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The Diet Mentality Runs Deep

You’ve struggled with your weight and you’ve tried diet after diet. Sometimes you were successful, sometimes you weren’t. You measure this success in only one way … “did I lose weight?”.

 

By now you recognize that diets don’t work. But, you still want to lose weight. You still want to go down 2 dress sizes. You are still not happy with your current body. Yet, you know that going on another “shake diet” or elimination diet is not the right thing for you. Perhaps you have a sister who struggled with her weight just like you, but she went a different route. She saw a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who teaches the intuitive eating approach.

 

The “nutritionist” you went to takes food away from you. She convinced you that carbs are “bad”. You are now afraid to eat bread, potatoes, pasta, or any food that has carbs in them. You believe these foods will cause you to gain weight immediately. But your sister convinces you to see her registered dietitian nutritionist. And so, you make an appointment.

 

You like her philosophy. Intuitive eating, something you’ve never heard of before, but really makes a lot of sense to you. But you’re afraid. Afraid to not diet anymore, afraid that if you’re left to your own food decisions, you will eat out of control. You beg the RDN to give you a meal plan but you promise to use it with a healthy mindset.

 

The meal plan is well balanced, using wholesome foods, and yes, it incorporated carbs! Yay! You can eat carbs again. You are happy. You come for your appointments weekly, you say you are okay with the slow rate of weight loss, and you are trying hard to implement the mindful eating strategies she is teaching you.

 

Then it happens. You come for your appointment today and you say, “next Tuesday is a religious fast day, I cannot eat. My weight the next day won’t reflect my real weight. That’s why I’m not coming for my appointment on Wednesday.”

 

Bam, just like that you are back in diet mentality.

 

I have news for you.

 

You never left diet mentality.

 

Every time you came in for your sessions, you focused on the scale, how good or bad you were during the previous week, and spoke about how important it was for you to lose weight and fit into the clothes in your closet that you haven’t fit into for years. And, you allowed the scale to dictate if you were coming in for an appointment or not.

 

The beautiful thing about the sessions I have with my intuitive eating clients is there is no scale involved! Whereas before as a dieter, the main purpose for your session was to “weigh in”, that is not the case when traveling the intuitive eating journey. Instead, it’s about understanding how you got to your current mindset today, overturn those limiting beliefs and negative messages that drive your actions, and begin to really listen and hear your internal signals and trust that they will guide your eating.

 

Dieting has never served you and never will!  I recognize that moving past the diet mentality is difficult as the diet mentality runs deep! As hard as you try on your own to shift out of a dieter’s mindset, you need support.

 

If you’re ready to get rid of the diet mentality for good, feel free to contact me here. It’s my honor to help you achieve food freedom.

 

NOTE:

I put the word “nutritionist” above in quotes because unfortunately in New York State, this is not a regulated term. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist so you must be careful to whom you get advice from.  Ask them where they got their degree(s) from, and in what field. Don’t assume anything.

 

 

Trash the Scale

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from Kay, a woman who has been working on overcoming emotional eating. I received an email from her that said the following:

 

“Sometimes eating healthy is easy. But sometimes eating healthy and losing weight feels like a struggle. I had to stop weighing myself recently. The scale was showing that I am going up and down around a pound per day.  I was getting worried, and it seemed like all of a sudden, I was struggling more (emotionally.)

 

This early morning, I went out to the backyard to water my lawn on my watering day, and my pajama bottoms almost fell off me. I wanted to go back inside and weigh. But if I did, and the scale didn’t show less, I knew that I would be upset.  How can I give up worries about how much I weigh?

 

This is such a great question and I know it’s something you are thinking as well. As a chronic dieter, you’ve used the scale to measure your success. Each day you’d get on the scale to see how you did the day before and to determine your plan of action for the day ahead. And, if we are being real, you probably go on the scale more than one time per day.

 

Let’s look at a few scenarios.

 

Scenario #1: You get on the scale in the morning and the number is a “good” number. Your mood for the day is happy.

 

Scenario #2: You get on the scale in the morning and the number is a “bad” number. Your mood for the day is depressed, even angry.

 

Both scenarios can trigger overeating, whether it be celebration eating (“I lost weight, I can have a treat”) or consolation eating (“I was so good and didn’t lose any weight. Why bother trying”.)

 

Other self-talk around the result of your morning weigh-in might sound like:

“I ate horribly yesterday, and I still lost weight. Thank goodness, I don’t have to starve today”.

