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If Not Willpower, Then What?

In speaking with prospective clients, there’s one comment that comes up a lot in the many conversations we have. That is “I just need more willpower”.

 

I really do understand the reason behind this comment from so many women who have been struggling with their weight and on diet after diet. It’s because diets require you to have willpower.

 

You have your lists of “legal” and “illegal” food. But at some point, you want to eat something that’s on that “illegal” list. But you can’t, the diet says NO! You white knuckle it as long as you can, you have willpower! Until you don’t anymore.

 

So, when the Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question came in for this week, I just knew I HAD to address it. Here’s the question…

 

 “I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

Before I get to the answer, let’s get clear on your dieting history. It probably goes something like this:

 

You’ve tried them all. Weight Watchers, Atkins, Weight Watchers, the Blood Type Diet, Weight Watchers. the Scarsdale Diet, Weight Watchers, the HCG Diet, Weight Watchers. Oh, did I mention Weight Watchers?!

 

It is SO easy to get sucked into sensational claims that come with each of these diets. But what you are finding is that they don’t work. Well, they do “work” if by working you mean losing weight, only to gain it back.

 

Yes, I won’t disagree. All diets can work in helping you lose weight. But can we agree that they ultimately don’t work, seeing you are here looking for another way?

 

Throughout all the diets you’ve been on, you’ve tried SO hard to have SO much willpower so you can resist your favorite food that the diets deem bad for you. And, the reason you’ve been sucked into many fad diets is because you only have to endure them for a short period of time and therefore only need to have a little willpower until the diet is over. 

 

Many diets proudly state “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days”, or “6 weeks to flat abs”. I know this is very tempting. And you think to yourself “ok, I need to have willpower for 30 days (or 6 weeks) and that’s it…I’ll reach my goal and the diet and misery will be over.”

 

But we know that you can only resist your favorite food for so long. Maybe you can last the 30 days or 6 weeks. Or maybe you can’t. Either way, what happens? When your willpower weakens and you have an emotional trigger, you cave and have the very food you’ve been longing yet been restricting. And now you don’t just have a serving, you have several servings, and it eventually turns into a binge. Next thing that happens >>> feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, failure and the negative self-talk and body bashing.

 

Well, the good news is this.

 

In the practice of intuitive eating, there is no willpower required. Yay! You learn to take all the conditions off your food and when you do, the power those foods hold over you are no more. Even better, once you learn to trust in your inner signals as your guide to eating, you will no longer need to rebel against the diets that are telling you what to eat and not to eat.

 

Because YOU are in charge!

 

So, back to the original question that came in from one of my followers:

 

“I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

There is no willpower in intuitive eating. What I want you to recognize is if you are still relying on willpower, then you are still harboring a diet mentality. And this will cause you to continue to stumble on your intuitive eating journey.

 

Give thought to how many times a day or week you think to yourself that you need to have willpower to resist a food.

 

How many times do you call up your willpower before heading out to a party or dinner with friends?

 

Call yourself out on it. Recognize it. The more you do and the more you remind yourself that you don’t need willpower in intuitive eating, the more you will see the diet mentality dissipate.

 

Grab this freebie that I have for you: Your 3 Step Plan to Shift Out of Diet Mentality and the Willpower Trap.

 

 

How the Diet Industry Positions Users to Blame Themselves

I was thinking about something the other day. It was about the diet industry.

 

According to data by Marketdata Enterprises, a market research firm, Americans spend more than $60 billion annually to try to lose weight, on everything from paying for gym memberships and joining weight-loss programs to buying diet foods and beverages.

 

That’s a lot of money to spend blaming yourself when the “product” you are buying doesn’t work.

 

Think about it.

 

If you purchased a new iPad, and it didn’t work, you’d complain to Apple (“this is a defective iPad”).

 

If you bought a wall clock at Target and it stopped working, you’d return it to Target (“this is a cheap clock”).

