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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.

 

 

Your Emotional Health, Self-Talk and Weight Loss

quote-92I have many clients that come to me with the frustration of not meeting their weight loss goals.  They come to me wondering what they can do to reach their “goals”.  I usually sit down with them and go over what they are eating and if they are exercising; the typical conversation I have when a client comes to me for weight loss.

 

But their eating pattern isn’t the only thing we discuss.

 

My clients and I may also discuss how they feel about themselves after not reaching their “goals”.  Where is their mindset at?  How are they feeling on their journey to a healthier lifestyle?

 

Often they might see not reaching their weight loss goal as a failure and a reflection of who they are as a person.  They may then develop a negative internal monologue with themselves that tends to only perpetuate weight gain or the inability to lose weight.

 

Does this resonate with you?

 

Bullying yourself is not the way to long lasting weight loss, nor is it part of a healthy lifestyle.

 

Many times the roadblocks in the journey to weight loss are not a lack of nutrition education or even support, but rather they are barriers you put up in your own psyche that prevents you from moving forward.

 

Your emotional health is key to your physical health, and talking yourself down will not lead to success.

 

How many times have you eaten what you consider “poorly” or not in keeping with your “diet plan” throughout the first half of the day, and your inner voice starts bullying you saying, “You can’t even make it a few hours without eating unhealthy” or “Can’t you stick to anything?  You’re such a failure!  You’ll never lose weight!”  The disappoint that accompanies these thoughts almost always leads to more unhealthy choices throughout the rest of the day.

 

Instead of criticizing yourself, be your own cheerleader.

 

The day is not ruined if you chose to eat a bagel for breakfast instead of oatmeal.  Tell yourself it is OK and move on.

 

There are so many more things to the day than what you eat.

 

Food should only be a part of your life, not what controls it.

 

The more you can shift your mind from the negative to focusing on all the great things about what you do in a day, the more success you will have with living a healthy lifestyle.

 

Support from others is great and is a key piece in a healthy mindset (and intuitive eating), but the support you give yourself is equally if not more important.  After all, you are on this journey for you and nobody else, and while weight loss is great, achieving happiness and a sense of peace with the way you maintain a healthy lifestyle is even better.

 

Intuitive eating can help you change your mindset and help you overcome body bashing.  You will develop a better relationship with food and no longer have feelings of remorse or anger if you go off your “diet plan”.

 

If you would like to learn more about intuitive eating and how it can help you, contact me here.

 

3 Reasons Why I Will Never Diet Again, and Neither Should You

3 Reasons whyI will never diet again. I say this with confidence. I know that diets don’t work. I also know that in my younger years, whenever I was on a diet, I was miserable. Oh, yes, I always lost weight on the diet, but then I gained that weight back.

 

If you are reading this blog, I bet you can relate. You are a dieter, a chronic dieter. Perhaps you are reading this after breaking your current diet and you are desperate to find another way. Or, you are reading this and you are at your goal weight, having lost the excess pounds by starving yourself, drinking shakes or eating “clean” but tasteless food.

 

Here are 3 reasons WHY I will never diet again and neither should you:

 

1. Diets cause you to think about food ALL. THE. TIME. What did I eat yesterday, what did I eat before, what am I eating now, what will I eat later, what will I eat tomorrow. Whew, that’s exhausting. Food should not be the center of your day, food should not encompass your entire brain. There is so much more to life that you can be doing than thinking about food all the time.

 

2. Diets cause you to feel guilty when you eat something you think you should not eat. The diet lists foods for you to choose and those to avoid. But what if you happen to want to eat a food that’s on the “avoid” list? Well, what usually happens when you are told you cannot have something? Yep, you want it more (everyone always gets this question right!) You can deny your desire for only so long. So you indulge and the guilty feelings and harsh self-talk start. Isn’t it time to put that to bed?

 

3. Diets cause you to lose trust in your own food decisions. Well, last I checked, I am the owner of my body, of my inner signals and my thoughts. I can certainly make decisions about what I want to eat. Don’t you think you should too?

 

These are only 3 reasons I will never diet again, and why you shouldn’t either. There are plenty more that perhaps I’ll discuss in another blog.

 

In the meantime, I would like to hear from you. Do you resonate with any of the side effects of dieting I discussed above? How will you break this vicious cycle? Let me know in the comments below.

 

And, come and join the discussion in my free private Facebook group where you’ll join women and men who are giving up dieting too. Click here to request free access.

 

 

 

The Most Important Step in Losing Weight

It's all about your mindset-no logoI’m going to keep today’s blog short. It’s a quick message for you, although I realize it might not be so easy or quick for you to internalize.

 

I was asked a very interesting question yesterday. The question went like this:

 

“What is the most important thing I can do to lose weight besides changing my eating?”

 

I imagine what comes to your mind, besides food, would be….exercise. But that’s not what I answered her.

 

The very first and most important thing you need to do if you want to lose weight and never gain it back is to CHANGE YOUR MINDSET!  That’s right. It has nothing to do with food.

 

You’ve tried changing your food and exercise before. You’ve been on multiple diets, on and off. You’ve gained weight, you’ve lost weight, and you’ve gained the weight back again.

 

You’ve exercised at the gym, at home, you’ve done boot camps, you hired a trainer, you tried Zumba and even spinning.

 

And, you are right back where you started from. Trying to lose the weight again.

 

This is because you have been starting at the end, not at the beginning. You have been so focused on what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat as dictated by the diet plans and what is “healthy”, that you aren’t understanding the big WHY– why you choose what you choose, when you choose it. You are stuck in a diet mentality and are afraid to let it go.

