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How to Push Through Fear

Fear, “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger” (Merriam-Webster) or “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat” (Dictionary online).

 

If you stop and think about it for a moment, you probably have some fears in life. They can be related to traveling (flying in an airplane, driving on highways), animals (dogs, birds, insects), or relationships (commitment, marriage) to name a few.

 

But every day, I encounter clients and prospective clients that express fears related to two other things: food and change.

 

Food Fear

It’s not surprising to me that so many people have food fear. Food fears can be targeted at specific foods (i.e. pastries, chips) or whole food categories (i.e. breads and grains). They can relate to situations such as going to a party (“I won’t be able to resist the cake”) or meeting friends for dinner at a restaurant (“There are too many options, I’ll be tempted to order something not on the “light menu”).

 

How Does Food Fear Develop?

 

Well, typically they develop from messages you’ve received around these foods. These can be messages from members of your family, friends, or even health professionals. If your mom was a chronic dieter and she’d make statements such as “I can’t eat x” or “I gained 5 pounds just from eating y last night”, you internalized these messages and with repetition, they became your beliefs.

 

Food fears also develop from what you hear in the media, read in the newspaper,  and see in advertisements. Let’s face it, there is always someone touting the next great miracle to lose weight and it usually includes demonizing certain foods and/or food groups.

 

How Do You Heal from these Beliefs and Food Fears?

 

Bear with me, I’ll answer that question soon. First I want to address the second fear I revealed above: fear of change.

 

Fear of Change

 

Just the other day my hairdresser was telling me that the salon is moving down the block. She was upset. I asked her why. She said, “I don’t like change”.

 

Yes, change is hard. But if you have been engaging in the same behaviors for years without seeing results, then continuing these behaviors isn’t going to change anything. You cannot continue doing the same things and expect different results. That’s the definition of insanity (according to Albert Einstein)!

 

So, let’s dig a little bit here. What are you afraid of?

 

It could be a fear of actually NOT dieting anymore. It’s comfortable to diet. Well, what I mean is its familiar to you. You know what to expect, it’s safe for you. Diets 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 how you want to live your life? Or, do you want to be in charge of your own body and your food choices?

 

Perhaps it’s fear of success? I know, at first this sounds odd, doesn’t it? But take a moment and give thought to this one. Are you afraid to succeed for some reason? What reason might that be? Perhaps lack of confidence that you won’t be able to sustain this way of eating and living. Perhaps fear of achieving the body you’ve always wanted but you don’t want the attention this new body will bring you.

 

If you don’t learn to change old habits to make way for the new, you’ll never achieve the results you so desperately want.

 

Healing from Your Food Fears and Fear of Change

 

To heal from your food fears, you must first recognize what your beliefs are around these foods. To do that, you need to identify the negative messages you received and at what stage of your life you received them. And, from whom did you receive these messages? Then, and only then, can you work towards overturning these messages, beliefs and ultimately be at peace with food (and your body!)

 

To overcome your fear of change, you need to uncover the real reason why you are resisting change.  Realize that change will not happen unless you become just a little uncomfortable now in order to change your future. What is at the root of your fear of change and why you are so resistant to it?

 

If you’re like most of the woman I speak with, you’ve been working at breaking free of dieting for a while. You’ve researched the topic, spoken with coaches, downloaded materials and have read it over and over again. Yet, you are still stuck.

 

If you’d like me to help you get unstuck, I invite you to hop on a call with me and let’s discuss the possibilities. Get a spot on my calendar HERE.

 

Don’t see a time that works for you? No problem. Email me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com

 

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.

 

 

 

Digging Into Desserts as an Intuitive Eater

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, I am often asked about the role that dessert plays in our eating plan. Many people who are stuck in the diet mentality see certain foods as off-limits. This is largely due to the many diets they’ve been on that place foods into two categories, healthy foods and “junk foods” (or “good” and “bad”, “legal” and “illegal” etc…you get the idea).

 

When food is labeled as forbidden, it just becomes that much more appealing. When you place limits on how many sweets you can have or when you can have them, you are giving that food power over you. You are treating certain foods like a vice instead of a delightful treat to be savored.

