I made this #HAS (huge ass salad) for lunch today and as I took this shot, I thought, “I can’t imagine hating how I eat.” What misery and yet so many of us still do it.
(Typical #HAS of mine: kale, spinach, eggs, chicken, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, garbanzo beans, fried onion strings, parm cheese, seeds, honey mustard)
Let me just tell you, after years of working with women with disordering eating habits, (mine included) I wish we would quit the diet mentality already, I’m so over it I could scream.
It’s no wonder we’re obsessed with food points, numbers, calories, scales, ounces, measurements, amounts, intake and output of food it’s mind-blowing. This is the shit I hate because if society didn’t focus so much on the “weight” and once we lose, we will finally be happy, blah, blah. Bullshit.
I’m here to tell you this……LOSING WEIGHT DOES NOT SOLVE OUR RELATIONSHIP ISSUES WITH FOOD.
Now, was I miserable at this weight?
But I was miserable at this weight.
And this weight.
And sorta kinda this weight, but my head space was improving.
And here, I’ve never been happier.
You see where I’m going with this?
I think I’m pretty much the same weight (maybe some added muscle here and there) at the bottom 3, but my MIND was different and holy s*it, do I feel a million times better which is why I created THIS.
Here’s the thing: society focuses solely on the weight alone to measure success and sells us on the lie that once we get our weight down, everything will be fine. When in fact, the more we diet, the more we feed into disordered eating patterns. It goes without saying, the more we restrict, the likelihood we’ll binge. Then, what typically comes after a binge? Regret, shame, guilt, you name it. It’s counter-regulation and the law of starvation, our bodies will crave more food, period.
Not only is the restrict to binge cycle inevitable when we rely on diets and outside sources to regulate our food, so is our own natural ability to tap into our hunger/fullness levels.
Dieting and food rules control our decisions.
Whether it be from points, steps, calories, carbs, macros, etc. they’re all meant to control and override our instinctual feedback loops.
Research has proven we all have a deep desire for autonomy with our food choices rather than being told what is and isn’t allowed on our plates. Think about all the times we’ve tried to diet and get pissed off at the plan or person because we can’t sustain it and not eat what we want? So we rebel, don’t we?
Here’s the bottom line:
Until we stop dieting and allowing the food and weight to constantly be the main focus, we will continue to struggle.
In the same magazine, I recently read Oprah mention how she’s “made peace” with food because of Weight Watchers, while another woman says she hasn’t eaten pizza in 5 years. Okay, so be it, but is that really enjoyable? I don’t know?
Honestly, regardless if we lose weight from points or avoiding pizza, as much as we want to “diet”, it won’t work. When we diet, 95% of us are likely to gain it back which is why I’m a HUGE advocate and believer for sustainability and realistic goal settings.
Even when things are marked as “food plans” or “lifestyles” anything that still controls the intake from our food on the outside will NOT address what’s going on inside.
The truth of the matter is I work with hundreds of women who are successful, driven, bright and amazing and yet they still feel unworthy because they can’t keep up with the rat race of external food control. Guess what? We’re not supposed to!
The successful women I see thrive and grow are the ones who choose to do the hard and dirty work first: from the inside out. Beating ourselves up with one diet plan after another is exhausting and downright miserable and the ladies that find solutions find them from the inside first and there’s no shame in needing help and support with that!
After years of working with women who struggle with weight loss, I’ve learned it comes down to them truly making peace with the food and choosing to make a conscious choice to live life now, regardless of their size, shape or weight. It’s about teasing out the emotional connection we’ve attached to the food itself and finding other means to get those needs met. Does it happen overnight? No, but I’ve seen it work time and time again with patience, self-compassion, and grace to ourselves.
In conclusion, after witnessing women succeed in weight loss success, it starts from the inside out and it’s about creating a lifestyle that works best for them. It’s also about us finding movements that feel enjoyable, not daunting, foods they love rather than ones they despise and a mindfulness approach to food that doesn’t exist in a pill or monthly subscription.
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