Posts

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.

 

 

Trash the Scale

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from Kay, a woman who has been working on overcoming emotional eating. I received an email from her that said the following:

 

“Sometimes eating healthy is easy. But sometimes eating healthy and losing weight feels like a struggle. I had to stop weighing myself recently. The scale was showing that I am going up and down around a pound per day.  I was getting worried, and it seemed like all of a sudden, I was struggling more (emotionally.)

 

This early morning, I went out to the backyard to water my lawn on my watering day, and my pajama bottoms almost fell off me. I wanted to go back inside and weigh. But if I did, and the scale didn’t show less, I knew that I would be upset.  How can I give up worries about how much I weigh?

 

This is such a great question and I know it’s something you are thinking as well. As a chronic dieter, you’ve used the scale to measure your success. Each day you’d get on the scale to see how you did the day before and to determine your plan of action for the day ahead. And, if we are being real, you probably go on the scale more than one time per day.

 

Let’s look at a few scenarios.

 

Scenario #1: You get on the scale in the morning and the number is a “good” number. Your mood for the day is happy.

 

Scenario #2: You get on the scale in the morning and the number is a “bad” number. Your mood for the day is depressed, even angry.

 

Both scenarios can trigger overeating, whether it be celebration eating (“I lost weight, I can have a treat”) or consolation eating (“I was so good and didn’t lose any weight. Why bother trying”.)

 

Other self-talk around the result of your morning weigh-in might sound like:

“I ate horribly yesterday, and I still lost weight. Thank goodness, I don’t have to starve today”.

“I only lost ¼ pound, it wasn’t worth it”.

 

This self-talk is the talk of a dieter. Without a doubt, weighing yourself keeps you in diet mentality. It fuels the body worry>food worry vicious cycle of emotional eating and dieting. If you truly want to be break free of this cycle, you must start with throwing away the scale.

 

Do you let the scale dictate your mood? Are you ready to throw it away?

 

Watch this video (click image) as I discuss this topic further and comment below with your commitment to stop weighing yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Dieting But I’m Still Gaining Weight

You’re standing in front of the mirror having changed your clothes three times already this morning.  Nothing seems to fit right.  You are discouraged and start with the negative self-talk you are all too familiar with.  “Why can’t I just stick to my diet”, you say to yourself.  “I am such a failure; I will never succeed at weight loss”.  “Tomorrow I will start my diet again”.

 

Does this sound familiar to you?  If you have been battling your weight for some time, then likely you have been on countless diets that have not worked long term and you have gotten very good at berating yourself for your failures.  The commercials all sound so promising!  The radio ads promise fat burning powers of the miracle pills you just bought at the health food store.  Why aren’t you able to lose weight?

 

The answer lies in the fact that you are dieting. 

 

Let me repeat that!

 

The answer lies in the fact that you are dieting. 

 

You see, nobody lives on a diet.  One goes on a diet but eventually goes off the diet.

 

The Stats You Know

 

Forty to 50% of American women are trying to lose weight and are on a diet at any point in time.  Half of pre-teen and teenage girls are on diets. However, 95% -97% of all dieters regain their lost weight and more within 1 to 5 years.

 

These are very alarming statistics because dieting clearly doesn’t work and repeated “yo-yo” dieting has been shown to have negative health effects, including an increased risk of heart disease and long-lasting effects on the metabolism.

 

The Side Effects of Dieting

 

Dieting makes you preoccupied with food; what you ate yesterday, this morning, 1 hour ago, and what you will eat later and tomorrow.  Dieting makes food the enemy and causes guilty feelings when you don’t eat diet-type foods.

 

When you go on a diet, you are in essence putting your body into a short-term starvation state.  When given the first opportunity to really eat what you desire, you will often experience a feeling of such intensity that any initial thoughts of wanting to be thin fly out the window.  You feel out of control, guilty, and view yourself as having no willpower.

 

However, listen up!

 

This type of eating in response to semi-starvation is actually normal.  It has nothing to do with willpower!  When you are underfed, you will obsess about food.  Period!

 

The best solution to achieving peace with food and your body is to embrace an intuitive eating approach to food.  Intuitive eating is eating based on your physiological hunger and satiety cues not based on situations or emotional cues.  So, that means eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied or comfortably full.

