Have you been on a diet since … well, forever?
Jenn Hand isn’t going to help you lose those last 5 lbs. She’s going show you what life after dieting looks like.
Like so many women, Jenn struggled with her weight. She tried every diet on the planet but always ended up falling off the wagon, then hating herself.
She finally realized the problem wasn’t food. It was her relationship with food.
And no diet in the world could work on that. It was up to her to learn how to eat normally and trust herself again.
In this YBTV interview, you’ll learn how you can wean yourself off diets without putting on weight. You’ll discover how to swap questions like, “How can I eat less?” for questions like, “What makes me feel satisfied?” And you’ll find out why eating normally is worth the effort.
What You’ll Learn
All diets must end eventually.
And it’s when you stop dieting that you realize that nothing has actually changed. You still have the same relationship with food you always had.
No wonder most people who diet put the weight back on again. Dieting can’t heal your relationship with food. But learning to eat normally can.
That’s why Jenn created The Normal Eaters Club, a community of women working to heal their relationship with food. It provides the support she wishes she could have had when she was struggling with the binging/dieting cycle so many years ago.
More and more diet and weight loss-related programs are actually realizing, ‘Yeah, diets don’t really work for the long haul…’ A diet might work for 10 days or 30 days or 2 months or however long you can last, but … you get to the end, and then it’s like, ‘Well, now what?’ If we use food to eat emotionally or we use food when we’re bored or when we’re stressed or overwhelmed … we still have that in us. We get to the end of the diet, we don’t have a focus anymore, and … we’re still the same person.”
For many women, eating swings between two extremes. Either they’re dieting and strictly monitoring everything they put in their mouths, or they’re eating whatever they want because it doesn’t matter; they’ve already blown it.
“We have to learn a new set point of being in balance [and] listening to our bodies,” Jenn says.
That means learning to trust yourself to make the right food choices.
That trust can be hard to build, if you believe that a diet plan is the only thing standing between you and weight gain. “Why are we dieting in the first place?” Jenn asks. “Because we’re terrified to not have a plan.”
She urges women to ask themselves the question:
“What am I scared of if I let go of the dieting?”
Use that fear to dig deeper into what food means to you.
“Food for me was always a coping mechanism…. For me now, when I get cravings, or I’m sitting on the couch at 7pm and I’m like, ‘Oh, I want something sweet, or I want some ice cream,’ that’s my signal to myself to say, ‘Hey, what’s else is going on here? Are you feeling some sort of emotional need? Are you bored? Are you overwhelmed or stressed?’“
When you can see what psychological need food is filling, you can find other ways to nourish yourself. It’s more than just calories. “We’re not just physical beings,” Jenn says. “We have an emotional side; we have a spiritual side. We have to take all that into account when we’re looking at food.”
She urges women to look at “what else factors into feeling satisfied, feeling nourished, feeling whole and … healthy in our own lives.”
Part of the journey involves learning to accept yourself as you are, rather than holding onto the myth that someday you’ll reach your ideal weight and your life will be perfect.
“It’s hard to separate why we’re dieting and how we feel about ourselves,” Jenn says. “The trick is to be okay with where you are and also leaving room for change.”
“It takes courage to let go of dieting,” she adds, but the final destination is worth it.
To me, eating normally means letting food be food. Letting food be nourishment and be satisfying to you, enjoying it but not letting it be something that dominates your life every waking moment.”
Jump to Topics of Interest
03:03 Why Jenn decided to give up the diets
04:33 Jenn’s perspective on Weight Watchers and what it takes for long-term weight loss to stick
06:04 Why we’re afraid to give up dieting
07:15 Why food is so much more than physical
08:20 Learning to trust yourself to make healthy food choices
10:20 Is it possible to leap from obsessively tracking calories to eating in balance?
12:01 What it does it feel like to eat normally?
14:15 The myth of the “before” and “after”
16:30 Dealing with other people’s unsolicited advice
18:23 The Normal Eater’s Club
About Jenn Hand
Jenn is a speaker, writer, and holistic health advocate who helps women transform their relationship with food, by showing them how to fall in love with their bodies and eat normally again. She inspires over 3300 women each week with her flagship program, The Normal Eaters Club. Find out how you can work with Jenn.