 

Food is not meant to be categorized in such a way. As a matter of fact, I have a pet peeve when people call food “junk food”. Food is not junk and food is not garbage. Food nourishing to our body and soul. Food is neutral and there are ways you can incorporate what you would call “junk foods” into your eating style without demonizing it.

 

In order to build a healthy relationship with food, it is imperative to stop demonizing it, and look at it as a source of nourishment.

 

When working with my intuitive eating clients, I take them on a journey in which, together, we work to rebuild a happy and healthier relationship with food. During this journey, we reframe the way they way they look at desserts and sweets, and refer to these foods as either “fun foods” or “play foods.” They find it enjoyable to incorporate play foods into their eating style once they rebuild that trust within their body. They no longer fear these foods.

 

Chocolate chip cookies, lemon meringue pie, and salty caramel ice cream are not “off limits”. As you learn to enjoy all foods on your intuitive eating journey, you will find that every food has a place in your life, if you so choose.

 

Some sweet treats that can’t be beat:

  • Anything with berries in it. Berries are a great way to sweeten up any meal or snack. They have antioxidants, they protect your cells from free radicals and they are delicious. Check out my favorite ways to add berries into my meals.

 

  • Cookies, in any shape and size. Cookies are great because you can have one or two or five! You decide based on your level of hunger, not based on a pre-determined portion. To learn more about these delicious treats, check out my blog post.

 

  • Nuts – I’m just nuts about nuts. Nuts are packed with nutrients, fiber and healthy fat making them the perfect snack or after dinner dessert. While nuts might have once been an “off limit” food for you, as an intuitive eater you are now embracing them for their healthy fat content. Learn more about the various nuts and how to incorporate them into your menus.

 

  • The perfect parfait. Parfaits are a great after dinner treat, especially when they are homemade and you get to decide what to put in them. For simple instructions on how to make your own click here.

 

In practicing an intuitive eating lifestyle, you will learn how to pay attention to your body’s internal hunger and fullness cues.

 

Quick Tip

When you are eating a food, try and remember how that food is affecting you both mentally and physically.

 

Remember how you felt after eating a quinoa salad and compare that to after you had a giant cheeseburger. When you pay attention to how foods affect you, you will feel more in charge of your eating. You may not crave that BLT as much when you realize how much better you feel when you eat a yogurt for breakfast instead. Don’t get me wrong, there are mornings when a giant stack of pancakes is in order, however as you become more intuitive and skilled at listening to your body, this may not be as common of an occurrence as before.

 

Interested in learning more about intuitive eating? Contact me to learn more about my various intuitive eating programs.

 

Your Turn to Take Action: What is your favorite sweet treat? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Mindful Eating for Maximum Nutrient Absorption

It wasn’t too long ago that the concept of intuitive eating was regarded as a “new science.” Time and time again, a new client would sit across from me in person or on Skype and say “why haven’t I ever heard of intuitive eating before?” Truth is, I still hear this today. This is probably because the diet industry has a louder bark than those of us practitioners practicing and teaching intuitive eating.

 

While intuitive eating might be a newer concept for you, more than likely mindful eating is less “new”. Being mindful and tuning into your body’s natural signals is a science that is rooted in our oldest ancestry. Tapping into those innate practices that your ancestors once held, or being mindful when you eat, is one way of conquering your battle with food.

 

So what is mindful eating?

 

Let’s start with understanding what mindfulness is. Mindfulness is a state of being conscious or being aware of something. It’s paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judging them, without believing that there is a “right” or a “wrong” way to think or feel in that particular moment.

 

When you are being mindful, your thoughts tune into what you are sensing in the present moment, rather than thinking about the past or the future.

 

Mindful eating involves developing a special kind of awareness that you bring to the table when you eat. It is less about what you eat and more about the way you eat. It’s the act of slowing down, savoring the flavors, and enjoying every bite.

 

As you mindfully eat, you become aware of your eating habits, especially the ones that sabotage your eating experience.

 

Becoming a mindful eater takes practice.

 

Being mindful in other aspects of your day are also important and can include deep breathing exercises, meditation and writing in your journal. No matter how you focus on being mindful, small steps are key. There are psychological as well as physical reasons why slowing down can influence the way your body works.

