I received an email from a young woman (let’s call her Susan) this week who follows my work in intuitive eating. She was sharing with me how thankful she is that she never fell prey to the dieting gimmicks and fads that so many of her friends have, and still do. She is also thankful that I share so much with my community by way of blogs, videos, trainings, as it has helped her stay true to herself in trusting her body.
With her permission, I am sharing an excerpt from her email below.
Growing up, I was never exposed to fad dieting at home. My mom had a great relationship with food and taught me how to live my life as an intuitive eater. This was especially helpful when I was in high school, and lunch periods were consumed by friends talking about which new diet they’re trying and how many pounds they were “supposed” to lose by the end of the week. Thankfully, I was rock solid in my beliefs and always brushed off the diet talk.
I was excited to start graduate school and be part of a program with many intelligent individuals and advance in my career. Yet, the dieting talk followed me here too!
“I wanna lose at least 2 pounds by Friday, think it’s possible? I didn’t bring any food for lunch so I’m hoping that’ll be at least one pound down today” read a text I received last Tuesday from a classmate. I thought being 25 years old and in a notorious graduate program, most people moved past the “dieting stage” and wouldn’t give into the pressure of restricting themselves. Apparently not.
I replied to the text and explained that restricting your intake of food will not cause you to lose weight. In fact, it will actually slow your metabolism down! Plus, starving yourself throughout the day will ultimately backfire when you get home and see the food that was prepared for dinner. You’ll be so famished that you’ll eat too much too fast, ignoring your inner body cues.
“Nah, I have a lot of self-control” was the reply. I shrugged and moved on, thinking “oh well”.
Fast forward a couple of hours, I received a text that read “Help! I inhaled my food and ate too fast. I was just starving! I’m in so much pain”.
I feel bad for my classmate. I really do. She has been on and off many diets in her life, and she’s only 25 years old! As you can see, I tried discussing intuitive eating with her, but she doesn’t understand it. She really believes that she needs to restrict her food and deny her hunger as the way to “change her body”. I texted her your website, DietFreeRadiantMe.com, and gently suggested she read some of your blogs and watch your videos. I hope she does.
Thank you for all you do, Bonnie.
Wow, emails like this pull at my heart strings for 2 reasons:
- My heart is warm and fuzzy that I have helped Susan stay true to herself and maintain the trust in her body and her food choices. The fact that I have put myself out there online and am able to reach people that I might not have been able to reach with my important message makes my heart sing.
- My heart aches for those who are still struggling with diets, still struggling with loving their bodies, and not yet trusting that if they listen to their body, it won’t let them down.
So, where do we go from here?
I will continue to put myself out there and continue to spread my message that no form of dieting is going to work for losing weight and keeping it off.
And as scary as it is to stop dieting, it’s time!
I encourage you to be brave and take the leap of faith. You don’t need to go it alone.