"I love dieting!" said no woman ever.
I'm going to make a bold statement here: dieting isn't bad. Dictionary.com defines dieting as:
- to select or limit the food one eats to improve one's physical condition or to lose weight
- to eat or feed according to the requirements of a diet
Your diet is essentially the food you eat. Good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, homemade or store-bought. In my opinion, dieting should be synonymous with eating.
But the problem with dieting is that we've made it bad. We've warped our thinking about what a diet should be. Just look at some of the words the thesaurus says dieting is synonymous with:
Wow. That sure doesn't sound fun or fulfilling. No wonder even the word "diet" fills us with dread and sends us face first into a jar of frosting.
Here are 3 mindset shifts I think we all need to make around dieting:
1. A diet is a way of eating, not a way to define you.
It's very easy to get wrapped up in the newest way of eating. But fad diets are called fad diets for a reason--they don't last! So why would you define yourself, your job, your life, your worth on something so temporary?
We need to take a step back and see food and specific diets for what they are: beneficial for our well-being, but not essential for our self-worth. Follow whatever way of eating works best for your body but don't become a slave to that particular way of thinking or eating.
2. A diet is meant to feed your body, not your vanity.
Are you eating the way you do just so that you look "hot" in a bathing suit? ...While every moment of your day is spent loathing your diet and every food choice you are forced to make?
If your diet sucks the joy and life out of you, you're doing it wrong! Your diet should be filled with food that gives energy and life to your body and brings joy to your soul. Stop depriving your body and sucking the joy out of your life just to fit into a size 2.
3. A diet is a personal guideline, not a one-size-fits-all rule.
Every body is different. You can see that physically on the outside but it is just as true on the inside. Our bodies are unique and have unique needs. And beyond that, our bodies are always shifting and changing. Thinking that one diet will be the perfect diet for every person for their entire lives doesn't make any sense.
It's important to...
a) know what your own body needs
b) ignore advice from others that goes against your body's needs
c) be willing to change how you think and feel about specific foods
d) not be hard on yourself because you don't follow a specific diet "perfectly"
I want you to stop with the yo-yo dieting of body-shaming, restrictive eating that leads you to binge-eating, and more body-shaming. It doesn't work. Not for your health, not for your enjoyment of life.
Let's love and listen to our bodies so that we can begin to naturally follow whichever way of eating is most nourishing to our physical and emotional needs!