The entire Jewish world just celebrated a huge milestone, the Siyum Hashas.
Close to 100,000 people sat in cold weather and spent a day listening to speeches and joining in this momentous event.
It seems like everyone (except me) was there.
It suddenly hit me that dieting or healthy eating is actually similar to Daf Yomi and the Siyum Hashas!
First, I would like to note that although I’m using the Siyum Hashas as an analogy, there is really no comparison.
How is it similar?
1. It’s NOT all or none
Those who reached this milestone didn’t have an ‘all or none’ mentality. They took it one day at a time which is how dieting should be approached as well.
2. You can make up for it if you need to.
Missed a daf? You can make up for it.
Know you have things coming up? You can pre-learn the daf in advance.
3. It takes a really long time, 7 1/2 years to be exact but at the end you reach your goal. When people start they shouldn’t think about how long it will take, it’s just about getting to the goal.
4. Some people have it easier, some have it harder. It takes some people 30 minutes to learn a daf while some people take 90 minutes; don’t compare yourself to others.
5. Even when you get to the finish line you still have to keep up the effort and start anew. Similar to maintaining weight loss or doing it all again after having a baby for example.
6. Don’t look at how much you have left: rather how far you have come.
7. Learning the daf makes a better husband/father. Eating healthy makes a happier wife/mother/daughter or husband/father/son…
8. You can’t just decide to miss a day! Eating healthy is a lifestyle not a diet. If you get off track you have to get right back on and continue and also, do even better (and do the daf you missed).
9. Daf Yomi is for every type. Everyone fits it into their day differently and can do on their level. Healthy eating is also for every type!
10. Day 1 is full of enthusiasm and willpower. But then come the tired days and stressed days and busy days, and you just want to give up; but you keep that goal in mind, you remember how good you feel when you reach it, and you keep going!
11. It takes a lot of time until you see results. You need to do a daf every day for 7 and a half years! But eventually it pays off and the celebration is HUGE! With dieting, you may not see results right away, but it will really pay off after a while (hopefully quicker than 7 and a half years).
12. Seems daunting to start but if you say “just one page at a time, just one day at a time”, then you can accomplish it. Dieting is daunting too but if you take it a day at a time, it becomes part of your life.
13. One of the speakers at the siyum said “It’s not about perfection”… same with dieting. If you think you need to be perfect all the time, you won’t do it.
14. Just like by the siyum hashas, the men are celebrating an accomplishment in finishing to learn shas which will give them the energy to continue learning more. So too with dieting; every accomplishment deserves a celebration. The celebration does not have to involve food but it’s very important to reward oneself after accomplishing something challenging.
People who celebrate the siyum, do daf yomi even when they’re on business, vacation, ect. It’s a way of life. So too dieting/healthy eating.
16. Get a chavrusa or a diet buddy. This way someone is pushing you and relying on you.
So whether you just began a new Daf Yomi cycle or a new diet (or both) good luck, stay consistent, and make sure to celebrate!!