 

It is most important to start by changing your mindset around food, around dieting, around your body and your life. As a dieter, you must move past your dieting mentality and the idea that you need to deprive yourself and/or restrict yourself of your favorite foods in order to lose weight. You must move past the thought that you must “follow” what someone else tells you to eat because you no longer trust yourself to make those decisions.

 

The sooner you can do this, the sooner you can develop a healthier relationship with food and allow yourself to be guided by your inner body wisdom to know when to start eating and when to stop. However, if you say in the cycle of food worry, you will continue to think it’s the food that’s at the core of the problem, and that’s just not so.

 

There’s a lot more I can say on this topic. We are discussing it in our online private Facebook community.

 

Come and join the discussion.

 

 

Being Intuitive with Exercise

TreadmillAt this juncture if you have been reading my intuitive eating blogs, I hope you have begun to grasp that it is a mindset shift I’ve been encouraging rather than a specific meal plan to follow.  These principles of intuitive eating can also be applied to exercise.

If you’ve been a chronic dieter, then most likely you started exercising when you started dieting.  And when you went off the diet, you stopped the exercise.

Here are 3 mistakes you might have made in your exercise past:

1.   You started your exercise plan with an extremist approach.  You started off with too much too fast, after which you were exhausted and most likely had unpleasant experiences with the exercise.  You were left seeing exercise as a negative, rather than for all of the positive things it can bring.  Just like the word “diet” makes you cringe, exercise can get bundled up in the same negative mentality.

2.  You put exercise off “until you were ready”.  You believed that in order to go to the gym you had to attain a certain amount of physical skill, or get down to a certain size before you can be seen in gym clothes.  The same way I have encouraged your journey on mindful eating, I encourage you not to worry what other people think.  Lets face it, are they really looking at you anyway:)  They are engrossed in their own exercise routine and aren’t even paying attention to you.

3.  You associated exercise with weight loss.  You tied exercise into how many calories you burned.  Instead, try to think of exercise not as something you are doing to negate the calories you have eaten or to burn a certain amount to lose x number of pounds.  You are doing it because it is strengthening your heart, bones and overall ability to function day to day.  Being able to run around with your kids is much more valuable than the ¼ pound you have to work off to be at that week’s “goal weight.”

I know that separating exercise from the diet mentality can be difficult.  But use what you have already learned from eating intuitively and apply it to exercise.

Stay tuned next week when I address how to begin making exercise a part of your healthy lifestyle, rather than something you have to do to lose weight.
Your turn to take action: What are some “diet-like” thoughts you have associated with exercise?

Is the Scale Weighing You Down?

Sometimes when you are embarking on a journey to a body you love, you use certain “benchmarks” that you use to track your progress.  In the past you probably were a slave to the scale, tracking your weight loss progress as often as you can at different points throughout the day.  The scale would often serve as your permission or denial of certain foods or skipping certain meals and snacks.

If you have been on this intuitive eating journey with me for some time, I hope you have begun to realize the scale is not a progress tracker.  When the scale indicates weight loss or weight gain, this is not indicative of success or failure.  If you have been torturing yourself on a fad diet that offers little variety and is not meeting proper health requirements, but you lose weight on it, are you really succeeding?  Maybe you have been honoring your hunger and eating well, but your weight is taken a doctor’s appointment and the number is not indicative of how healthy you feel– does that make you a failure?

The answer to both of these questions is no.  If you have lost weight through extreme, unhealthy measures, you put yourself at risk for gaining it back once you resume regular eating habits.  If you are happy with how your body has been feeling then by no means does that make you a failure, even if the “great” and “powerful” scale is reporting no weight loss.

The scale is just a material object.  YOU dictate how successful you feel.  YOU are the one learning how to live a healthy lifestyle.  So let the scale collect some dust for a bit and focus on the progress you are making in other ways.  Without this “weight” on your shoulders, you are sure to feel lighter and freer right away!

Your turn to take action: What are some new ways you will measure your success?

International No Diet Day

No DietingToday is International No Diet Day.  This holiday was initiated in 1992 by Mary Evans Young, director of British anti-dieting campaign “Diet Breakers.”  This day was created to encourage international awareness of healthy eating as opposed to dieting.  It is an annual celebration of all body types, shapes and sizes.  It’s a day where we challenge cultural perceptions and opinions that could result in chronic dieting and discontent with body image.

If you have been reading my blog posts, you probably notice that I never use the word diet when talking about healthy eating.  I use phrases such as, “eating plan,” and “healthy lifestyle,” and I try to eliminate the word “diet” from the vocabulary of the clients I work with.  The word “diet” has come to imply something that you are “on” or “off.”  It leads to cyclically gaining and losing weight, and hardly brings the success and health promised by diets.

There has never been a better day than today to celebrate a life free of dieting that I assure you is out there.  By becoming an intuitive eater, you are no longer a prisoner to the restrictions of a specific diet, counting calories or measuring portions like you’re in a science lab.  Start by tuning into your body by embracing a healthy non-diet mindset and creating healthy habits that will stay with you forever.  By doing this, you have chosen to make lifelong changes, not temporary fixes as diets propose.

I encourage you to celebrate this holiday every day remembering to love yourself and the body that you have, and make healthy choices based on your intuition and the healthy lifestyle you have chosen.

Your turn to take action: Commit today to take time off from the crazy diet plan you are following and listen to your body’s hunger and satiety signals to guide your eating!  If you need help, download my FREE guide here.