 

If you were working on a home improvement project and the drill stopped working, you’d blame the manufacturer (“this is a faulty drill”).

 

But when it comes to the diets you’ve tried, and you’ve regained the weight you lost PLUS a few extra pounds, you don’t blame the diet company, you blame yourself.

 

“I didn’t follow the rules correctly.”

“I must have done something wrong.”

“There’s something wrong with me, I need to try harder.”

“I’ll never get this right.”

 

And eventually, because you are so desperate to lose weight, you go running right back to the diet that you’ve tried multiple times.

 

I’m not going to name diets, it doesn’t matter which ones. The diet industry is brilliant, really they are. They have set themselves up to be the winner over and over again.

 

Here’s how:

Action                                                                                               Feeling

You want to lose weight, you go on XYZ diet.                            Excited

You lose weight and meet your goal.                                          Yay, celebration!

6 months later, you’ve regained the weight, plus more.         Disappointment

You spend a few weeks or months feeling sad, ashamed and berating yourself.

You go back on XYZ diet.                                                              Excited

You lose weight and meet your goal.                                          Yay, celebration!

3 months later, you’ve regained he weight, plus more            Disappointment

You spend a few weeks or months feeling sad, ashamed and berating yourself.

You go back on XYZ diet.                                                               Excited

 

How many times have you repeated the above sequence of events, with the length of time between diets getting shorter and shorter? Let’s figure it out together.

 

Doing the Math

  • Take a piece of paper and make 5 columns.
  • Label your columns: Diets I’ve been on/Pounds lost/Length of time weight stayed off/Pounds regained/# times I’ve tried this diet

 

Reflect on your chart. What did you discover?

 

If you are being true to yourself, then most likely you have tried a particular diet more than once. Why is that?

 

Because the diet industry has set it up that they are the winner when you lose the weight (“Our diet works). And, they are there to pick you up when you fall and gain the weight back (“It’s okay, you had a stressful few months, come back and try again, it works when you follow it”).

 

People, listen up!! This is not normal! Stop blaming yourself, you are NOT TO BLAME.

 

The diet industry is the ONLY industry where the product user blames themselves. Shame on you diet industry for making so many people feel so badly about themselves.

 

If you are reading this, please know that you are not alone in trying to break free of the diets and the manipulations. You have it within yourself to trust your body to make the decisions around what to eat and when to eat! Speak back to the diets you’ve been on. No, actually, YELL at them. Show them that you are on to them and their deceit. You don’t need them anymore.

 

Once you’ve made the decision to fight back against the diet industry, you will feel a weight lifted from your shoulders and you will empowered to take the next step towards reclaiming being an intuitive eater.

 

Comment below with your commitment to fight back against the diet industry!!

 

New Weight Loss Device Does What?

holdingtummyIt’s not unusual to open up the newspaper, magazine, email or hear on the radio about a new weight loss procedure or miracle diet and supplement to help you lose weight quickly and effortlessly.

 

If you are a chronic dieter, you probably take notice of all the hype around the “best” way to lose weight. And, you’ve probably tried most if not all of them.

 

Well, today I just had to write about the newest weight loss device that hit the market because it is quite disturbing to me. I will describe it to you, although I won’t name names for good reason.

 

This latest weight-loss device is a non-surgical procedure that implants a thin tube that connects the inside of your stomach to a discreet button on the outside of your abdomen.  After each meal, the device will allow you to empty 1/3 of the contents of your meal into the toilet by connecting a small, handheld device to the button.

 

UGH!

 

While the company that developed this procedure does note this should be used in conjunction with lifestyle coaching, physical activity and healthier food choices, what does this picture conjure up for you?

 

For me, working with individuals with eating disorders, compulsive overeating and those who yo-yo diet their weight up and down, this is only going to exacerbate their struggles with food and their bodies.

