Weight loss diets don’t work for you. At least they haven’t yet. Not for very long anyway. You know this because you’ve tried all the diets. But somehow ditching dieting and NOT jumping on the bandwagon of the latest greatest diet craze feels like giving up on yourself.
So when you saw your friends post on social about “non-dieting”, you think she called it intuitive eating or something weird and woo-woo like that. Whatever it was called, she said she was happy about not following any restrictions or food lists and talked about how simple this had made meal planning. It had her raving about something called “food freedom” and how she had found her joy and zest for life back again. And you had to admit you were both intrigued and skeptical.
Trust Is An Intuitive Eating Thing
I know it’s hard to trust anything else when your doctor, your mother, and your best friend (who also happens to be a health coach) have been telling you for years that weight loss is your ticket to better health.
There’s so much propaganda out there in support of weight loss that it makes it hard to NOT believe in it. All the popular “health” magazines and fitness gurus are pushing workouts and diets designed to shrink your body because that’s what’s “best” for you. This message is literally everywhere.
So that’s what you’ve been doing. Everyday. For years. Your days have been consumed by googling recipes that comply with the approved foods lists from whichever diet book you’re reading at the time. You carefully plan out your meals, trying to figure out what you’ll make for yourself as well as for the rest of the family (short order cooking two or more meals has just become your norm).
Which makes this idea of shifting gears towards your intuition and NOT setting your eyes on weight loss and diets and NOT living like a meal planning fanatic feel a bit foreign. Maybe even a bit scary.
Address Your Fears
Let’s talk a minute about these fears you have. I think it’s safe to say that your fears are not what’s taking your weight off anyway, if it’s even coming off at all. And if it is coming off, it’s not actually staying off. And either way, fear is not helping matters.
So what is the scary part? Is it fear of the unknown? Is it fear of filling the hole and your time? I mean what would you do with your time if you didn’t have to memorize restricted and allowed food lists and search for new recipes and figure out menu plans and be a short order cook?
Or is it fear of your body looking like it does right now for the rest of your life? Or is it fear of weight gain if you stop trying to lose weight?
Maybe what you’re really afraid of is no longer having an excuse to put off doing the things you say you want to do…maybe actually doing those things scares you a little bit?
I get it. The publicity in support of putting weight loss on the back burner and non-dieting is way less prominent than diet culture rhetoric. How can you believe it? Where’s the proof? I wrote a little about all this over here in this post if you want to dive a little deeper.
If anything, fear is an emotion that can trigger stress hormones, which would make more sense that your fears were actually contributing to your lack of weight loss or possibly even weight gain. That’s the one piece of evidence you probably already know but maybe haven’t wanted to see.
Three Things To Know
First of all, what if I were to tell you the proof is already in you. Second, if everyone jumped off a bridge, would that be reason enough for you to jump off one too? And third, fear is not a reason to not do something…not when improving your health is on the line. In fact, in some cases, fear is the best reason to DO something.
Maybe what you need is someone to help you see the proof, push past your fears, and forge your own path.
Side note: This post is titled “4 Simple Ways…”, not “4 EASY Ways…” While the concepts are simple to grasp, I totally get it that making these things happen requires a bit more work.
I also think it’s safe to say your body’s got this. Meaning it knows how much energy it needs to do it’s thing. And it’s not programmed to grow beyond its programming…in other words, it requires the intervention of free-will to eat more than it genetically needs to function optimally.
So if that’s true, wouldn’t it make more sense to remove the external free-will, aka dieting, and replace it with tuning in to the body’s natural energy needs signals?
All that said, it’s not always easy to break old habits and create new ones. Let’s explore some ways you can break free from being stuck in your unsuccessful diet and weight loss rut, because a boat won’t get very far when its anchor is out. And neither will you if you keep your thoughts and desires anchored in weight loss and diet mentality. In order to make space for these new ideas, you need to remove some of the old ones.
1. Catch yourself in last supper thinking.
Last supper thinking means you’re hanging on to hopes of one last diet or one more try working out for you…resulting in the long awaited weight loss. Last supper thinking keeps your mind focused in the wrong direction. You can’t ring in a new mindset while holding on to an old one.
2. Monitor your daydreaming for wishes of a thinner you.
Just like last supper thinking, holding on to hopes and dreams of a thinner body doesn’t allow you to make room for accepting the current version of yourself.
3. Sensor your judgment about food.
Do you label food as good, bad, healthy, u healthy, and the like? Doing so places morals on food. But food is an inanimate object and cannot be moral. Being moral requires free-will. So when you think about it, it’s kind of silly that we do this with our food. Food is just food. Period.
You see when we label food with these moral titles, and then we eat these foods, we essentially begin to identify ourselves as having the qualities of the foods we’ve eaten…good, bad, healthy, u healthy.
4. Go do the things you want to do, no more excuses.
How much of life have you missed out on because you’ve been waiting for the perfect weight or to fit into a certain piece of clothing?
Go do these things now.
Life doesn’t care what size you are, or how you look in that pair of jeans. Go live it.
To help you shift your focus from dieting and weight loss towards gratitude for your life and finding your true joy, join us on December 5th for a 90 minute workshop over in the free community Nutrition for Living. Click the image below to sign up for reminders about the workshop.