 

Now, I recognize that for the chronic yo-yo dieter, this is not necessarily easy.  It requires you to explore how you got to where you are today in your eating habits and understand deeply what it means to become an intuitive eater.  During this process, it is important for you to begin to get rid of the diet mentality that you have, and to truly believe that you will never diet again.  If you continue to think there is “just one more diet, this time I’ll be good”, then you won’t be able to move forward to becoming an intuitive eater.   You will continue to have foods that are “good” and “bad” and you will continue to think of yourself as being “on” or “off”.

 

To help you get started on the path of intuitive eating, commit to the following 3 steps:

 

  1. Throw out all the diet books and pre-printed menus from magazines that you have tried over the years. Make a commitment to yourself that you will no longer be tempted by new diets that come out because you are committed to learning to listen to your body.

 

  1. Get rid of the bathroom scale. Do you weigh yourself every morning or even several times per day?  Does the number on the scale influence your mood for the day?  Most likely it does, even if you don’t consciously realize it.  Your weight fluctuates day to day and is a measure of more than just fat.  It includes your bones, organs, muscle and substances such as water, food and waste that pass through your system.  Begin to measure your success by other factors other than the scale such as improved blood work, blood pressure, mood, energy level and overall satisfaction with your progress toward becoming an intuitive eater.

 

  1. Seek out caring support to help you on your journey. Becoming an intuitive eater is a process and the amount of time it takes will depend on how long you have been dieting, how strong your diet mentality is, how long you have been using food to cope with your emotions and how willing you are to trust yourself.  It is very important for you to surround yourself with like-minded people who can provide positive feedback and support.

 

You were born with the natural instinct to eat when hungry and stop when full.  Chances are you lost this ability due to all the diets you tried and the media exposure to quick-fixes.  You can reclaim what you were born with and achieve guilt-free eating, a body you love and a life free of dieting.   Intuitive eating is the answer you have been looking for.

 

Reach out to me if you are interested in going from Dieter to Intuitive Eater! There’s no shame in asking for help!

 

Is it Wrong to Want to Lose Weight While Working on Intuitive Eating?

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question is a common question that I hear all the time.  

The question is:

Question:

“Bonnie, I’m told that if I’m “doing” intuitive eating, I “shouldn’t” want to lose weight. Is it wrong to still want to lose weight even though I am learning intuitive eating?

Are you shaking your head now saying to yourself “yes, yes I want to know the answer to this question too.”

 

I want you to know that it’s okay to want to release excess weight. I always tell my clients that saying “I want to lose weight” is not like using curse words. Yet, they are meant to feel like they are not allowed to have this desire.

 

They are. And you are! But here’s the difference.

 

We need to first focus on re-building the trust in your body and in yourself that you have lost over all the years of dieting and abusing your body. In the right time, once intuitive eating has become a practice for you, if you are carrying excess weight and it’s meant to be released, it will do so without you having to worry about it, wish for it, or manipulate your eating to achieve it.

 

Giving up the ‘control’ of “I must lose weight” is scary, as you are probably concerned you will gain weight in the interim.

 

I won’t be able to do a Facebook Live training today like I usually do on Intuitive Eating Wednesdays. So, I am linking below to two YouTube videos that I filmed on the topic of intuitive eating and weight loss/weight gain.

 

Just click the images below, and after watching them, post a comment and I’ll respond!

 

 

 

 

 

I will look for your comments, either right here on the blog, or under the videos!

 

 

Another New Weight Loss System that’s Doomed to Fail

balloonsTrying to figure out how the picture here connects with the blog title? Read on…

It is not unusual for you to open up a magazine or hear on TV about a new weight loss procedure or miracle diet/supplement to help you lose weight quickly.

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

Well, today I had to write about another new weight loss procedure that is about to hit the market because I just can’t believe it.  I will describe it to you, without naming names (for good reason).

This latest FDA-approved weight-loss system is minimally invasive.  It consists of three tiny capsules, each containing an inflatable balloon attached to a catheter.  You would swallow each of the capsules, three weeks apart, and X-rays are taken to ensure they are just in the right spot.

(You would be swallowing inflatable balloons!)

Once the balloons are in the right spot, gas is pumped through the catheter, filling the balloon up.  The catheter is removed, and you would go home with a small balloon (or balloons) in your stomach.

The balloons stays there for six months, filling up the stomach.  This is meant to help you feel full so you don’t eat as much.  After six months, the balloons are removed via minimally-invasive endoscopic surgery.

UGH!

But, why do you need to resort to this type of procedure?