 

 

Here are 2 problems I see off the bat:

 

  1. People will eat beyond the point of comfortable satiety because they know they can get rid of some of it before they absorb all the calories. This will lead to more binge eating and eating disorders, not less.

 

  1. This will cause even more social anxiety and isolation among obese individuals. About 20 minutes after they eat, they have to excuse themselves and go to the bathroom to empty the contents of their stomach. Just typing this gives me the chills. How much anxiety do you think it will give you if you are with a group of friends, in a corporate lunch meeting or out on a date?

 

 

This new approved device is a detriment to society on a physical and psychological level without a doubt. There is no “quick-fix” to obesity, it is a disease that requires a long-term solution via a multi-faceted approach.

 

Start by understanding the real reason(s) you overeat, the WHY behind your eating. As I have said many times before, it is not about the food.

 

If you would like my help to create a healthier relationship with food, your mind and your body, just click here and contact me.

 

 

Doctors Who Just Don’t Understand Intuitive Eating

Doctor telling woman what to eatIt seems that ever since I started teaching the process of intuitive eating to my clients, the terms “intuitive eating” and “mindful eating” are popping up everywhere on the internet. These are the new buzz words when it comes to people looking for a way to lose weight.

 

You might wonder why that bothers me. I’ll tell you why.

 

Intuitive eating is not about losing weight. It is not a weight loss program per-se. It is a process that helps you transform the way you look at food, think about food, and have food present in your life. Becoming an intuitive eater (or shall I say reclaiming your ability to be an intuitive eater since you were born one) is about you making peace with food so you can enjoy a diet-free life of guilt-free eating which in turn will help you achieve weight loss and a body you love.

 

Will you accomplish this in one or two months of intuitive eating work?

 

Absolutely NOT!

 

And anyone who expects that you will just does not understand what intuitive eating is or what the process entails. This is also probably someone who has never had a weight problem before and has always told you to “just stop eating what you shouldn’t eat”. Really, if only it were that easy.

 

This is also possibly your doctor who is so good at telling you that “you have to lose weight” but doesn’t give you any realistic coaching on how to do that. Or, worse yet, the doctor tells you to “avoid all bread and carbs to lose weight”.

 

Listen, there are many quick weight loss methods out there that you can follow to successfully lose weight. If your doctor is looking for the weight to come off in any way possible, then he will recommend these quick fix methods for you. You will lose the 50 or 100 pounds he is bothering you to lose. Great. But where will it leave you when one year later those pounds are back on plus another 30?

 

Do I sound frustrated? If I do, well that’s because I am. There are too many people out there in the world falling prey to the latest quick fix diets, and doctors who push their patients towards them for the quick weight loss are really doing a disservice to their patients. While they think they are doing a service, they are truly not!

 

The process of intuitive eating is not about disregarding what you are eating. I am not telling you that in intuitive eating, you should overfill your plate with pasta a la vodka, donuts or cookies.

 

While on the intuitive eating journey, you can still nourish your body with wholesome foods but the guilt of eating the piece of cake is gone. I actually encourage nourishing foods but you are the one who chooses it because you will find that as you learn to tune into and listen to your body, these are the foods that make you feel well, energized and healthy. You aren’t eating them because you are TOLD to eat them, and that is the big difference.

 

So, the next time someone says to you “you need quicker results”, tell them that statement is part of the diet mentality, and you are no longer dieting. Intuitive eating is a process and you will allow it to unfold naturally for you, whether that be 6 months, 9 months, or one year.

 

If you need help in getting started on your intuitive eating journey, request a free consultation here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Don’t allow a number (on a scale) to determine your self-worth

Feet with measuring tape on scaleFor many people, the scale has always been used as a measure of happiness. Whether you realize it or not, the number on the scale often influences your mood and subsequent decisions each day.

 

The scale is one of the biggest threats to anyone trying to make peace with food and to find comfort with their own body. If you weigh yourself on the scale to see your weight loss progress, you probably connect the number shown to a value of your self-worth. And you likely have expectations of what the number on the scale means.

