How to get over feeling deprived when it comes to dieting
I feel like all I’ve been hearing about for the past few days is this $1.5 billion Powerball lottery.
Some friends are playing and asked me if I wanted to join.
I reluctantly said yes. I’m essentially buying myself insurance to prevent pain. Not that I wouldn’t be happy for my friends…I’d be thrilled for them! But to know I would have also won, had I just played, would be painful.
Us human animals are far more sensitive to loss than gain. This is known as loss aversion.
Which leads us into…FOMO.
FOMO – is very real.
FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out.
Some people will never miss something in fear that they’ll be missing out on something great.
Here’s the thing: We’re always missing out on things. That is life. It’s impossible to do everything. We have to make choices, of course. Some choices cause more regret than others.
When it’s very real…”I would have won had I just played!” it becomes a lot more painful.
So what the heck does this have to do with anything health/fitness related?
I’ll tell you…
Let’s say there is a cookie in front of us.
There are many psychological reasons why we want to eat it. One of them being that we don’t want to feel deprived because everyone else is partaking.
Here’s the thing: In the moment, we’re only focusing on the discomfort of not eating that cookie. We’re thinking irrationally, and because we feel that we deserve the cookie, and that we’re entitled to it — because we work so hard — our short term/irrational mind is egging us on. “You deserve the cookie!” “How come everyone else gets to eat the cookie?” “This isn’t fair!”
But, of course, in the moment, we don’t think about all that we’re giving up.
Let us not forget: We also want to feel and look healthy and be energized and be who we really want to be.
Again, this is our fear of loss happening in real time. We’re only focused on what we’re not getting to have in the moment because we don’t want to feel deprived.
Here’s what I try to remind myself: If I give into the discomfort (instead of embracing it) and listen to my short term / irrational mind, I’m also depriving myself of getting to feel awesome.
And thankfully, the discomfort from not eating the cookie is fleeting. It’s actually just as fleeting as the pleasure we get from eating the cookie. Except one leads to guilt and regret while the other leads to feeling energized and empowered. Think about that for a second.
The second…the moment…we’re done eating that cookie, the pleasurable feelings we get vanish. That is exactly why sugar/salt/fat is addicting. We need more and more of it to get that dopamine spike.
If we choose to indulge our irrational mind because we don’t want to feel deprived, we’re actually depriving ourselves of our long term goals and true desires that’ll bring us far more happiness than two minutes of pleasure.
When we look back on our healthy choices we never regret them. When we look back on our unhealthy choices we usually do regret them. Unless, they’re memorable. And if something is truly memorable, go for it. But savor it. Pretend you’re a food critic while eating it.
And if your friends are playing the lottery, play with them.
P.S. Two thoughts on the lottery:
1) You can learn about a person when you ask what they’d do with that kind of money. Some people immediately think about all the things they’d do for themselves, and others immediately think of all they’d do for others.
2) If I win do not fear, MBT will still be here. This is my life’s work. I sincerely hope to be doing this for the rest of my life. I explained it in more detail here —> Click here to read about the two greatest days of my life. (Can’t believe I wrote that post 8 years ago!)