No more Sugar! (And other lies we tell ourselves)
The dialogue is the same, the day is different:
“You look and feel horrible, Jenny,” I tell myself. “You must have gained 15 pounds! That’s it. I’m done. I’m making a drastic change and it starts right now!”
This vitriol-filled convo with myself always ended with one or more grandiose gestures and declarations like the ones below.
“No sugar for 3 months!”
“Up my workouts to two hours a day”
“No eating after 6pm”
……..and the list of good intentions (lies) continues.
This is how a week looked like as a former desperate dejavu dieter.
My resolve is fresh and my will-power high. Day 1 is perfect. I even eschew my daily sugar in my coffee for coconut oil and sip my way to caffeinated bliss. Night time is not as easy but I get through by brushing my teeth and going to bed early to ignore the rumblings in my belly.
Sucks with headaches, irritability and bubbles of resentment and worry creeping to the surface. I shove them down and stay steely in my resolve. I chastise myself for eating at 6:02 but I take some deep breaths and move forward.
starts off great but slowly dissolves into a cornucopia food binge that includes gummy worms and Doritos by 2pm. Why? Well, because I was late for work, became overwhelmed and stressed, got some bad news, felt a sniffle coming on, etc. and besides…I DESERVED those gummy worms after all of that.
I think you know how days 4 through 7 go after that. (hint: down the tubes)
……..And the angst and despair and frustration reemerge anew.
The question remains however.
Why do we do this? Why do we make desperation declarations that only leave us feeling like complete failures mere days or weeks later? Why do we make such black and white proclamations? Why do we set ourselves up this way to only fill us with dread and doubt for the next time we attempt the same tactics?
One reason is that we are a species that seeks pleasure and avoids pain. That is hardwired into our DNA for survival. Add stress, discomfort and/or overwhelm to the mix and the the results are the same – ::wheels, spun::
In fact Albert Einstein had a quote that encapsulates this phenomenon.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
We BELIEVE this time will be different, that our resolve is stronger, that our will-power is intact.
What we don’t realize, however, is that we’re looking at the entirely wrong path to begin with.
Ask yourself what your true desires are. What is the deep wish or desire or feeling you want to fulfill that you believe dieting, restricting and/or attaining a smaller body will provide for you.
Make a list right now.
Ok, next start asking yourself how you can feel and experience and fulfill those most soulful and deep wishes without changing anything about your body.
Finally, start taking action on those exact things. Let dieting go, just for the time being. It doesn’t have to be forever but just for right now. We’re looking at getting your end result right from the beginning, without any bullying, restricting and self-loathing tactics to get you there.
I am not discounting or undermining the fact that you may feel very uncomfortable in your clothes, doing the things you used to enjoy or even being in your own skin. I truly understand that and have the same motives as you – get you to feel better, but maybe by turning what you’ve always done (or thought you had to do) to achieve that.
So, let’s pick one item from that desire list.
Desire #1 that often leads to grandiose gestures such as forbidding sugar or other foods from ever entering your mouth again.
“I just want to feel good in my skin again”
Ok, great. That’s the desire statement. But with each desire statement you create, question whether losing weight is the ONLY way for you to achieve that. (you may truly believe it is, but with further inquiry may see lots of other paths to feel good in your skin)
Your former response to the pain of NOT feeling that way:
Diet starts tomorrow, no sugar, exercise an hour more per day, etc.
NEW response to this valid pain: I will find a new kind of exercise that I love. I will add in 1 extra apple per day for the fiber, which makes me feel good. I’ll start meditating and going out in nature more like I used to do”
See the difference? Some or all of these behaviors MAY lead to weight loss but more importantly, some or all of these may reach the deeper desire of feeling good in your skin.
One is a to-do, positive and measurable approach to test out and see how it feels.
The other is a desperation tactic born out of the belief that we are broken and need to be fixed immediately. Any belief or behavior born out of stress and not-good-enoughness will end up being a temporary change.
Trust me on that.
Because, while we want that quick fix so badly and our dieting culture is predicated on YOU believing that you are broken; that you will not get what you want until or unless you take steps that literally abuses your body and wrestles your appetite to the ground until you eventually either ignore the signals, forget what those signals feel like in the first place or ricochet the other direction by dissolving into a 3-day long binge creating more angst and distress than you had in the first place.
The time is now to stop this dangerous and soul-crushing deja-vu dieting.
I can’t promise you a quick-fix. I can’t promise exterior transformations.
I CAN promise you peace, freedom and uncovering the steps to the utmost joyful relationship with food and body you’ve ever had. Imagine having everything you’ve ever wanted.
That can be you.
But you have to get rid of the timelines and urgency.
Take the slow, soulful and ultimately sustainable path with me instead. I promise you won’t regret it.
Sign up for your free 30-minute eating exploration call with me today.