 

For one, mindful eating can actually readjust your metabolism for efficient and effective functioning. The reason for this is because your body is basically functioning in one of two modes. One mode is the fight-or-flight response. This response is stimulated when you are in action. This response releases cortisol, and designates blood to your extremities in your muscles and bones.

 

The other mode is rest and digest. When you sit down and peacefully enjoy your meal, your body draws your blood flow to these organs of digestion. This effectively breaks down the carbohydrates, protein and fats that you consume.

 

Based on these two physiological responses, it’s clear to see where you may be going wrong in your quest to nourish your body and be healthy and strong. When you eat on the go, in your car, on the bus or on your walk to work, your body is designating its blood flow and energy to muscles that are moving instead of your stomach. Eating on-the-go causes the absorption of nutrients to be impaired.

 

And, on top of that, you aren’t focused on what you are eating, and likely are not satisfied psychologically. Therefore you find yourself looking for food soon after to fill some sort of “need”.

 

If you want to maximize your body’s absorption and efficiency and have utmost pleasure in your food and meals, start by avoiding all distraction while you eat. Eat and just eat. Take the time to sit down, take your mind off your tasks and simply eat. Step away from your desk at work or find a spot to eat outside to increase the joy you have when eating. Do the same for each meal.

 

While this might seem difficult at first to do, you will reap the benefits soon enough.

 

Your Turn to Take Action: Name one mindful eating technique you will try tonight?

 

There’s No Perfection in Intuitive Eating

One of my favorite motto’s is “There is no perfection in intuitive eating”. My clients can recite this in their sleep, they hear me saying it THAT often!

 

As a past dieter, you’ve likely fallen into the perfection trap. You have to follow your diet just perfectly, or else you’ve “cheated”, you’ve “fallen off track”, you’ve “messed up” or you’ve “failed again”. This is a tough way to live, with the “perfection cloud” hovering over your head at all times.

 

Honestly, there are so many ups and downs in life, it’s just not possible to be perfect. Nor, is it necessary. Striving for perfection only leads you to feeling like a failure when you cannot meet that impossible standard you set for yourself.

 

In intuitive eating, we don’t strive for perfection. The journey towards reclaiming your ability to listen to your inner body wisdom is a process where you learn a lot about yourself and you grow in so many ways. What you used to view as a “setback” in your dieting days you now view as a learning opportunity. This is a much more gentle, kind, compassionate approach.

 

Let me share an example with you.

 

My son and daughter in law went away on vacation and my young grandsons (ages 5 and 2 ½) were staying with me for a few days. Oh how I love those little boys!! But I will tell you that as little boys go, they are very active and kept me on my toes! I found that my schedule of eating and my choice of foods was out of my routine because I was tending to the boys as they were my top priority.

 

If I was still a dieter who worried about every morsel of food I ate, I probably would have freaked out that I couldn’t follow my “plan” (aka diet). But since I am no longer tied to diets, good and bad foods and harsh self-talk, I was able to go with the flow. No guilt, no freak-outs and no regret. And now that they boys have left, I am back to my routine and feel great.

 

Life is too short to worry about the little things. And food worry is one of those little things.

 

If you’ve been struggling with your relationship with food and your body for years, let’s put an end to it. Take advantage of my End of Summer Special where you can get up to 75% off my two most popular intuitive eating programs. Learn more and grab your special savings here!

 

If you’d prefer one-on-one private sessions with me, just click here to email me to set up a time to speak.

 

Your turn to take action: What will you do today to rid yourself of the idea that you have to be perfect? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

3 Steps to Stop Overeating on Vacation

Summer is in full swing, it’s my favorite season! There’s less stress, no school carpools or tutors to schedule and it’s a time when my husband and I take some much needed time off.

 

In the days when I was dieting, I would often be apprehensive about an upcoming vacation. It would start with the thought of trying on all the summer clothes in my closet to see what “looked good” and have them piled high on my bed until I narrowed it down to what would make it into my suitcase.

 

Then of course it was the thought of what I would eat on vacation. Would the restaurants have food that was “on my diet”? What would happen to my weight if I ate out at a restaurant each evening? And what about the drinks? I don’t mean water, that I have no problem drinking. I mean the cocktails that I may want to enjoy at the pool or at dinner. How many calories and how much sugar will it have and how will it affect the number on the scale?