Wouldn’t it be better to learn why you feel the need to overeat, and to change your relationship with food?

The research for this procedure did have the volunteers meeting with a registered dietitian every three weeks, helping them making healthy lifestyle changes, which is good.  This system is meant to be done in conjunction with diet and exercise and the company says you would need to meet with a dietitian regularly as part of the program.

But, why not meet with a registered dietitian certified as an intuitive eating counselor to do the deeper work that you have to do NOW so you can finally be free of all these weight loss systems and procedures (which by the way doesn’t keep the weight off long term)?

This is where intuitive eating can be beneficial.  If you learn the why behind your eating and what is actually driving your overeating you will no longer seek to fill those needs with food! You will learn how to listen to your body’s hunger and satiety cues and give your body what it wants.

You CAN do this.  No device or procedure or pill is needed.

Remember, 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 go to www.TalkWithBonnie.com and we’ll set up a time to chat.

 

 

Dieting Information Overload – When To Start Taking Action

to-do-listI’ve been a registered dietitian nutritionist in private practice for over 28 years now. Wow, hard to believe. And a lot has changed in the industry in the last 28 years. When I first got out of school and opened my business, I was mostly treating patients for medical conditions using nutrition therapy. These conditions included uncontrolled diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, gastrointestinal conditions, to name a few.

 

In most of these cases, except for some of the gastrointestinal conditions, weight loss was always a part of the treatment plan. I created a nutrition plan that included a meal plan tailored to the patients’ medical condition and weight loss goals. My patients were getting better and losing weight. It all seemed so perfect.

 

At some point, I asked myself what can I do to help prevent these illnesses or the complications from occurring due to their diseases. Again, weight loss was usually part of the prevention plan and my patients wanted a meal plan to follow, which I obliged to.

 

Yet, at some point about 5-6 years ago, I realized that these meal plans are actually doing a disservice to many of these patients. The meal plan turned into a diet for them to follow and they just didn’t know how to navigate certain situations in their lives when they couldn’t “follow” the meal plan I created. These included vacations, weddings, deaths, job loss and other events and circumstances. They then felt guilty, ashamed and upset that they just couldn’t “do it”. They lost total confidence and trust in themselves.

 

Can you relate?

 

This is when I turned my attention to helping people break free of dieting to learn how to re-trust themselves and their bodies again to make the food choices that feel right for them. Yes, this is where my intuitive eating work comes in.

 

But here is what I have found.

 

As I started talking about and spreading my message about giving up dieting, all of a sudden the internet was swarming with coaches doing the same thing. It caught on like wildfire! It seems like every other day there is another summit with ‘expert interviews’ telling you how to give up dieting.

 

I’ve been on these summits, and I do believe they can be very helpful. But I also believe that there comes a point where you need to stop collecting information and start taking action. That’s when the real change happens.

 

So, in theory, yes, giving up dieting is your answer to finally achieving the body and life you want without food restriction, deprivation and feelings of guilt after you eat. But, if you don’t begin to practice this, you will continue to struggle.

 

3 Tips to Help You Start Taking Action

 

  • Stop signing up for every “end dieting” summit that pops up in your newsfeed. Choose 1 or 2 experts that you resonate most with and follow them (hint…I hope I’m one of them).

 

  • Pick one action step and focus on that for one week. Self-assess each evening to see how you feel with your progress. When you are ready, add a second action step and so on. Don’t take on too many changes at once.

 

  • See support to help you on your journey. These changes are tough! Anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful! There is no reason to go this alone. An RDN coach can walk the journey with you and support you. If you’d like to see how I can help you, just contact me here.

 

I am excited for you that you have made the commitment to give up dieting forever. I also know how scary that thought is. Please don’t let that fear keep you in the “gathering information” phase. Start taking action today. I am here to support you.

 

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.

 

Can I Fail on My Intuitive Eating Journey?

No failures in IEI was thinking about a conversation I had with a new client a few weeks ago. She was really fed up with dieting and was looking for a solution to help her finally be at peace with food and her body.  We talked about the process of intuitive eating and it resonated with her greatly, but she had one big fear:  would she fail at this process, like she failed at dieting?

 

Her fear of failure was initially holding her back from saying yes to embarking on the intuitive eating process.  So we talked about that fear and one of the things I helped her to understand is that you cannot fail at intuitive eating.

 

You see, dieting is something you go on and you go off. Dieting is what actually triggers overeating.  Dieting is what causes the feelings of failure.

