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How to Stay Motivated

The diet mentality finds its way into your life in very sneaky ways. But that’s okay because that’s how you learn to recognize it and get stronger at shooing it away. This happened to be last month’s theme in my membership program, Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle™. The more we highlight all the ways it shows up, the more of an expert we become at knocking it down!

 

I had a question recently from one of my subscribers (we’ll call her Sally) which is today’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question!

 

“How do I stay motivated to care, to keep my focus, to keep trying to eat intuitively, when life is so busy and I have failed miserably for years?”

 

I feel the pain in her question. And I wonder if you feel the same way as Sally. While I don’t know Sally personally, it seems from her question that she has come to the conclusion that diets don’t work. Which is great! But it also seems like there is some lingering diet mentality. This is common when first embarking on the intuitive eating journey.

 

There are two areas I want to highlight and hopefully shed some light on for Sally (and for you if you are resonating with her question).

 

Control is Dieting

 

By the tone of the question, it sounds  like control is playing a big role in “trying to eat intuitively”. I’d have to explore more with Sally what this actually means for her, in other words, how is trying to eat intuitively showing up for her each day. If it’s trying to eat only when hungry and stopping when full, then we are likely looking at the “Intuitive Eating Diet” at play here (or another way to describe it is the “Hunger and Fullness Diet”).

 

Many chronic dieters are on board with the fact that the diets have never worked for them. They love the concept of intuitive eating, so immediately start focusing on only eating when hungry and stopping when full. But here’s the problem with this. If they haven’t yet rejected the diet mentality, this will trip them up each time. Hunger and fullness cues become more rules and then when life gets busy and they are running around and aren’t as aware of their inner signals, they think they have failed. They think they need more control, more willpower!

 

Needing to have control and willpower is still dieting!

 

Is this possibly what is happening to you?

 

Limiting Beliefs and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

 

Limiting beliefs are beliefs that you are holding onto about your body, weight or food that are causing you to self-sabotage and are preventing you from living your best life.

 

“I have failed miserably for years.”

 

This statement right there is a belief that Sally has been holding onto that is keeping her spinning her wheels.

 

Beliefs come from messages that you’ve received, often as far back as childhood. Your thoughts and beliefs drive your feelings which drive your actions which give you your results.

 

If you continue to repeat over and over that you have failed miserably for years, then you will continue to do so…it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Change your beliefs and you’ll change your outcomes.

 

Ahh, I know this is not so easy! I spend quite a bit of time with my clients working with them on identifying their limiting beliefs, re-framing them into true beliefs and ultimately rewiring the neural pathways in their brain.

 

I have discovered over all the years of coaching and counseling clients that this step can’t be overlooked. If it is, you will continue to allow the sneaky diet mentality to get you every time.

 

If you are interested in learning more about how to break through your limiting beliefs, click here to explore my Intuitive Eating Program for Adults! And, you can read the stories from my clients who have successfully rewired their neural pathways and are now living life as an intuitive eater.

 

 

 

4 Tips to a Mindful Summer Vacation

Summer is here; I’m so excited. Summer is my most favorite season of all. But for many women I speak to, the thought of summer vacation brings them anxiety and stress about how family trips, outings and days at the beach will affect their intuitive eating journey.

 

Do you feel the same?

 

These feelings creep up because of your past (or lingering) diet mentality. You’ve always dieted before vacation so that you can “splurge” while on vacation. Then you come home only to feel guilty about “blowing it again”.

 

This behavior starts the diet rollercoaster all over again.

 

Let’s make sure the diet mentality stays quiet as you plan ahead for the most rewarding intuitive summer yet.

 

Here are 4 tips to help you navigate your intuitive eating journey during your summer get-away. 

  1. Stay strong against the chatter in your head that is screaming “I have to lose 10 pounds before vacation!”This will only put you back into diet mentality and onto the latest quick fix, which will keep you riding the dieting roller coaster. Continue on your intuitive eating journey with confidence. When the inner chatter starts up, have a comeback to put that voice in its place. And, if you are contemplating starting the journey, now’s as good a time as any. Contact me here and let’s get started.

 

  1. Be aware of mindless snacking while vacationing.Oftentimes when you’re on vacation, you have less structure to your day. You might be lying on the beach where your friends are passing around the snacks; or touring through a new city, walking the streets and trying the local fare. So just pay attention and have an awareness of whether you’re hungry or not before you dig into the snacks.

 

  1. Be prepared.Whether you are sitting at the pool, lying on the beach, in an amusement park or on a full day tour, you are going to get hungry at some point. It’s very important to be prepared and have snacks with you so you don’t have to wing it. Remember, one of the principles of intuitive eating is to honor your hunger. If you wait too long, you tend to not choose the most healthful choices and you tend to overeat, so be prepared.

 

  1. Stop when you’re comfortably satisfied and not when you’re overly full. I know when you’re on vacation it’s so tempting, especially if you’re at a resort hotel which is all-inclusive. This means that all the food and beverages (including alcohol) is included in what you’re paying for the hotel. It’s very tempting to just eat and eat and eat to “get your money’s worth”. This is not staying true to your intuitive eating journey.