 

What am I referring to? Let’s say you really commit to making mindful, healthy choices all week and at the end of the week, you hop on the scale all excited to see a loss but instead you see your weight hasn’t changed much. It will be easy for you to say “I did all the work and for what?”

 

Or maybe you had a very “lax” week and you had a few late night food binges or ate past the point of comfort and when you weighed yourself that week, you lost weight! Maybe you will think “why try so hard if I can lose weight eating chocolate cake with each meal!”

 

Weighing yourself on the bathroom scale is a sure way to undermine all your efforts and hard work. The scale is tricky. You may not see your weight dropping as much or as quickly as you hoped for. You may feel discouraged and want to give up on your efforts or you may feel inclined to switch to extreme weight loss measures for fast gratification.

 

However, if you would like to make meaningful changes to improve yourself and your life, LISTEN UP! It’s time to put the scale to rest.

 

The scale measures your total body weight and the number can fluctuate based on hormones, when you last ate, and more. If you are relying on the scale to report to you how you are “doing” on your eating plan, you will likely be disappointed if you don’t take these other variables into consideration.

 

If you want to experience true results, stopping watching the scale and start listening to your BODY. That’s where the true AHA moments happen.

 

Do you have a “goal weight” hovering in the back of your mind? Forget about it. Shift your focus away from the number to how you FEEL and how well you are LISTENING to your body.

 

If you need some help with this try to focus on some of the following instead of focusing on the scale:

 

  • How do you feel when you engage in exercise each day?
  • Did you only decide to eat when you were physically hungry? Did you stop when you felt comfortably satisfied?
  • How is your energy and stamina? Your mood?
  • Are you comfortable and confident in your own body today?

 

Your turn to take action: Put away the scale and commit to not weighing yourself for one month. Focus on listening to your body and let me know how you feel.

 

There’s No “Throwing in the Towel” in Intuitive Eating

Shocked WomanIf you are a chronic dieter, then more than likely you have “thrown in the towel” quite a few times.

 

A new diet comes to market. It’s exciting, this will be the one. You start the diet and things are going well. But then you had a bad day at work, you went on vacation or you had a fight with your boyfriend. Or, you get on the scale on weigh-in day and it hasn’t budged.

 

Either way, you ended up in the pint of ice cream saying to yourself “forget it, what does it matter anyway”.

 

You have just “thrown in the towel” from another diet. When will this end?

 

I’ll tell you when!  When you finally realize that diets are not working for you. Never have, never will. When you decide that to give up dieting, you need another path. And, you have discovered intuitive eating is that path.

 

Okay, so let’s talk about this. You start working with me to learn how to reclaim being an intuitive eater (I say “reclaim” because let me remind you that you were born an intuitive eater). And you immediately are having major “aha” moments. Wow, you are discovering things about yourself, your past, your beliefs that you never realized impacted your relationship with food.

 

This is great! You laugh, you cry, all from a good place of finally moving forward.

 

Then it happens. You disappear, stop showing up for your appointments and stop returning emails and phone calls.

 

What is going on?

 

More than likely, an old familiar trigger has popped up and you haven’t yet learned how to handle it. So, you fall back into past overeating habits. Now you feel bad, embarrassed and say to yourself “you see, this won’t work either”. And, you throw in the towel.

 

Please listen up! What I’m about to say requires capital letters.

 

THERE IS NO FAILURE IN INTUITIVE EATING!

 

THERE IS NO “THROWING IN THE TOWEL” IN INTUITIVE EATING!

 

Intuitive eating is a learning experience. It’s a process of ups and downs. Whatever trigger has thrown you “for a loop”, let’s learn from it. Don’t let it take you back to a place that you DON”T want to be….back to the land of dieting!

 

If this sounds like you, I care about you and I am here to help you.

 

Reach out and ask for help. There’s no shame in that. It’s something to be proud of.

