Sisyphus was a king in Greek mythology.  In his hubris, he dared to attempt to outsmart the Gods and was cursed with the futility of rolling a boulder up a hill for eternity.

For many people diets are a continuous cycle of trying to roll that boulder up a hill.  Every time they think they’ve found “the way;” any number of new diets and exercise routines, each yielding lackluster results.

If I were selling something, this is when I’d say: “BUT NOT ANYMORE!  THIS NEW DIET CHANGES ALLLLLL THE RULES!”

Diets never “change” the rules.  Here is THE rule:

  1. Eat less calories than you expend.  Energy Balance Equation.

I’ve found that people fail on diets because:

  1. Their knowledge is lacking, and they refuse to remedy that (huge).
  2. Their adherence isn’t consistent.

Every diet, literally, I mean this: every diet, just disguises “the rule.”

A lot of people give up on weight-loss, and ultimately, sadly: changing themselves for the better. Their reasons are generally validation-seeking: “diets don’t work for me,” “I have a different body,” “I’ve tried and failed,” etc.  The “better version” of someone isn’t a skinny version–it’s a version with self-awareness and a drive to grow.

Most justifications of failure are defenses of the ego.  (Read “Creation of the False Self” if you’re curious.)

The confidence every person has in his/her own ability to resolve their issues “correctly” can be a pitfall.  From self-efficacy in just about every discipline on this earth, to interactions with other good people, to taking control of their weight and making a better-functioning body.

The only step that you need to take to overcome this is to admit: “I don’t know it all.  There is a lot I need to absorb and understand.  I failed because I’m deficient, but that’s ok: I’ll learn.”

It isn’t admitting defeat. You’re not competing with anyone.  No one expects anything of you with regard to your own self-improvement.  That would imply that there is one right way for each person to grow.

There is nothing wrong with not knowing all the answers.  Some questions or situations don’t even have a “right answer.”  It’s ok to fail.  Forgive yourself for not measuring up to your expectations, and learn more before you try again.

Re-examine what you think you know.  Ask questions.  Challenge your own beliefs to hold up to reality.  If they can’t/don’t: change them.  Change yourself.

Stop putting your energy into defense of your ego, and instead pour it into you.  You might be surprised with the results.

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