 

While on vacation, remember to listen to your body, stay mindful, be present and enjoy yourself!

 

Honor yourself and honor your body by paying attention, being aware and making conscious food and beverage decisions. Stop when you’re comfortably satisfied so that you can enjoy your vacation without regret and without guilt.

 

If you would like more individualized help for your next vacation, reach out to me at bonnie@dietfreeradiantme.com. I’m here to help you.

 

 

How Can You Tell When You’re Feeling Satisfied?

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from Kristy, a member in my online community.

 

She asks:

 

“How can you tell when you’re satisfied??”

 

A short straight to the point question. But often so difficult for someone to figure out.

 

Kristy is referring here to when she is eating a meal, how does she determine when she is satisfied enough to stop eating.

 

If you’re someone who has dieted for quite some time, then likely you’re also struggling with not being able to hear your fullness signals. The mere act of dieting causes your signals to atrophy.

 

Why?

 

Because you aren’t using them. You are stopping your meal when the diet plan tells you that you have had enough. You are pushing the plate away when it’s empty. You are putting your fork down based on a limit imposed on you by an outside source. This means, it’s a source external from your internal signals that truly guide your eating.

 

Remember, you were born an intuitive eater. You were born knowing when you were hungry to start eating, and when you felt satisfied to stop eating. You didn’t need to ask this question, because it was just a feeling you had. And, you TRUSTED it, because you knew no other way but to trust your body.

 

All these years and oh so many diets later, you no longer feel those signals. And, you don’t have that trust in yourself either.

 

Which makes it so difficult to know when you’re truly satisfied enough to stop eating.

 

Okay, so you get this. But now what?

 

I’m not going to tell you how to feel your signals. This is something you need to relearn. And it IS POSSIBLE, with the right support, as you travel down your intuitive eating journey.

 

But before you do, you must do these 5 things:

 

  1. Make the commitment to never diet again.

 

  1. Re-affirm this commitment to never diet again.

 

  1. Stay strong in this commitment even though you are surrounded by diet culture and its harmful messages (and family and friends that might be dieting and want some company).

 

  1. Move away from determining success on your journey based on a number on a scale.

 

  1. Re-affirm your commitment to never diet again

 

You see, if there’s any part of you that is still holding on to “maybe that will help me lose a few pounds”, then you will turn intuitive eating into the hunger-fullness diet (aka ‘The Intuitive Eating Diet’).

 

I’ve seen this happen way too many times. So, check in with yourself and ask yourself if you’re truly ready to leave your dieting habit and the scale behind.

 

Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Do You Pay Your Dues in the Clean the Plate Club?

Dinner plate-fork-knife-finished eatingWhen you are eating, do you pay attention to how satisfied you are getting? Or, do you eat until all the food on the plate is gone?

 

I ask you these questions because as a chronic dieter, you more than likely have become a member (or hopefully an ex-member) of the “clean the plate” club. There are many reasons why you might be in this club. But right now, the reason I will highlight is the entitlement you feel.

 

What do I mean by entitlement? Well, simply said, when you are on a diet you are entitled to a certain amount of food, right? And, when you portion that food out onto your plate, you are going to eat what you are entitled to no matter what.

 

As an intuitive eater, there is no more food worry, no more entitlement, and no more restrictions.  Let me share another story with you (last week I shared my Godiva chocolate story, I hope you liked it!)

 

My husband and I recently went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant while we were on vacation. We don’t usually eat out due to our hectic schedules, but this was during our vacation so we had the time. I ordered two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entrée which I knew would be too much food for me. One of those appetizers was something I typically would not have ordered; it was a crostini with veggies and cheese. Seeing that I am an intuitive eater and I don’t deprive myself of food that I desire when I am biologically hungry, I decided to order the crostini.

 

As I was eating, I was staying focused and paused a few times to check in with my inner signals. At some point, I recognized that I was just about nearing comfortable satiety and although the crostini was delicious, I knew that if I finished it (there was one left on the plate), I would have become overfull.

 

What do you think I did? I stopped eating, put my fork and knife down and told my husband I’m done. I asked the waitress to pack up the last crostini so I can take it back to the hotel, where I had a refrigerator in my room. Yes, it was only one small crostini (remember this was an appetizer, so they weren’t big), and I still stopped eating and took it back with me. I certainly could have shoved it in, but I knew I would have been too full and would regret it.

 

Two days later (still on vacation), when it was time for a snack, I saw the bag in the frig and remembered I brought it back from the restaurant. I decided to have it as my snack and I enjoyed it as much as when I had it the very first time.

 

I don’t share this story to brag. I want you to know that you can have these experiences too. You don’t have to finish the food on your plate, even if there are just one or two bites left. Learning to become an intuitive eater opens up a whole new way of living.

 

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Are you a member of the “clean the plate” club? Do you have a story to share where you took home or put away that last bite?