“I only lost ¼ pound, it wasn’t worth it”.

 

This self-talk is the talk of a dieter. Without a doubt, weighing yourself keeps you in diet mentality. It fuels the body worry>food worry vicious cycle of emotional eating and dieting. If you truly want to be break free of this cycle, you must start with throwing away the scale.

 

Do you let the scale dictate your mood? Are you ready to throw it away?

 

Watch this video (click image) as I discuss this topic further and comment below with your commitment to stop weighing yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Structuring My Meals Still Dieting?

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question is:

Is it okay to have some structure around intuitive eating? Like having a basic plan to go by, with suggestions of what to eat, especially when you’re new to intuitive eating.”

 

This is such a common question, and I’m sure you have been wondering the same thing. It all comes down to 2 questions.

 

  1. What do you mean by having “structure”?
  2. Do you still possess a diet mentality?

 

Let’s tackle question number one first.

 

The definition of the word ‘structure’ according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:

something arranged in a definite pattern of organization.”

 

Arranging your eating pattern for the day into meals plus ‘as needed’ snacks would be putting a structure to your eating pattern. It’s basically laying down some guidelines for yourself so you have a basic idea of what you will eat for that particular day. As long as these are foods that you love and feel good in your body, then what you are doing is planning. And my motto is:

 

 

You plan vacations, you plan your children’s activities, and you plan work tasks. You plan many different areas of your life. Why wouldn’t you plan your meals?

 

However, if you break out in hives because your plan does not pan out, and you have difficulty being flexible with it, then this meal plan structure is just another diet.

 

Which leads me to question number two.

 

Do you possess a diet mentality?

 

As stated above, if the meal plan structure you’ve created for yourself leads you to feel deprived of foods you didn’t include in your plan because you think they aren’t “nutritious” for you, and this leads to overeating or bingeing on these foods when you “just can’t take it anymore”, then this structure is doing you more harm than good.

 

This is why the first step on your intuitive eating journey must be shifting your mindset. It requires you to acknowledge all the damage that dieting has done, biologically, health wise, psychologically and emotionally! And not just acknowledge it. Really get down deep to understand why you will never ever diet again. This step takes time. You must not rush it.

 

Is it scary to no longer diet, and not have a meal plan to guide your eating?

 

Absolutely. I’m not saying stop dieting and stop paying attention to what you put into your mouth. I’m saying to throw away the diet rules and relax your eating. Eat your meals, and choose foods that feel good in your body because your body needs the nutrition and the energy it gets from food.

 

It’s okay to plan, but be conscious that the planning does not become dieting.

 

Let’s discuss this further on today’s Facebook LIVE at 1:30 pm EST on my Facebook business page HERE. LIKE the page now so you get notification when I go live.

 

If you are reading this after we went live, just head on over to the FB page and you’ll find the replay under Videos. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and questions.

 

 

Getting Rid of “I Can’t” with Intuitive Eating

ie-blog-1I have had many clients who are stuck in a negative, diet mentality.  They often come to me with lists of things they can’t do and never mention anything they can do.

 

I can’t stop dieting.

I can’t lose weight.

I can’t change my eating habits.

I can’t listen to my body.

I can’t exercise.

 

When a client comes to me with this mindset, I like to tell them a story about my son’s third grade teacher.

 

For homework one night, my son had to write a list of all the things he can’t do.  Naturally, I thought this assignment made no sense.  Why would his teacher want him to do this?  Shouldn’t he make a list of all the things he can do?  Nonetheless, we still worked on his homework and came up with a list of things he can’t do.

 

When he came home from school the next day, I asked him what his teacher did with his list of “I can’ts”.  He said his teacher had them march out to the playground, dig a hole and bury their “I can’ts”.

 

I was astonished.  This is brilliant.

 

Why didn’t I ever think of this idea for my clients?

 

Well, now I do use this concept for my clients, and you!

 

This activity falls right into the practice of eating intuitively.  While you are on your intuitive eating journey, you are working on reframing your mindset.  You are changing the way you think about your body, food and the way you eat.  This activity is a great way to help you solidify why you want to change your mindset.

 

You can get rid of your “I can’ts” by reframing your mindset.

 

Change your “I can’ts” to “I am”, “I can”, and “I will”.  Look at them as challenges that you will overcome, which will lead to success.

