Why can’t I just lose weight?
Have you ever asked yourself this question? Or sat around wondering why the hell you do things that don’t serve you? Like, why would I binge on fries and dessert when I know that’s going against my goals? Why can’t I just do what I know I “should” do? The answer is not that simple.
So much of our decision-making is done without thought. It happens automatically. If I’m thirsty, I reach for a sip of water. If I’m cold, I grab a hoodie. If I feel the need to use the bathroom, I get up and go. When those things happen, I don’t stop and ask myself the consequence of not taking the action I know I “should” take. I just do it. That’s because we trust ourselves to make certain decisions, but were taught not to trust ourselves all the time.
Where the lessons started
Let me explain. From when we were children, we were told when what and how much to eat. In my house, we didn’t leave the table until our plate was empty. We didn’t “earn” dessert unless we finished our meal. We didn’t eat dinner because we were hungry, we ate because someone told us to. That was the beginning of my learning to ignore my very own intuition.
If your childhood was anything like mine, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Those lessons taught us to overeat because we had to finish our plate, instead of stopping eating when we were satisfied. They taught us unhealthy relationships with food, because dessert was a prize we had to “earn” by eating all of our food. That gave sweets a certain power over us.
How it all translated to adulthood
Flash forward to early adulthood (at least that was when it started for me) and those habits led to weight gain. Of course, diets looked enticing. I could just eat what someone told me to and I’d lose the unwanted weight. The first diet I ever tried was weight watchers. And I loved the “control” I had over my body. If I controlled my “points”, then I controlled my body. It felt so empowering. But…. When that control fell short, I felt weak. I binged on junk food. And I gained weight. I was riddled with guilt and shame. So obviously, the answer was to try another diet, right? And the cycle began.
Weight Watchers led to cutting calories. Cutting calories took me to Atkins. From Atkins I tried South Beach. From South Beach, I went on to try cutting out all carbs and fat. Then came shakes. I’d drink two a day and have a predetermined meal for dinner. Last came fasting. I tried eating in a certain window of time, regardless of how starved I felt during the day. Or I’d not eat for an entire day, just to get a “reset”. The whole process was exhausting. And it broke me down. I felt horrible about myself. I couldn’t stick to any diet I tried. I was weak, lacked discipline, and out of control (at least that’s what I told myself). I was totally out of touch with what I really needed. And I was relying on every outside source to determine what was best for MY body.
See our childhood lessons, the diets that repeatedly failed us (yes, the diet failed you, you didn’t fail it), kept us completely disconnected from our very own intuition. We have no idea how to listen to our hunger and fullness cues. We no longer understand what makes us feel good and keeps us satisfied. And we have attached negative emotions to certain foods: guilt, shame, disgust.
What can we do about it?
If you really want to have a healthy body, you have to start with a healthy mindset. You have to relearn the very basic intuitive gifts you were born with: self-trust, mindfulness, and instinct. It takes time and practice. But it’s absolutely worth it.
I have now been diet-free for years. My body is strong and healthy, and so is my mind. It feels so damn good to feel good. No obsessing about food. No counting calories, macros, or points. No exercise to punish myself for overeating. None of it! And, the added bonus is that my children get to learn first hand from me. The early lessons I learned won’t be passed down to them. And they won’t fall prey to every quick weight loss scheme, because they’ll be armed with the very tools they need: self-trust, intuition, mindfulness, and a healthy relationship with food.
I teach women how to find health again. How to reach their goals, without suffering through deprivation. How to have a strong and healthy body, without having to diet. I help remove the guilt and shame from meals and let them enjoy food again.
If you’re one of those women who has been stuck on the roller coaster of dieting, who wants to live with more peace around food, and who wants to keep her children from feeling how she did, then feel free to contact me. Send me an email. Shoot me a DM. Whatever feels comfortable.
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