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My career is entirely based on food. With work and eating in my own daily life, I end up thinking about food several hours of the day. And with all my experience and training, I’ve gotten pretty good at picking up on dieting behavior and all this diet talk.
Every where I go, whether it be in the grocery aisles, on social media, or with my friends, I hear people say things like,
“Don’t judge me for eating all this food.”
“I’m getting seconds because ______.”
“I diet to lose weight, then I gain the weight back, and so I do it again.”
“I need to go on a diet so that I can fit into my swimsuit or etc.”
“I can’t eat that because I’m on a diet” or because “I’m trying to lose weight.”
“I need to lose weight to get to my pre-pregnancy weight.”
I have heard all of those things and more, and it hurts my heart.
This is what I want to say to all my friends out there who say these things>>>>>>>
-I’m not judging you for eating “all” that food! No one is paying attention to what you’re eating and how much. And even if they were judging, does it really matter?
-You don’t need to tell us why you’re getting seconds or thirds. You don’t have to justify the reason to us. You are your own person and you get to choose.
-You don’t have to go on a diet to lose weight, YOU are BEAUTIFUL just the way you are. As you take care of your body and eat mindfully, your weight will naturally adjust to where it needs to be.
-You don’t have to diet to fit into your swimsuit or for that matter, those old skinny jeans and little black dress in the back of your closet. Be proud of who you are and be proud of your body! Our bodies can do amazing things. Let’s focus on that instead of what our body isn’t.
-Since when has restriction worked? It didn’t, doesn’t, and will not work. The sooner that you realize that, the better. Embrace the belief that ALL food can be part of a healthy and nutritious diet (diet as in your daily intake:)
-Pregnancy weight is a difficult thing to deal with.. I understand the pressure that comes to lose the pregnancy weight, I really do. But do you really want to spend your moments worrying about how you look when you have a sweet new babe in your arms? Enjoy those precious moments.
It literally breaks my heart when I hear diet talk.
Because at the center of it all, you are telling yourself that you are not good enough, that you are not worthy… And it just drives me literally angry that the media out there has convinced us that we have to look a certain way to be able to love ourselves. Where do they get off? Who gave them that power? Who gave them permission? Who gave them that right?
We did. We let them get into our heads and now they have us wrapped around our own beliefs that we aren’t good enough and that no matter what we look like, we still won’t be good enough. Because that’s just what they do.
Why can’t I just be good enough, the way I am right now and right here?
Why can’t you be good enough right now and right here?
I know how much GUILT and SHAME comes from dieting. I am well acquainted with that ever-present sense of FAILURE and not being good enough. I know how it feels to let the SCALE determine whether you’re going to have a good or bad day. I know how it feels to be STUCK in an endless cycle of restricting and bingeing. I know how it feels to HATE having pictures taken. I know the OBSESSION that can come. I KNOW what it feels like. I’ve been there and done that. I cry when I think about how many years I wasted worrying about how I looked. I cry over the countless hours and weeks and years that my thoughts were CONSTANTLY on my body, obsessively criticizing every. little. thing. And I cry when I hear that diet talk all around me because I know what that means. I know what you are actually telling yourselves and I know how horrible it feels.
How did I finally move forward?
Learning to trust my body again.
Learning to love my body one day at a time.
Learning that I am good enough just the way I am.
Learning that it is a life-long process, not a quick fix.
Do I have it down perfectly? Do I love myself every moment of every day? No, I’m human. But I am a billion times closer to it than I was, and my biggest wish is for you to feel the same freedom around food and your body.
Give yourself permission to let it all go. Give yourself permission to take the time you need to let it all go. Stop the criticizing and fault-finding. Quit the diet talk. Start giving yourself and your body the love, compassion, and respect you deserve. And then we’ll see who really had the power all along.
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I HATE diets. And I’m talking about diets for weight loss here.
Any “lifestyle change” that includes restricting, body shaming, and guilt is a diet.
Just hearing the word makes me cringe. When I hear associates/friends/family talk about “going on a diet”, I want to shake them while yelling all the reasons why they shouldn’t… I know that feelings of failure, guilt, shame, and self-hatred will claim their hearts and minds and the diet will make them feel like they aren’t good enough. Just like diets always do. “But not this one, this one is different!” they say. And all I can do is politely nod, and walk away because it hurts my heart when I see loved ones repeat the diet cycle over and over again. Is the diet ever blamed for the failure? No, it’s always the person’s fault, because they “blew” it and they didn’t have enough “willpower”. Don’t you see that it’s all part of the game? The diet industry blames the individual and makes money off of every diet failure that occurs, because they know the dieter will be back for more and will bring their checkbooks with them.
There are so many reasons why diets don’t work. Let’s get started!
1. Diets do not produce sustainable results.
If you were not doing the behavior before you started the diet, chances are that it won’t last. You have to ask yourself “Can I do this for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, then it’s not worth starting. Seriously. Find small changes that you can work on, consistently working on sustainable changes.
2. Diets aren’t fun.
Let’s face it, you dread going on a diet because you know that it’s going to be awful. Eating should be an enjoyable experience.
3. Diets restrict.
Do you remember when you were little and your mom would say, “Sally Sue you are not allowed to have cookies until after dinner.” or “You are not allowed to watch TV.” and how automatically that was the only thing that you could think about and wanted? It doesn’t change when we become adults! We want what we can’t have, and when you eat that restricted food, it often turns into a binge (overeating) leaving you feeling worthless and guilty vowing to never eat that food again. And the cycle repeats — overeating/restricting/overeating/restricting…
4. Diets slow metabolism.
It is well understood that your metabolism decreases as calorie intake decreases— which is a good thing if you were stranded in a desert and starving. Our bodies are so smart and extremely adaptable. As you eat less calories, your body figures out how to survive on less calories storing the rest as body fat.
5. Diets are focused on weight.
Let’s talk about how great you are and how who you are and how beautiful you are is not determined by a number on a scale. Diets make you hyper focused on that very number, and that number becomes the very thing that determines if you are going to have a “good” or “bad” day.
6. Diets can lead to obsession and disordered eating.
Diets tend to consume you. Your eating regimen becomes all that you think about, and that can lead to obsession, disordered eating, and sometimes eating disorders which can be very dangerous.
7. Diets increase hunger.
Hormones are released that make you more hungry and less able to feel full. Yeah… Is it beginning to make sense why diets are so hard to maintain?!
8. Diets cause you to ignore body cues.
You finish off your calories for the day and you find that you are still hungry but you ignore the stomach pains, and tell yourself that you can eat again tomorrow. Or you find yourself eating even when you are not hungry. This takes you further and further from your own inner wisdom of knowing what your body needs. Truly, it is the opposite of what we want. And I think it’s important to mention that even if you have been dieting your whole life, you can re-learn how to connect to and trust your body again.
9. Diets don’t change your eating triggers.
What I mean is that diets don’t address the underlying reasons that you are overeating. Diets don’t help you learn to recognize that you may be eating out of boredom, stress, or emotions instead of hunger.
10. Diets make you feel like a failure.
A box of donuts is brought to the office, and you resist reaching for one 94 times. And then you eventually eat one. Even though in every other aspect of life doing something 94 times would be considered a success, in diet-world it’s an immediate fail when you eat 1. It’s crazy.
It’s time to usher in a new way of thinking, and it begins with rejecting the diet mentality. Keep an eye out for future blog posts about intuitive eating and mindful eating. Intuitive and mindful eating are concepts centered on body-love and body trust. It allows you to heal your relationship with food and find food-freedom. Now tell me, who wouldn’t want that?