5 Common Fears of Ditching the Diet
Are you ready to look and feel great inside and out?
But wait...this is NOT another diet! So, “what’s the catch?” you may ask.
I am aware that when I question dieting, I question your way of living and I totally disrupt your entire concept of health. You probably have been in the pursuit of weight loss for the majority of your existence. And you have overlooked the fact that our society has adapted strategies that even though are sought for “health’s sake,” in reality are harmful for your mental and physical health. You have become irrational using these strategies with only one pursuit in mind and ignoring your health and what really matters in your life. You are not alone, we have been conditioned to believe that if you don’t diet then you will lose control, so you have cling to dieting or restricting so fiercely to protect you. You might not even know that there is another way other than dieting or restricting, but our fears of letting go of dieting has trapped us in the same cycle.
Here are some common fears of giving up on dieting and what to do about it.
1. I will lose control over what I eat.
Have you ever been told, “are you sure you want to eat all of that? I think that is too much for you.” Or did your mom used to get mad at you because you ate all the cookies and it was you, but you could not admit it?
If this was you, then you were probably led to believe that you cannot be trusted around food and that you needed to be controlled. Perhaps you have been exposed to the idea of going on a diet or restricting a certain food or food groups in order to “control” what you eat. At first dieting and restricting food makes you feel in control because you are following rules, restricting yourself from favorite foods or “bad” foods and you feel good about yourself. You are able to follow rules for one day, maybe a week, maybe a month. But with time, restricting feels unbearable. Cravings creep back in and every time with more vengeance. You can’t help but to give in. You may overeat those foods that were not allowed on your diet, and that is when you feel out of control. You start to feel guilty and blame yourself for not having the “willpower” to continue.
Can you see how restricting leaves you feeling out of control? Not only feeling like you don’t have any control, but also in guilt, blame and shame. In others words, losing control brings you back to feeling like you cannot be trusted around foods. This is a negative cycle that continues to demolish your self-confidence.
This is a vicious negative cycle.
2. I can’t trust my body signals.
Were you told as a kid “finish your plate, there are starving kids around the world”? making you feel guilty and disconnecting you from your body signals. Do you now feel that you can’t stop eating until you finish everything, even though you may be full?
Learning to trust your body may seem very foreign to you, especially if you have been on the cycle of dieting, restricting and controlling your food for many years. All these factors have created a disconnection between you and your internal signals. But, it is possible to reconnect your mind and body, because you were born with these instinctive signals. The first step to trusting is always the hardest part, but once you do, you will start to embrace yourself and feel empowered. For example, when you start to listen to your body, you may be surprised to be able to have cookies in your house, and not have the need to eat all of them at once just because they are in front of you. Learning to trust your body signals also feed on a cycle, but it is a nourishing and positive one. The more you trust yourself the more empowered and good you will feel. Once you realize how good it feels, the more you will want to continue practicing it.
So which cycle will you choose? A cycle that is depleting, built based on guilt, blame and shame or the one that feeds you trust, confidence and transformation?
3. Eating what I want, when I want it, seems to be what has gotten me out of track.
There is nothing more terrifying than the concept of giving yourself unconditional permission to eat what you want. You may feel that if you are left to your own devices you will never be able to stop. That if you dared to pay attention to your physical appetite you would go spinning out of control. But once you start building your trust and confidence in you and in your body, you may realize that you did not need the entire loaf of bread or the whole ice-cream tub. It is easy to confuse hunger with emotions and feelings. As it is for sure, natural to feel out of control and overeat after a period of deprivation. With time, you will be able to recognize what you are truly hungry for in that moment, and what truly will make a difference for you so that you don’t fall back into the same guilt/blame/shame cycle. As you start to learn how to listen to your physical hunger, you may surprise yourself by eating only half a candy bar and saving the rest for later, or by having two Oreo cookies rather than the whole bag.
4. I will Lose track of a healthy/ balanced diet.
Have you really thought about how many extreme measures you have taken so far? Have you questioned if what you are doing is healthy for your body or mind? How much time have you spend hating on your body? Have you considered the toll that takes on your health?
Dieting does not mean health. The number of calories you consume does not mean health. A number on a scale does not mean health. Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or a number on a scale. For so long, you have only been focusing on the physical part of it; while ignoring your mental and social well-being. How has dieting interfere with your social life? How has dieting destroyed your self-confidence and trust?
Honoring your health from a place of love and compassion rather than hate and shame, is where the real health takes place. It is a healing process that starts from the inside and out. You learn to make food choices that honor your health and taste buds; while making you feel well. Remember that you don't have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly gain weight from one snack or one meal or one day of eating. Beating yourself up for one “mistake” does not contribute to your overall health. It is what you eat consistently over time that matters. Progress, not perfection, is what counts.
5. I am afraid to let myself go.
You may think that quitting diets means you are just “lazy.” That if you ditch the scale means you are “letting yourself go.” That giving yourself unconditional permission to eat is “giving up.”
I am here to challenge that notion. If giving up in yourself means giving up on food obsessions, food rules, guilt/blame/shame cycle then, YES! It is giving up! It is giving up on all the dieting noise in your head and the need for validation from the outside (scale, number, diet), so that you can learn to listen to your body’s wisdom. It is not letting yourself go, it’s letting yourself BE. Letting yourself be the real you, the one that you have been putting off until ____ (fill in the blank- lose weight). It is not being lazy, it’s being true to yourself. It will be work, but work that nourishes you and feeds you confidence and trust.
Are you ready to transform your relationship with food?
Then, buckle up!... and join our WholeHeartedley Well Program. Learn more and join us here: wholeheartedlywell.teachable.com/p/wholeheartedlywell2021
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With Love and Kindness,