 

Oh my, this is just so exhausting, so forget it! I’ll just enjoy my vacation and start my diet again when I get home.

 

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you done this, or thought these same things? (Please comment below the blog in the comment section….)

 

The above scenario depicts what I call the “Vacation Diet Mindset”. Yep, there’s a name for this. You are so good on your diet all week/month/year long, but vacation comes and all that “goodness” gets tossed out the window. Why?

 

Well, since you’ve been depriving yourself of the food you love while dieting, you figure that when you are away on vacation and enjoying yourself, you might as well enjoy yourself with food too. But the problem is it leads you to overeating and overindulging and quite honestly, not respecting your body.

 

Here’s the thing. If you were not restricting all week/month/year before your vacation, you’d be enjoying all the food you love all the time and you wouldn’t have to go into “Vacation Diet Mindset” when you went away.

 

So how do you shift out of this mindset? Here’s 3 steps to get started:

  1. Commit to no longer dieting. And by dieting, I also mean your own self-designed diets and food rules you put into affect for yourself. I know that’s a tall order, but until you are able to give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you desire, you will restrict and deprive and fall into the Vacation Diet Mindset on your next vacation.

 

  1. Take the Mindful Eating Pledge. Basically, this means promising yourself that you will be mindful of the food choices you make and you will maintain an awareness so you can fully savor and enjoy the food you are eating. When you do this, you will find that it will be easier to recognize fullness and stop before you get overfull.

 

  1. Ask for Support. The journey towards returning to being an intuitive eater and achieving WholeBody Trust™ of your mind, your hunger and your food takes time and requires support. There is no reason you need to do this alone. Seek support from your loved ones, a registered dietitian nutritionist-certified intuitive eating counselor and a community of like-minded women on the same journey as you. It’s powerful!

 

Are you struggling with your intuitive eating journey and want to take it to the next level? Join us in the Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle. Learn more here.

 

You Are Worthy of a Sit-Down Meal

I have a question for you…  When it’s time to eat, do you put your food on your plate and sit down to eat, or do you stand at the counter and pick at the food until you’ve had enough?

 

I’ve had a number of clients tell me they are not worthy of a sit down meal.  They do not think they deserve to enjoy their meal in a pleasant environment, free of distractions.

 

Let’s take a look back to your past and figure out where this belief might have originated.

  • Is it something you saw mom or grandmother doing?

 

  • Is it something you were lead to believe by someone you trusted?

 

  • Were you ever told that you “shouldn’t” be eating because you are “fat”?

 

While it’s important to understand the origin of this belief, please know this…

  

You deserve to eat, every meal of the day, every day. And, you deserve to sit down and enjoy your meal and savor each bite.

 

Plating Your Meals Throughout the Day

You may say that you have no time to plate your meals, that you are busy, constantly on-the-go and it’s just easier to grab when you can, or just graze throughout the day. I get being busy, but it’s all about priorities. You CAN restructure your day to include meal time. This means you sit at the table with a plate of food and enjoy it in good company.

 

Let’s start with Breakfast:

Instead of eating breakfast in the car, wake up a few minutes earlier and plan to sit at the kitchen table to enjoy your breakfast. To make this even easier, prepare what you can the night before so you have less steps to do in the morning.

 

Then there’s Lunch:

Instead of eating lunch at your desk, schedule 30 minutes into your schedule to leave your office to eat lunch. Maybe there’s a break room at work, a local park with picnic tables, or on the occasion, a nearby restaurant you can eat at. Your meal times can be a good time to reflect and really tune into what your body is telling you.

 

No More Dinner Grazing:

  • Believe that you are worthy of eating a well-balanced dinner, sitting at your table. Make it a point to finish cooking, plate your food and sit down.

 

  • Put a nice tablecloth on your dining table and use a nice china plate instead of a paper plate.

 

  • Savor every bite. Really tune into the taste, texture and flavor of the food you are eating. Be fully present.By actively savoring each bite, you will find yourself more satisfied with your meal rather than when you pick at food mindlessly.

 

Plating and sitting down to your meals throughout the day will help you feel more satisfied and you won’t find yourself searching for food during the day and night.

 

If you truly have trouble with this, dive deeper to uncover your limiting beliefs around your worthiness to eat. If you need help, just reach out to me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com

 

 

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.

