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Can You Fail at Intuitive Eating?

The short answer is no! You cannot fail at intuitive eating. But let’s dig into this topic a bit because the idea of failure is top of mind for chronic dieters.

 

You’ve been down this road before. You want to lose weight so the only way you know how to do that is to go on a diet. You’re going along fine, eating what the diet tells you to, not eating what you “shouldn’t” and you start to feel lighter on your feet. Your clothes are fitting better and you are on a high.

 

Until you aren’t anymore.

 

What happened?

 

Well, you had a bad day at work, you lost a client, your boss yelled at you, you got a ticket driving home, and you had a fight with your partner. You walk in the house and you are in a really foul mood. You head straight to the kitchen and open the fridge to grab that chocolate cake you knew was in there, leftover from the party the other night. You dig in, and you tune out.

 

When you come out of your chocolate cake coma, you are really upset with yourself. You just blew your diet. Now you feel frustrated, angry with yourself, and the negative self-talk begins: “There you go again, screwing it all up”, “You can never stay on a diet, why do you even try”, “You are such a failure”.

 

The above is just one scenario where your desire to be “thin” led you to a diet which led you to feeling like a failure. What are some other scenarios?

 

2 Other Scenarios that Lead to Feelings of Failure

 

  1. Scenario #1: You want to lose weight and be “thin”. You go on a diet, restricting and depriving yourself of your favorite foods. At some point, you can’t stand the deprivation anymore…you must have “just a little” chocolate. You eat a piece, then another, and then another. Now, it’s an all out binge, as you vow to start again tomorrow. What happened here is that the restriction led to cravings which led to bingeing. Now, you feel miserable again and you have a deep desire to lose weight, again. You start the cycle all over> diet>restriction>deprivation>cravings>rebound eating>binge eating. And the feeling you have = FAILURE.

 

  1. Scenario #2: It’s the holiday season, and you’ve dieted your way into that little black dress. You are going to kill it at the holiday parties and family get-togethers. You can’t wait to hear all the compliments about your weight loss and how great you look. But wow, you are surrounded by all these goodies that you haven’t eaten for so long. You tell yourself you are not going to eat anything you “shouldn’t”. But then the inevitable happens. You aren’t paying attention, there’s a little too much alcohol and before you know it, you’ve dipped into the appetizers and pastries. At this point you tell yourself “I deserve it, I’m going to enjoy the holidays and not worry about the food. I’ll get back on my diet on January 1st.” And on January 1st, you wake up and feel miserable . You’ve regained much of the weight you lost, that little black dress doesn’t fit so well anymore, and you feel like a FAILURE.

 

What do you do? See scenario #1 above.

 

A Better Option than Dieting

 

I have another option for you where you will NEVER feel like a failure. And that option is > Intuitive Eating.

 

Intuitive eating is eating based on your physiological need to eat, based on your hunger and fullness signals, and NOT based on situations you are in or emotions you are feeling.

 

Intuitive eating is returning to eating the way you were born.

 

Now, just because you were born an intuitive eater, does not mean the journey back to it is an easy one if you’ve been dieting for years. You see, while as a baby you didn’t give much thought to eating, it was something you just knew (i.e. hunger pangs, cry for food; full belly, push away), as a dieting adult, you haven’t been listening to these signals. You’ve been relying on outside influences to guide your eating.

 

One of the biggest challenges I see with women who are learning to return to being intuitive eaters is TRUST. They are afraid to trust that their bodies will guide them correctly.

 

Is this you too?

 

I get it! You have lost trust in your body and in yourself to make your own food decisions because of all the “failures” from dieting (see scenarios above).

 

So, it’s of utmost importance that you understand that there is no pass or fail in intuitive eating.

 

Read and internalize this next sentence – I cannot fail at intuitive eating!

 

One of the biggest objections I hear from women who hesitate to commit to working on their relationship with food through intuitive eating is that they are afraid to fail again. That they’ve done it all and failed, so why should this work.

 

The reason? You have not tried this before. And if you have and you hit some roadblocks, then it’s more than likely that the diet mentality is still lingering. This is NOT FAILURE. This is part of the process.

 

A New Year Decision

 

Take this moment to commit to your intuitive eating journey. Repeat over and over “I cannot fail at intuitive eating” so a new neural pathway forms. Let this next year be the year where you leave dieting and all the negativity that comes with it behind.

 

I am taking new clients now for 2019. If you’d like to speak with me to see if we are a right fit for working together, just click here.

 

Dreading the Diet Talk at Your Holiday Meal? Here’s 3 Survival Tips!

It’s only 5 days until Christmas, which means you’ll likely be surrounded by family, friends, food and wine! The holiday season brings with it all types of emotions, some happy and some sad.

