Have you spent a good chunk of your adult years dieting? Have you hit your goal weight, only to live in fear of gaining back the weight you’ve lost? If you have hit your target weight in the past –how was your life different? Was it as amazing as you imagined it to be? Or did you live in constant worry about what you’re eating, how much you’re eating with the underlying fear of weight gain? Have you successfully kept it off or have you yo-yoed?
Let me ask you this.... Do you have a vision for the rest of your life and how you want it to look? Do you want food to continue to be a constant stressor and thought for the next ten years?
Many of us have been dieting for a long time and when you think about it, that is a lot of energy output. That can wear us down, we can get to the point where we no longer want to diet but we live in fear that if we don’t try to stick to some kind of plan we will blow out. However, think about this. You know what it’s like to be the dieter, you have years of data, information, experiences, ups and downs. You probably say to yourself “I will take dieting off the table once I lose the weight permanently”. But then there’s the conundrum because that doesn’t happen. My question to you - do you know who you are if dieting is off the table? Do you know who you are without dieting?
Chances are you don’t know who you are and what life is like when dieting is off the table. I suggest we interrupt the pattern. Here’s a crazy idea. I suggest you take 4 months of your life when you do a dieting time out. It doesn’t mean you never have to diet again but you are going to pretend that this is the body you are going to have for the rest of your life. I am also not saying go crazy and eat everything. I am saying take care of yourself, but more importantly, become an eater and not a dieter. Look at the foods you like to eat that are relatively healthy for you and have those. Aim for the 80/20 rule. Give yourself those guilty pleasures 20% so you don’t feel deprived and dieting. Chances are this is going to be the first time you aren’t bullying your body. You’ve been cracking the whip for years and when you don’t get there you tell yourself you don’t like you. This means your body doesn’t know what it’s like to take a deep breath, relax and just be an eater, not a dieter. Play with who you are if you’re not putting all the energy into dieting. Who are you?
Going on a 4 month no diet diet is your opportunity to do something different. If you’ve been doing the same thing for years and not getting the result you want, you need to do something different.
This can be scary – you may scared of losing control, gaining too much weight, letting go. But what you’ve probably been doing from a young age is trying to teach yourself how not to eat. A lifetime of dieting means I am trying to learn how not to eat. Have you had the opportunity to learn how to eat? That can be scary because dieting can be like an old friend, predictable, comfortable and you know what to expect.
So instead of restricting, replace it with noticing. Notice what your values are when it comes to food eg to be healthy, have energy, feel physically good, eat high-quality food, food that you enjoy. Take your values, enjoy your food, and let go of perfectionism around it. Who do you want to be as an eater? Feel your body. – what food feels good to you? Tune into yourself - ask yourself what feels nourishing, rather than ‘how do I manipulate the food on my plate to lose weight’.
Give yourself this opportunity, this is about claiming your life, time and energy, as a lot of your life force has gone into dieting. The work is inner work – finding the adult voice in you. The one that takes care of herself, recognizes her accomplishes, wisdom, life experiences, seeks her own approval, no one elses. That’s the voice that needs to come out.
Think about the relationship you want to be in with food. What experience do you want with food. Ask yourself at each meal – what would be best for me to eat right now that makes me feel nourished, makes me feel good, makes me feel like I’m treating my body well?
When weight loss thoughts come in tell yourself that’s the old voice. This is the body I have and I am not going to bully it to be something else in order for me to love it. This is where you are right now. You’ve been trying your best and A+ for effort. It’s not about lack of effort, its about learning from your journey with food and body. It’s a great teacher. It’s looking in the mirror and saying what is my relationship with food and body trying to teach me? Acceptance? Nourishment? Get to know the body you have right now. This can be life-changing.
You deserve better than this. Claim the life you want. Now is your time. If you need help with this, click on the link for a free 15 minute consult and we can talk through this further, I am happy to help.