One of the first steps to Empowered Eating, as indicated in my previous post, is walking away from the diet mentality, and all the rules and toxic behaviors that come with it.
However, this isn’t an easy task, as everyday there seems to be a new “it” diet that hits the media. With each one promising quick weight loss results. Giving us hope that this one will be the answer to all our weight problems, and ultimately give us the body of our dreams.
BUT, if “dieting” really was the answer, don’t you think it would have given us the results we are looking for, a few diets ago??
Yes, we may initially lose some weight. However, the restrictive nature of dieting will eventually cause us to cave and rebel against the rules it has set for us.
Leaving us to blame ourselves for “failing” or not having the “willpower” to stick to the “plan”…. When really it’s not “us” that has failed…it’s the diet that has failed us! DID YOU HEAR ME?? Let me repeat that……
YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. DIETING IS THE PROBLEM.
You see, dieting sets us up for failure right from the get go. It tells us what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. It tells us to tune out and stop listening to our body’s hunger, satiety and satisfaction messages. It tells us certain foods are “good” and others are “bad”. Which leaves us to feel the same about ourselves if we eat them. But, are we really “bad” for eating ice-cream, pizza or cake?? Of course not. Just like eating a salad doesn’t make us good.
FOOD IS SIMPLY FOOD.
Dieting creates a toxic relationship with food, body image and self. It causes us to fear food, judge food and question every bite. It leaves us to feel guilt and shame over something we ate or for veering off “plan”. Dieting causes the “dieting mentality”, and in order to walk away from the diet mentality, we need to get rid of the “diet” completely.
BUT HOW DO WE DO THAT?
#1 – LET GO OF THE RULES AND JUDGEMENT AROUND FOOD You know what I’m talking about… ”the no eating past 8pm, no eating carbs, no eating bread, fat makes you fat, dairy should be avoided”, etc. As soon as we place “rules and judgement” around food, we are on a diet. Our mind then becomes obsessed with the very foods we are trying to avoid. So in order to get off the diet, and change the “thinking” that comes with it, we need to break free from these rules.
#2 – TRUST THE WISDOM OF YOUR BODY Diets teach us to ignore and tune out. But nobody knows your body and what it needs better, than your body. So start tuning in and listening to what it is asking for. Give yourself permission to eat when you are hungry, and to eat foods that were once “taboo”, and for goodness sake, don’t you dare hold any guilt or shame for it.
Leaving a diet mentality can be very scary, especially if you have been in one for a long time. But, with patience, time, and a whole lot of self compassion and grace, it can be done. So allow your body to guide you, shut down the voices of doubt, and simply take it one meal at a time.