DISCLAIMER: Josie Spinardi’s (lifetime dieter gone intuitive) book, How to have your Cake and Wear your Skinny Jeans, too: http://www.amazon.com/Have-Your-Cake-Skinny-Jeans-ebook/dp/B00B9JKNBC inspired this blog. I highly recommend it for those trying to reconnect with their bodies, and who want to fall back in love with food.
I’ve been a dieter since I was young, ridiculously young. And I can safely say, from decades of experience, they don’t work for me.
Diets will not make me a healthy person.
For the past few years my relationship with food has been evolving. Frankly, I’d had enough of seeing food as the enemy. Wasn’t it supposed to nourish and sustain me, not give me night terrors? Argh! The giant donuts are coming to eat me! Why was food a difficult thing? I was so good with money, loved my career, had a phenomenal family life, and wonderful friends. I had SO much love to give, why, oh why, couldn’t I just have a healthy, loving relationship with food?
So, I dug up some stuff. Boy was there stuff.
Thoughts, habits, fears. All revolving around food. ALL of my beliefs, rules, regiments, came from outside of me. Diet, out of control, diet, out of control, back on a diet! And so the yo yo goes. I’d trained myself into thinking that everyone else knew my body better than I did, and so I’d better follow their rules, considering I’m SO OUT OF CONTROL and don’t know what I’m doing.
A magic thing happened recently, as it tends to do in my life, and my invisible fairy God Mother directed me towards Intuitive Eating. I knew I had to mine this thing to make sure it wasn’t another diet in disguise. See, I’ve been changing for a while now, and I was ready for this. I was ready to reconnect, and to fall back in love with food. Dieters think they love food too much, but really, we make it our worst enemy. Our poor beautiful bodies suffer, too.
Anyway, turns out intuitive eating is kind of the ‘opposite’ of dieting. Sounds scary for some of us.
It’s where you only eat when you’re hungry, you stop when you’re full, you listen to your body, and eat what you want or crave. In fact, intuitive eating directs all of your choices within. You actually listen to your body. Your body knows exactly what you need, and it tells you so.
WHAT? I hear all us dieters out there laughing our arses off, saying yeah … good luck with that. My body wants Chocolate Mud Cake – stat.
But no, actually. It doesn’t. Your head does. Intuitive eating teaches you to listen. I’ve always believed my body was able to do incredible things. Now, it’s time I let it.
The main point that GOT me, was that dieting makes us unlearn how to trust the innate and perfect system, and rely on outside rules that may not even be right for us.
HERE is my favourite quote from Spinardi’s book:
“Relying on your body’s signals to guide your eating unshackles all the energy you currently spend agonising over food.”
“When deprivation is not involved, not only do the pounds stay put, but feelings of powerlessness soar.”
Is this woman talking directly to me?
Here’s more about intuitive eating if you’re interested: http://www.intuitiveeating.com/content/what-intuitive-eating
You have to be ready, though. Ready to understand dieting may not ever work for you, ready to love food again, ready to be afraid because you’re not on a diet, ready to catch yourself falling back into the diet mentality, and ready to look at your past, head on with a cricket bat in hand.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. So if you’re a long term yo yoer, take a moment to ask yourself. Is this way of living making you happy? Because if it isn’t, there’s another way.
I’ve still got work to do, and I still have plenty to learn. But I’ve never felt so liberated. Today, I stopped eating lunch when I was satisfied, not when my plate was empty. Amazing. I FORGOT there were cupcakes in my cupboard. That, a few weeks ago, would have been unfathomable.
I don’t even know who I am anymore… in a good way.
Other recommended reading: Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God: https://kindle.amazon.com/work/women-food-god-unexpected-everything-ebook/B002EJ6ZWC/B003FS0K40
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