I am pretty sure I’ve been on every diet on the planet. In fact, I’ve probably tried them all more than once.

Thank goodness, I don’t diet anymore and I didn’t diet my way to nearly 150 lbs of weight loss, but I remember those diets all too clearly (sometimes I wish I could forget the misery & voluntary insanity).

Here’s what I remember more than anything: feeling defeated & overwhelmed.

I chose the diets. No one chose them for me. I opted into them, hence why I think of them as voluntary insanity, but I found them incredibly overwhelming.

The rules were exhausting and I constantly felt under pressure.

Every time I broke one of the rules, I felt guilty.

I felt defeated. I became deeply disappointed in myself and lost confidence in my ability to reach my goals.

I was overwhelmed. The rules, guidelines and restrictions were a huge burden that I felt I couldn’t escape.

Even in my Fat Loss Fast Tracks where there are no rules (only tools), my clients often feel overwhelmed.

I think that comes from the fact that they treat the tools like rules because we’re just so darn used to dieting and they’re striving for perfection at the expense of progress.

Since this is such a common issue in life, in the pursuit of our best health and even in my Fat Loss Fast Tracks, I thought I’d share my $0.02 on how to best respond to feeling overwhelmed.

Simplify.

Step back and identify what MUST be done.

Step back and look at what choice will make you feel your very best today.

Let the rest go.

Don’t create a list of optional, non-essential to-dos.

Don’t create a plan based on your best case scenario.

Take a deep breath & get real.

What will make you feel your best?

What CAN you do today?

What can you let go of for the day?

What things are you adding to your plate that aren’t required?

No one is grading your effort on this day.

No one is judging what you do or don’t do.

This is your journey.

Be gentle with yourself.

Do your best.

Your best will look different each day.

That’s normal. It SHOULD look different each day.

Now, that’s not a license to make crappy choices when you’re overwhelmed because honestly, will that make you feel your best? No. Not likely. It will probably make you feel even worse tomorrow.

Don’t try to be a hero.

Identify what is non-essential and let it go for today.

Be honest about what you can do, about what will make you feel your best and do that think.

Simplify.

Stop acting like you’re being graded on your adherence to a list of rules you opted into.

Simplify.

Relax.

It’s a journey.