 

Click here to send me an SOS email.

Say Sayonara to the Idea of a “Perfect Bikini Body”

Summer pool oceanIt seems like we don’t have any “in-between” weather anymore. You know the kind of weather I mean. The days of cool breeze where you wear a light “spring jacket” or sweatshirt as you run your errands. Nope, we’ve gone from the cold of winter to the hot humidity of summer, even though it’s not officially summer yet on the calendar.

 

Although it is not summer yet, the beach craze seems to be spreading already. I’m sure you have heard and seen advertisements promoting diets, pills, and supplements to give you that “perfect beach body in just 3 weeks.”

 

Let’s be honest. They are all a hoax! I know that as a mindful eater, you must know this already. There is no quick fix to losing weight and getting healthy. The only way to see true, long term success in weight loss is to commit to bettering yourself through eating and lifestyle changes.

 

There is another problem I have with these promotions for getting a “bikini body” before summer. Who decided that you have to have a certain body to feel comfortable in a bikini? The media is constantly sending out the message that you must be thin, toned, and bronzed in order to be considered beautiful. It is time to throw this idea away.

 

This beach season I have a new idea for you. LOVE your body and NOURISH your body rather than damage it with extreme diets and pills that are harmful to your body. The only way to achieve a body you love and are proud of is to eat mindfully, make mindful lifestyle changes and respect you’re here and now body.

 

Sayonara, diets. We had no need for you this winter and we certainly don’t need you this summer or ever again!

What’s Holding You Back from Saying YES to a Path of Intuitive Eating?

I’ve just completed launching my program Freedom to Eat Forever and I’ve spoken and emailed with a lot of you. Many of you were ready to jump in and leave dieting behind for good. And some of you were hesitant. That’s fine, I respect that. You just weren’t ready.  Yet, it’s important to explore the reasons why you were hesitant. They likely include time, money, or fear.

 

Let’s start with time. You know the age old saying “there’s never enough time in the day”. Sometimes when there’s an unknown, it’s hard to figure out if you’ll have enough time to commit to it.  But here is another saying I’m sure you’ve heard…you make time for the things you really want to do. So while  you may not be sure what type of time commitment you are able to give to learning a new way of approaching your relationship with food, it’s likely that if there wasn’t another underlying reason, you probably can allocate some time to take care of you in this very important way.

 

So, let’s look at the next possibility – money. Many times you ask for an opportunity to come your way, you wish for it, you dream of it. And, it is presented to you. Yet, you turn it down. I understand it’s scary to invest in yourself because what if you’re not successful? What if the results are the same as they have been in the past? At some point you need to move beyond this fear if you believe a new and different approach can work for you. You need to move out of your comfort zone, think outside the box and recognize that what you’ve tried for years and years just hasn’t served you. Thus, maybe it is time to invest in yourself in a very real new way and give yourself the chance to finally be free of food and body worries for good. A new approach gives hope.

 

The third possibility is fear. Fear of what? Fear of actually not dieting anymore. If you are committing to giving up dieting, then you might worry that you will lose control of your eating and constantly overeat. I fully understand your dilemma. Diets are safe for you. They tell you what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. You don’t need to make any decisions. But let me ask you. Is this really how you want to live your life? Or, do you want to be in charge of your own body and your own food choices?

 

I’ve given you some things to think about. If you want to further explore these areas, feel free to contact me.

 

Wishing you success and forward movement on your intuitive eating journey.

5 Tips to Help You Eat Less

If you’ve been working on losing weight by following diet plans, you are probably eating a certain amount of food that the diet tells you to eat. But the truth is, there are other strategies that you can use to help you eat less.

 

Learn about those strategies on this week’s episode of The Diet Free Zone Show™.

 

Just click the image below.

5 Tips to eat less

 

 

 

 

 

 

After you watch the show, please leave your comments below and let me know which tip works best for you.