 

With intuitive eating, there is no failure. Intuitive eating is this process where you’re learning to become an intuitive eater, which is an ability you are born with.  That ability is already within you.   Every step along the path, is a lesson learned.  Every experience you have will be another lesson learned.

 

So what you might have thought of as a “failure” or “setback” on your diet, is now going to be thought of as a lesson learned.  Its growth and progress.

 

If you can view the process of intuitive eating from this place, a place of growth, a place of learning new things and new experiences, it will help propel you forward towards reclaiming being an intuitive eater. Here you will realize that you will always learn something from the process and you will never fail.

 

Once my client realized that she is not embarking on another diet, she realized she cannot fail on this journey.  This process is not something that ends.  You learn to live as an intuitive eater, it’s a practice.

 

And so when there is no endpoint, there’s no failure and no fear that’s attached to that.

 

Once she was able to let go of that fear, she was able to say “YES, let’s do this.  Let’s go on this journey together so I can reclaim being an intuitive eater”. She’s on that journey now and really enjoying it.

 

I say the same to you.

 

There are lessons learned in every experience you have on this intuitive eating journey.

 

If you come upon an obstacle or you think you have fallen off the wagon, let’s change that thought process and just think of it as a lesson learned that’s given you growth so you can continue along your journey.

 

As always, if you need me, I am here.

 

 

There’s No All or Nothing in Intuitive Eating

cakeI recently had a client share her success story.  Let’s call her Susan. Susan was at an office party when two delicious looking cakes were served.  She knew she wouldn’t be able to resist trying the cakes, so she took a small piece of each on her plate.  She ate a few bites of the chocolate cake, then a few bites of the white cream cake, and something amazing happened!

 

She didn’t feel the need to eat more! She was shocked. She was practicing mindfulness around her eating and she savored each bite and she was satisfied before she polished off both pieces.

 

This. Never. Happened. To. Her. Before.

 

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 a slice of cake, 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.

 

It’s a process my dear readers. It 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 Susan 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 two 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.

 

  1. 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 risk free request form at www.TalkWithBonnie.com.

 

How to Break Through Your Limiting Beliefs Around Weight Loss

Roadblock breakthroughSomething is keeping you stuck. Something keeps you trying each new diet that hits the market even though you know by now that diets don’t work.

 

Okay, so when I say “diets don’t work”, let me clarify.

 

Diets DO work in the short term by helping you lose weight, but ultimately they FAIL in the long term because you gain that weight back, plus some! So why oh why do you keep trying to follow a diet? And let’s be real for a minute. When you visit a registered dietitian nutritionist and ask for a “meal plan”, that is just a nicer way to say diet. If you don’t understand what I mean, read my story here.

 

So, let’s understand a little about why you might be resistant to giving up dieting.

 

  • Perhaps you think that a diet is the only way to lose weight. (Wrong!)

 

  • Perhaps you are too scared to trust that you actually know how to eat if you would just listen to your body. (I get that this might be true, but I can help you learn to re-trust your body again!)

 

  • Perhaps you really don’t want to be successful in losing weight. (Bingo!)

 

Wait, what did I just say? You don’t really want to lose weight? That’s insane. Of course you do, that’s why you try diet after diet, right?

 

I want to focus on that third bullet point. Dig deep down and ask yourself if you really want to lose the weight forever. What are your fears around shedding the layers that are possibly protecting you? What do you need to be protected from?

 

Consider some of the following beliefs that you might be holding onto, and understand these are preventing you from moving forward on your journey towards a body you love.

 

Do you ever say any of the following?

 

“I’m destined to be fat.”

“I will gain the weight back so why bother.”

“I won’t be able to trust myself around food.”

“Losing weight and changing my habits is hard, I’ll never be able to do it.”

 

These are all beliefs that MUST be knocked down, smashed through and turned upside down or you will still stay stuck where you are forever!

 

Sit in a quiet room and think. Just think about these beliefs you have around losing weight and your body. Then commit to getting the support you need to change your thought patterns and your behaviors.

 

Listen, I know you want to do this yourself. I get it. It’s embarrassing to ask for support, so you think.

 

I’m here to tell you there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Come join other women (and some men) who are on the journey towards breaking down these negative beliefs and who are now believing in themselves. Click here and join our community, for free.

 

And, if you’d like further individualized support, just fill out this request at www.TalkWithBonnie.com