If you’re a female on planet earth, you’ve thought about your body and its appearance. Best case scenario, you feel happy and strong and confident in your own skin. And… That is not the case for SO. VERY. MANY OF US.
For many of us, we spend years judging our bodies, focused on what we wish were different and what follows is often frustrating and depleting efforts and countless attempts to change and control our bodies.
Enter, diets and extreme restriction. We focus on our weight, because that’s what we’ve been told our value is based on (ahem). We diet, eliminate food groups, weigh our food, count calories, manipulate, restrict, weigh our bodies and then because of all that controlling and restriction… we get to a point where we can’t keep up all that hard work around food… and we give in, to the temptation of pleasure with food. The pendulum swings back in the other direction from all that limitation and we feel out of control with food. We may go off the rails and fall completely off our “program” and then feel incredibly disappointed, guilty and shameful about what has happened AGAIN, with little to no idea of what to do.
Diets don’t work. They are based upon a model that is designed to make you fail. When considering a new eating plan ask yourself “can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” and if the answer is no, then you might be in for a rude awakening at some point. I’m not saying that short term jumpstarts and plans are bad, we just have to enter into them knowing that they are temporary and we must simultaneously be doing the mental, emotional, psychological work necessary to sustain real change. There is a way of eating that supports your best health and it’s comprised of whole, clean, nutrient dense foods in the right amount for your body and your energy needs. There are tons of other ways that we “use” food to enhance our lives, but at the end of the day, it’s about finding what works for you and what is going to make YOU feel satisfied, healthy and happy.
Our current programming (thoughts, feelings, beliefs) are the inner landscape that drive our decisions and behaviors. Once we do the work to discover all the elements that are contributing to our decisions, we can start to make sustainable changes to arrive at the peace and ease that we so desperately desire with food and body.
Something you can start with is to simply become present to your thoughts and feelings about food and your body. Are there old beliefs there? Where did they come from? Give yourself permission to challenge anything that feels negative or limiting. Many of my clients have their most insightful AHA moments through journaling when cravings or thoughts about food and body come up.
Diets are a temporary solution to a deeper problem unless you’re changing the mindset that got you to that destination in the first place. From my perspective, our work is to become more conscious to our thoughts, feelings and beliefs so that we are not allowing them to unconsciously drive our food decisions.
Need help? Have questions? Feel free to reach out!