 

 

Finding Balance with Intuitive Eating

I recently had a client share her success story.  Let’s call her Jessica. Jessica was at a barbecue when chocolate ice cream and homemade chocolate chip cookies were being served. She thought that maybe she would overeat on these desserts because that’s what she’s always done in the past. So she took a small piece of each on her plate.  She ate a few spoonfuls of the ice cream, then a few bites of the cookie, and something that has never happened to her before happened…

She didn’t feel the need to eat more! She was shocked.

She was able to savor each bite using her mindful eating techniques and felt satisfied after only a few bites.

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 ice cream or a cookie, 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. However, that’s not how this process works.

Changing your mindset 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 Jessica 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 2 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. You can find a balance that works for you!
  2. 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 form at the link below and I’ll share how I can support you on your journey:

 www.TalkWithBonnie.com.

How to STOP Thinking About Weight Loss

You’ve embarked on your intuitive eating journey because you are finally fed up with diets. After years of chasing weight loss, trying diet after diet, your body weight is back where you started. Or perhaps, like 1/3 – 2/3 of people who regain the weight they’ve lost, you weigh even more.

 

You are now at your highest weight.

 

You wonder how this can be, after all, you’ve tried for 10, 20, 30, 40 maybe even 50 years to lose weight. And yes, you’ve been “successful” in losing weight on some of those diets. But the weight always returned. The diets were not sustainable for life. Like a young 14 year old girl said to me in my office yesterday…”I said to the doctor, how can I never eat carbs again?”

 

Maybe you heard me speak about intuitive eating recently on a summit, or you’ve read the Intuitive Eating book by the original authors and have been trying to practice the principles and become an intuitive eater for a few months, maybe even a few years. Intuitive eating sounds logical to you; you realize this can help you heal your relationship with food. However, you still want to lose weight.

 

There are many intuitive eating and HAES (Health at Every Size) advocates that would say shame on you for wanting to lose weight. Love the body that you have.

 

I’m not saying shame on you. I want to acknowledge your desire to lose weight. I want to show you compassion for the physical discomfort you may be experiencing. But I also want to encourage you to put weight loss out of your mind as you work on healing your relationship with food. I know this is difficult.

 

You see, it’s not “weight loss” itself that is problematic, it’s the pursuit of weight loss that is the problem. There’s a big difference here. 

 

You’ve already tried to pursue weight loss via the many diets, restrictions, detoxes, cleanses, food group elimination, and demonizing of foods. All this caused was a disordered relationship with food and your body.

 

As you begin to change habits, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings around food and your body, you may lose weight, and that’s fine. No one is going to say to you “that’s terrible, how could you have lost weight!”. Your body will do what it needs to do, in its own natural way, in its own time. The interesting thing is that you cannot determine that. Your body determines that.

 

But please understand that the process of intuitive eating is not a weight loss program. Some people may lose weight, some people may gain weight (especially if they started at a low body weight or a place of severe restriction) and some people maintain their weight.

 

So, how do you get weight loss out of your mind as you heal your relationship with food?

 

  1. Write down your WHY! Why do you want to stop fighting with food and your body? Dig down as deep as you need to in order to uncover the true reason. Chances are there is a very meaningful reason why you want to stop the food and body war within yourself. And it’s way bigger than losing a few pounds. Then write your meaningful why on an index card or post-it note and put it in a place you see it often. Read it daily and re-commit to it each time your mind goes back to weight loss.

 

  1. Identify the BIG 3! Instead of constantly thinking about your weight, focus on 3 amazing characteristics that you possess. Unsure what they are? Ask a friend, family member, or your partner. I’m sure they will be happy to share with you how kind you are, funny you are, helpful you are etc. Then on a day that you seem to be worrying too much about your weight, switch it off to focus on the BIG 3!

 

  1. Seek Support! Every one of us needs support throughout our lives. This includes times like this where you are swimming in new waters. If you haven’t yet joined my Intuitive Eating Support Community, come on over. Just click HERE and request to join. The members in this group are here to help you whenever you need it!

 

And of course. If you want my support on your journey, just send me an email to Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com . I offer 1-1 private coaching at various levels to walk you through your food and body healing journey.