If I look at my life over the last couple of years it’s been a time of change and self-awareness, struggle and hard work. One of the biggest changes is about my body image and dieting or rather UN-dieting.
I’m thinking that many of us are the same…we’ve tried Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Keto, counting calories, cutting out this and that – maybe even the Cabbage Soup Diet – LOL. I yo-yo dieted for years with lots of success. Except the “success” never lasted. I always felt deprived and then I fell off the proverbial wagon. Sound familiar?
It’s not that reaching your health goals doesn’t include food, it’s that food is most likely not the root cause of being overweight, having low energy or many other health challenges that we might be experiencing. And working towards finding the root cause is a journey of self-discovery, beliefs that we don’t even know we have, becoming aware and then moving into action towards our best life ever.
For me, I realized that my Mother collapsing in front of me while feeding me, at age 2.5 years old (and passing away a few days later) was the start of so many different beliefs that I carried around for years, without even knowing it. A couple of my beliefs were that food equaled love and that I needed to look after my Father (from the age of 2.5!!) since he had lost his wife.
These, and other beliefs fed my love of food, and the idea that food could give me what I needed when I needed it (look out eating to fuel my emotions!). So when I dieted I felt a sense of loss, there were holes in my soul that needed to be filled and dieting meant I couldn’t fill them with food as I’d always done.
Now so many of my beliefs are different for me!! Self-acceptance is the starting line for change. I firmly believe that if you are unable to accept yourself as you are now, it’s unlikely you will ever be satisfied – especially by food restricting.
I know food is a part of being healthy…yet there is so much more we can do for ourselves and I can’t cover it all in one blog. So here are 3 tips to un-dieting:
1. Get rid of your scale
Yes, this sounds terrifying at the start. In order to UN-diet, you need to take the mental focus away from appearance and feeling bad about yourself. The only way I got rid of my scale, in the beginning, was to give it to my trainer (he actually kidnapped it from me!). If you need to give it away, please do that. Or if you want, smash it – it’s so liberating. If you can’t see yourself doing any of these, take a break from using it – and I know it’s painful – yet it’s like a bandaid – it won’t hurt for long.
2. Ditch the “low-fat”, “sugar-free”, “diet” foods
Stop focusing on the gimmicks and marketing that tries to convince us that these processed foods are healthy! Just because it says it’s low-fat or some other light version doesn’t make it the better choice. This way of thinking hasn’t gotten us any healthier; in fact, it has done the exact opposite of our population.
If we focus on healthier options like trying to eat more whole, real foods (eating something with good fat is actually good for us!), sleeping enough, feeling fulfilled at work, enjoying time with friends and family, moving in a way that feels amazing it will all help in your journey to better health and tons more energy!
3. Be in the moment!
We all want to feel good now, yet we are always telling ourselves that will happen when we lose weight or when we start working out – whatever that goal is for us. I want you to start noticing the small things in life that make you happy. Wouldn’t you like to feel good now? Being curious and aware of our sensations, thoughts and all those things around us can give us that – right now! Think of it as looking at the twinkle lights (each one being something wonderful) instead of casting a floodlight over a whole bunch of things and not really noticing anything.
These are a great start to feeling at home in your own body and loving yourself just the way you are…on the way to attaining your health goals, whether they’re related to weight, energy or just feeling amazing in your own skin!
I’ve learned a lot through my life experiences and while certifying as a health coach. One of the big AHA’s was that the diet culture does us no favours – it doesn’t teach us how to nurture our body and our mind, it doesn’t have us appreciate the present and it certainly doesn’t have us love ourselves right now, exactly as we are. And that’s a real shame.
Body image is being shot to hell with all the diets, marketing, advertising and shaming that is in our world. Did you know that 84% of girls, 10 years old are worrying about their bodies? Or that 97% of women don’t like their bodies and will diet?
I don’t want you to be one of those statistics anymore. You can learn to feel good right now – you can start to deprogram all the limitations that have been set upon you…I did – and it’s so liberating!!
I love my life – I love all the ups and downs, all the fun times and even the hard times. I know this may sound odd – I look at the hard times as absolute gifts. Something that the universe has given to us to help us to get stronger and grow – exactly the way we need to at the time.
And I want to say loud and clear…. I believe there is beauty in everything…it all depends on our perception – how we look at a situation or circumstance. And we control that, just like our thoughts.
All bodies are good bodies – what if your perfect body was the one you’re in today? The truth is that person is within you – you just need to believe.
The Body Rebel
If you want to talk about body image and how you can make changes that last, I’d love to chat with you! You can book a time with me for free!