For most of us with a history of dieting, restriction is all too familiar, and has not proven to be very constructive. But as they shed the dieter’s mindset, our Weighless members are embracing the more expansive concept of of restraint.
At first glance, they may seem to be the same thing. But we’ve identified some crucial differences:
|has an undertone of punishment: I’m atoning for “bad behavior.”||has a more positive connotation: I’m aligning my choices with my values or objectives.|
|is rule-driven. “I’m not allowed to have this.”||is awareness-driven: “What do I want/need right now?”|
|is more likely to be framed in absolutes: “I can’t ever have XYZ.”||feels more flexible: “What does this situation call for?”|
|often backfires: The more I enforce it, the more rebellion I feel.||Is self-reinforcing: The more I practice restraint, the easier and more natural it feels.|
|is often consequence-focused: “If I don’t restrict, I might ___________.”||is more reward-focused: “When I exercise restraint, I can ___________.”|
Do any of those resonate for you? What might you do to shift your approach from restriction to restraint?