is, unlike marriage, you don’t have to give up certain foods forever. You’ll be able to bring them back into your life as you get closer to your goal. I doubt Steve would appreciate me bringing back some old boyfriends, but this is totally healthy when you get to your maintenance diet. You aren’t divorcing certain foods forever, it’s more like a little good healthy separation.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Future

Ditch the Negative Nancy and Debbie Downer! It’s time to find your inner Positive Patricia and Happy Heather!

  1. Decide today to quit dating your diet, but commit to it fully. Tell junk food to pack their bags and get out, drag all of it to the curb and tell it not to come back.
  2. No more negative thoughts! Focus on all the stuff you GET (good stuff coming, bad stuff going) instead of the stuff you have to GIVE UP! Get your head in the game. Bad food is like a bad ex-lover. They lure you in with sweet words only to leave you full of regret and shame. You are better than that. There is SO much to gain from this. Focus on THAT!
  3. Don’t fixate on your cheat meal and don’t fantasize about foods you can’t have. If it’s not healthy for a married woman to fantasize about other men, why would it be healthy for a dieter to fantasize about other foods they shouldn’t have.
  4. Make a list of all the the things you love about dieting. Top on your list will likely be the way you look or feel. At one point in our marriage, we lost our focus and we had to make a list of all the things we loved about each other to help remind us why we got married to begin with. It was a great way to help us shift our focus OFF the bad and ON to the good.
  5. Extend yourself some grace. A healthy marriage requires a LOT of grace. We are human and we WILL mess up. The quicker you are to forgive yourself, the better. It’s not like you just wake up the day after the wedding acting 100% married. We still are selfish, we still want our way and we forget our actions affect our spouse. When you commit to a diet, it’s not like you are going to wake up the next day acting like an experienced fitness expert. No, you will make mistakes, you will still want things you can’t have, and still forget about the repercussions. Fitness isn’t based on feelings, it’s based on decisions – and sometimes, you’ll make bad ones. Forgive yourself and move on.
  6. Never Neverrr EVERRRR EVERRRRR give up! A good marriage isn’t a perfect one (I’m a good example of that!!) – and a fitness success story isn’t a perfect one. It’s full of failures, lessons learned, corrections made and a lot of determination. Quitting (like Divorce) should be a word you never allow to come out of your mouth.

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” Philippians 4:8.

diet focus

Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.


  • Muscles and Stuff (@MusclesandStuff)

    In regards to Food vs. Fuel, I can’t emphasize how much this actually changed my life. I am not exaggerating whatsoever.

    Once I started tracking what I ate everyday and how much proteins,fats, and carbohydrates I should be eating on a daily basis, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

    There are actually studies showing that if you track the food you eat day in and day out, you are changing the way your mind works which in turn, gives you better decision making skills since you have to make one less decision every day.

    I highly recommend everyone try to track the food they eat for at least two weeks and see how much better they feel overall.

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