You really want to lose weight and look good, and fit into your clothes. I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve kept food journals, counted calories, paid to be weighed, and gained and lost the same weight over and over again.
So how come I now eat whatever I like, whenever I like, in whatever quantity I like and I’ve stayed the exact same weight for years?
I always wanted to be ‘one of those people’ – you know the ones, they wrap up left overs and keep them in the fridge! They say yes to cake! They look fit and at ease with their bodies.
But I went about it from the wrong end. I thought to be those people, I needed to LOOK like them first. So more diets, more counting, more weighing. It sounds so silly when it’s said so simply – but the truth is, most of us do this and don’t even realize it’s the wrong end.
It was like THIN was a place. Once you get there you become moderate, at ease, balanced, happy go lucky. Got to get to thin, got to get there, got to be that person!
It hadn’t occurred to me that once I get there, I’ll still be me. Still negative, unkind, judgemental.
That’s why my favourite quote is: “Wherever you go, there you are” by Jon Kabat Zinn.
Because I did lose weight, but I wasn’t happy go lucky. Because the way I got there was obsessive, compulsive, all consuming.
And you know what? I realized, I liked that problem. When I had weight to lose, nothing else really mattered. It was a big problem, but the answer was kind of easy. Lose weight. I knew how to do that! When that’s all I had to worry about, I didn’t have to learn how to develop grit, get work, get along with friends and family, solve money issues. I knew how to be that person. When you think about it, ironically, that was a pretty thin existence. Just one problem. One focus.
Nothing major really happened to make me suddenly switch. It was just a general exhaustion of being like that. I wanted more. Not more food – more life! I’d put myself in a prison for so long, and the walls were diets and food rules.
I broke out, and with wobbly steps, started learning how to just be. Be me. Live life.
Lots of things helped me on the way, mostly books from people who’ve been there themselves. I learned radical acceptance, affirmations, positive thinking, how to courageously step outside comfort zones.
If you want freedom from dieting, and want to be happy-go-lucky, at ease, at peace and comfortable in your skin and your life then see how these steps can get you there.
- Be free.
This is a heck of a scary step. It means: give up control through dieting and eat whatever you want. Allow yourself complete freedom and access to any thing you want to eat. I can hear that “no way’s!” already. But I’m completely serious. Trust and faith go hand in hand. So take a leap of faith, and the trust will follow.
I did this exact step. And do you know what happened? I gained weight! I ate bread, and croissants, and pizza galore. I got a big dough belly. I bet this is putting you off. But this is the reality of what this step looks like. And then… there was nothing to rebel against. I knew that I was going to be able to eat what I wanted for the rest of my life. I knew I was NEVER going to put myself in a box ever again, so what was the rush? In the past I’d have to eat the chocolate ‘right now!’, because I’d be on a diet in the morning. But now there is never going to be another diet day, so the appeal of chocolate doesn’t look so shiny anymore. If I can have it when I want it, then I’m more open to how it makes me feel. And I’ve found it makes me have a major headache the day after! I still eat it, but I actually enjoy it now. Instead of doing it in a hush-hush manner, because it had ‘foridden’ written all over it. You are allowed to eat, and to find pleasure in food!
- Thoughts Aren’t Real.
Our minds have a stream of outpouring all the time. And in your waking hours, you actually have an amazing ability to stem that flow. It starts with just noticing that thoughts are just thoughts. Nothing more. And you can add your own new ones to the mix. Kinder, more loving ones. If you want to get good at this skill of kindness, then meditation is the practice. It strengthens your ability to focus on something else other than dreamy and bizarre thoughts. You don’t have to meditate to get there though, affirmations are amazing too. Doing this is so simple but so effective. You are now someone who is kind to yourself! Do you know what that means? No more conditional liking and loving. You don’t have to get anywhere, be anyone, look any way to be loved.
- Live Life.
Here’s an obvious (and jolly) fact for you. Whatever you shape or size, you live life in the present, and then you grow old (if you’re lucky) and pass on.
How many of us wait until we’re rich, thin, married, and then we can live life? But life is what happens when you make other plans. Your life is now, as you sit there, reading this. Holding your tablet, or sitting at your desk, this is your one precious and wild life. So what that your trousers are digging into your hips? Yes, having a scary diagnosis of a weight related illness is terrifying. But this is still your life. What you do now, is what your life is made out of. Your life isn’t yesterday, and it’s not tomorrow. It’s now. So live it. You don’t have to climb mountains or bungee jump. But you can listen to birds and traffic, you can feel the texture of your shirt sleeve. You don’t have to be present every second of the day, and your life can be messy and scary, but check in with it as often as you can still. Be there for all of it. You’ll feel richer, more connected, more alive. I promise you; diets will seem so constricting to someone who is so full of the richness of this wild life that you’ll never constrain yourself that way ever again.
It takes courage – and I wish you all the bravery in the world to break free from dieting, and to embrace yourself, and your life.
Let me know what you think of this post. Are you considering venturing forth, away from dieting?