 

Add to these emotions the fact that you are surrounded by dieting messages at every turn. “New Year, New You” is a common theme as we end one year and begin planning for the next. This message is enmeshed in diet culture, sucking you into thinking there’s something wrong with the “current you”!

 

I’m here to tell you there is nothing wrong with you, just as you are now!

 

If you have achieved a peaceful relationship with food and your body, then you are in a place where these media messages are benign to you. They don’t affect you, except make you mad as hell that the diet industry is praying on those desperate to lose weight.

 

But thankfully, that is not you anymore. You appreciate your body, you are at peace with food, and you are enjoying the holiday meals without guilt. And I am so happy for you.

 

If you aren’t yet there yet, just know that I realize this next week may be challenging for you. If you will be surrounded by family members who are dieting, you will hear comments at your holiday meal such as:

“I shouldn’t be eating this, but…”

“I’m starting Diet X on January 1st…”

“I can’t eat that dessert, you are?”

 

How you handle these comments will determine whether you slip back into diet mentality or not.

 

Here are 3 Tips to Help You Navigate the Diet Talk at Your Holiday Meal:

  1. Maintain awareness: That word right there, awareness, will be the difference between you throwing in the towel or standing your ground. Stay present within your body and make purposeful food choices that honor you! If at any point you find yourself losing that awareness, that’s okay. Bring yourself back to the present moment with a pause and a few deep breaths.

 

  1. Tune out the diet talk: When the family starts getting into all the diet talk, just tune them out. Start to sing your favorite song in your head, think about the good time you had on your last vacation, or excuse yourself from the table for a stretch and walk around the house. You will be so thankful that you are no longer going down the rabbit hole of the ‘New Year Diet’!

 

  1. Change the topic: When the conversation goes to the food and should/shouldn’ts, change the topic! Be the leader in moving the conversation to where you want it to go. A good idea is to have some conversation starters ready to go such as:

 

  • “What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in the last 6 months?”
  • “If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?”
  • “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?”
  • “What’s your biggest pet peeve?”

 

You have the power within you to resist falling back into diet mentality. Keep reminding yourself of this, especially as December is coming to a close and a New Year is beginning!

 

And, give thought to how you want your intuitive eating journey to look in 2018.

 

If you are content in continuing to go it alone and are happy with your progress, then I am happy for you too!

 

But if any part of you would like a smoother transition into the world of intuitive eating, then reach out to me and let’s see how I can support you in the New Year. Just answer a few questions at www.TalkWithBonnie.com and we will set up a time to speak.

 

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday!

 

 

How to Achieve Your Health Goals In 2016

Goals 2016I cringe this time of year. You know why? Because my inbox is flooded with dozens of miracle diets for the New Year. They promise quick and easy weight loss by following a set of rules to reach unrealistic goals.

 

Join me in throwing your New Year’s resolutions out the window. Start this New Year by doing the opposite of so many people. Release yourself from the prison of rules that you set for yourself, or worse – that someone else has set for you. Instead continue on your path towards becoming an intuitive and mindful eater.

 

I realize this isn’t an easy path. But remember, it may not be easy but it is worth it!

 

There are 3 essential ingredients I believe you need to piece together in order to achieve this goal for 2016.

 

Here they are (and resources to help too!)

 

Essential Ingredient #1: Create a healthy mindset. Commit to NOT listening to what others tell you to do. You need to decide for yourself what is best. What makes YOU happy? What makes you feel good? What eases your mind and fills your stomach?  Stop letting dieting books, relatives and TV hosts dictate what you need or what you should eat. They don’t know what is right for you. Only you know how to make yourself the best you can be. Re-learn to trust your body. You may be surprised what you get out of it.

 

Essential Ingredient #2: Find caring love and support. It’s no fun being on this journey alone. And, it’s possible that all your girlfriends are about to embark on the latest New Year’s diet. So what are you to do? Find a support group filled with people just like you who have decided to never diet again. They do exist. If you are interested, come on over to my private Facebook intuitive eating support group. This is a judgement-free space where real people share real intuitive eating struggles and successes. I offer my own advice and tips along with fun challenges and giveaways throughout the year.

 

Essential Ingredient #3: Be open to learning about nutrition from a reputable source. There is so much overwhelming nutrition information on the internet that it gets downright confusing. Just this morning a client mentioned to me that she has no idea what to eat anymore, there are so many recommendations she reads that contradict each other. It is key to connect with a reputable nutrition source such as a registered dietitian nutritionist to learn about nutrition. Get to know what you’re putting into your body. The more you know the more you will find yourself being more conscious about what you’re eating.

 

To help clarify the many nutrition questions you might have while you are food shopping, check out My Supermarket Sidekick: Your Aisle-by-Aisle Shopping Guide. I wrote this guide to help you as you navigate the aisles in the supermarket. Learn more here.

 

Your Turn to Take Action: What are your health goals of 2016? Comment below!