Whether you make New Year’s resolutions or not, one goal is at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the New Year:
We get seriously seduced by diets. We hope that THIS will be the year we finally fix our food/weight/body issues.
Everywhere we look, people are raving about about the new program that has worked for them. “You should try the Keto diet!” your friend excitedly tells you. “I’ve lost 20 pounds and feel amazing.”
You mutter something under your breath and try to end the conversation as quickly as possible.
But as you walk away, you wonder if you should jump on the bandwagon. It seems so easy to just do a diet for a bit, lose the weight, THEN deal with your issues around food.
But remember the Law of Dieting:
For every equal and opposite diet, there is a binge.”
If you go “on” something, you MUST go “off.”
And the “off” usually includes frenzied inhaling of the food you denied yourself during those weeks you were dieting.
Diets don’t work. Losing weight isn’t a goal that’s good for you or your body.
So when you feel tempted to diet or obsess about the number on the scales, remember these 3 things:
1. You’ll never be “done” with your weight struggles.
I used to fantasize about the day I’d be done with my eating and weight struggles. In the midst of doing the hard work to let go of binging and dieting, I desperately wanted it all to be over with.
But here’s the reality:
Our bodies will never stop changing.
Yes, we can hold the vision of getting to a weight that’s comfortable for our bodies. But even then, our bodies will still change.
We get older. We get pregnant. A traumatic life situation hits, and we emotionally eat. Work gets stressful, and our healthy habits go out the window.
Life is an ebb and flow. And so is your body.
When you want to get “there” (i.e., to your weight loss goal) and enjoy the relief of never having to think about food again, gently remind yourself that it’s not how this process works.
2. Weight loss is more complicated than “Eat less, lose weight.”
If weight loss were easy, then ¾ of the population wouldn’t struggle with food and eating issues.
We’re conditioned to think it’s so simple:
Just eat less, cut out carbs, toss out sugar, and BAM … weight loss is yours!
If I were to cut out sugar for a week, by day 3 I’d be running around screaming like a toddler throwing a tantrum, tearing couch cushions off the sofa, hell bent on finding candy I KNOW must have fallen into the cracks a few weeks ago.
The weight loss formula seems easy, but it doesn’t work.
We use food to numb out, to stuff emotions, to deal with stress, and to cope when life gets hard. Temporarily restricting calories doesn’t change those habits. After we lose the weight, we STILL have the same relationship with food.
So if we shift our goal from weight loss to health, nourishment and satisfaction, we can start to shift our relationship with food – rather than just eating less.
It isn’t a black-or-white, all-or-nothing process. Rather, it’s a way of learning how to find YOUR version of feeling healthy and eating “normally.”
3. The goal is a moving target … which means you’ll never be satisfied.
When I had excess weight to lose, I believed 100% that I just needed to lose weight and then I’d feel MUCH better. If you had told me to not focus on weight, I probably would have punched you in the face. (Kidding :))
But then I lost 10 pounds. And 5 more. And 5 more. I got to my “goal” weight.
And then I wanted to lose more. 20 wasn’t enough. 25 became the new goal.
Weight loss became a continually moving target. How much was enough?
The real issue isn’t the number on the scale. It’s what we’re doing with food.
That’s not to discount the need to lose weight for health reasons.
It’s only to say that the REAL goal is health, not weight loss.
You can lose weight and not be healthy. Or you can be overweight and still be healthy.
When your goal is health, then making healthy choices for a day means you’re a success.
It’s always hard to resist the call to lose weight, especially when the diet industry dangles out your deepest hopes on a string right in front of your face.
Lose weight, and you’ll get the body you want! Finally be happy with your body!”
But I promise you…
The more you resist their siren call, the more you’ll understand that there is no quick fix on this journey.
The payoff for ditching the diets and cultivating a healthy relationship with food is freedom, deep self-acceptance, and greater love for yourself than you ever thought possible.
And isn’t THAT worth it?
Want to learn more?
Watch Jenn’s interview with Your Brilliance where she talks about what it takes to eat normally again.