Howdy! It’s International NO DIET DAY…YES!!!
This is not to be translated into “this is your one day of the year to have a massive cheat day.”
Let this be the day that goes down in your history book. The day you finally decide to say, “I reject the diet mentality and I claim my freedom from the chains of dieting!” (okay yes, I am a little excited about your coming freedom…or…celebrating it with you if you already have it!)
You may be thinking, “but summer is coming and I need to lose weight to have my beach body!” Girl! You have a body, find a beach and enjoy!
What is DIET MENTALITY?
This view point is the one that a large percentage of our society adheres to: “You can not be healthy, pretty enough, good enough, successful enough unless you are 1) losing weight or 2) thin.” In order to be these things, you are forced to believe that you are flawed and need fixing. Enter the diet industry, a $70 billion scheme to make you feel bad and believe that they have the quick fix, end all answer to your unhappiness.
Your next step after being told all of your physical flaws and food mishaps is to find the best diet! You search the magazines, your social media feeds, ask you friends what they have been doing to lose weight. In fact, you really develop a dieting tool box and it gets full of gadgets, apps, measuring thingies, fat-free/carbohydrate free (taste free) recipes, a new scale, a new journal…and so on. Just take a minute to do an inventory of your diet tool box.
You nurture a set of rules that includes “good” and “bad” foods. Heaven forbid you eat a bad food….oh, just pile on the guilt! (Just so you know, you are not bad for eating ANY food!) Other rules may include:
1) Don’t eat past 7pm (geez that myth goes way back!)
2) Count your carbs, while you’re at it…count your fat grams and calories, too!
3) Eat every 3 hours.
4) Don’t eat_____ foods.
5) Always eat _____foods.
6) Oh, there are so many more!
Diet mentality keeps you trapped in fear of breaking the rules, fear that you will choose the wrong foods or give in and fear that you will never be happy with yourself or your body. You begin to make food choices based on whether or not you deserve it. If you eat a no-no food, you try to find ways to make up for it. Exercise becomes about calories burned and you may even feel guilty if you miss an exercise session. Friends will get put aside just so you can make it an extra hour at the gym. For some of you, fear of others seeing you move keeps you trapped in a sedentary lifestyle, furthering your dislike of yourself and your body.
Diet mentality is choosing foods based on a set of external rules and commandments. It causes a major train derailment as you no longer trust your body or yourself to know when to eat, what to eat or how much to eat! It leaves you wounded and in need of healing. It drives the practice of comparison. You compare yourself to what others are eating and how they look. You judge yourself based on these comparisons and often feel worse about yourself and increase your own stress!
Here is what diet mentality was doing for me:
Diet mentality was that voice that told me I should not eat Oreos or fast food. Afterall, I was getting my degree in nutrition science, I "knew better" than to eat those foods AND they certainly wouldn't help me get that body (the one on the cover of Muscle & Fitness for Her). So, what happened? When I was stressed during test time...those foods...I ate them (but in a quantity that left me overfull and some guilt to add to it).
Life without diet mentality is freeing.
It opens up new opportunities that may have been there the whole time, you were just blinded by the false promises while chasing a number on the scale. Stop chasing a fantasy. Well, only if you want to live your most full life. Who am I to tell you to stop? But, I do know, your life will change when you finally decide to reject diet mentality.
Stay tuned for next weeks blog and we will talk more about how to do that!