 

Here is an example: You can reframe “I can’t exercise” to “It’s a challenge for me to exercise, but perhaps I can start with a 5 minute walk each day”.  By changing exercise to a challenge instead of an “I can’t”, you are recognizing the fact that you can overcome this challenge.

 

Simply reframing your mindset will help you get “I can’t” out of your vocabulary and you will feel great doing it!!

 

If you want to learn more about how you can reframe your mindset, you can contact me here.  I am here to help you.

 

 

There’s No All or Nothing in Intuitive Eating

cakeI recently had a client share her success story.  Let’s call her Susan. Susan was at an office party when two delicious looking cakes were served.  She knew she wouldn’t be able to resist trying the cakes, so she took a small piece of each on her plate.  She ate a few bites of the chocolate cake, then a few bites of the white cream cake, and something amazing happened!

 

She didn’t feel the need to eat more! She was shocked. She was practicing mindfulness around her eating and she savored each bite and she was satisfied before she polished off both pieces.

 

This. Never. Happened. To. Her. Before.

 

How did she do this you ask?

 

By using the intuitive eating strategies that I am teaching her, she is learning to move away from the all or nothing way of thinking.  She didn’t feel guilty for indulging in a food she wanted.  She has made peace with food and has reaped the benefits which is showing up in so many ways in her life.

 

Had she found herself in this scenario a few months ago before we began working together, the outcome would have been different. The all or nothing thinking is part of a diet mentality and usually leads to overeating, followed by guilt, unhappiness, dieting, restriction, overeating etc.  It’s a vicious cycle.

 

Intuitive eating is tuning into what your body wants, even if it’s a slice of cake, and giving it what it wants.  If you listen to your body, you won’t feel the need to overeat and have guilt afterwards.  Your body will be happy it can enjoy the foods it wants.

 

You may be asking yourself, “How do I get myself to this point?”  The answer is to change your mindset.  You have to step away from the diet mentality of restricting certain foods or entire food groups.

 

The way to make peace with food is to give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you want. I know, this sounds like an opportunity to eat uncontrollably. And to be honest with you, some people use it as an excuse to do just that.

 

It’s a process my dear readers. It does not happen overnight. Those who work through the process with the support, encouragement, positive attitude and patience are the ones who will experience what Susan did. The intuitive eating process can help you transform your relationship with food, where you end the battle with food and your body and achieve great pleasure in eating once again.

 

Here are two steps you can take today to become and intuitive eater and change your mindset:

 

  1. Commit to saying goodbye to the dieting mindset! It is time to recognize that you can have your cake and eat it too. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

 

  1. Start tuning in and listening to your body. Your body gives you signals when it starts to get hungry and full. Tune into these signals to know when and what you should feed your body.  You’ll learn to eat what your body craves without overeating.

 

I am here to help you embark on this journey and break out of the dieting mindset.

 

If you’d like further individualized support, just fill out this risk free request form at www.TalkWithBonnie.com.

 

Fitting All Your Favorites into a Healthy Eating Plan

Tell me if this sounds familiar.  You are about to embark on the latest diet plan of the moment.  This diet requires you to avoid eating certain food that you love most; maybe that’s pasta, chocolate cake, or in some cases, even fruit is forbidden.  You assign a date for which you are going to “start” this plan and in the days leading up to the “start” you overindulge in all the foods you love that you will have to give up while you are on this diet.  Why do you put yourself through this torture?

Intuitive eating restricts no foods.  It encourages learning to make a place for all your favorites by exercising your right to honor your hunger, while still respecting your fullness.  Eat healthfully but allow yourself to enjoy food without punishing yourself or feeling guilty.  If you truly want a bagel for breakfast, then by all means, have a bagel; but tune in.  You may find that once you take the label off that bagel, half will be all you need to feel satisfied.

Food should not make you feel bad.  Diet plans foster this mentality if you decide to eat something that is not on “the diet,” conjuring up words like “cheating” and “falling off”—both negative terms that take away from the joy that those foods can and should bring you.  Yet when you are eating intuitively and giving yourself permission to eat any food, how much and how often you eat that food completely changes.  You are mentally more clear and less stressed about what you eat, which usually leads to better eating habits in the long run.

So don’t forbid your favorite foods.  Everything can be part of a healthy eating plan as long as you are listening to your hunger and fullness signals.

Your turn to take action: What food do you love that you have given up in the past?