11 reasons why I stopped Dieting (and why you should too)
Many people who know me are shocked when they find out I stopped dieting for good.
Why? Because I was a dieting champ and it’s pretty much all I talked about. In fact, I made dieting and weight loss my profession!
So why the abrupt change?
Basically I woke up to the fact that dieting was detrimental to me in so many ways. The only good thing about it was the actual (temporary) weight loss, which inevitably lasted about 2 minutes before I went back on the upward swing and I’d start again anew.
And the downsides were infinite.
What a crazy and miserable cycle. I started to call the whole process “Dejavu” dieting because it was all so familar!
So below are my top 11 reasons why I officially stopped dieting made some powerful mindset shifts.
I get it.
There is this amazing promise and hope that dieting gives us. When we boil it down to our most authentic desires though, it really isn’t about the weight loss. It’s about our need to feel good in our skin, our desire for love and acceptance and admiration and our pursuit of health.
And guess what?
I can guarantee you that you can have all of that and way more without ever dieting again or stepping on a scale. Below are 11 reasons why I stopped dieting and some powerful mindset shifts to help give you what you really want in life.
1.To reduce stress response and inflammation in my body
Your body perceives dieting as an actual stressor on the body. I mean why else would we be depriving it of food when hungry or specific nutrients or food groups unless there was a famine or some other type of crisis. When we undergo a stress response day-in and day-out through dieting, our bodies respond by secreting stress hormones which alter our hunger hormones, create inflammation and increase fat storage while decreasing muscle mass (after all, your body is in preservation mode). Stopping the dieting and adopting a mindful/intuitive eating approach can stop the inflammation and allow your body to release weight naturally and with flow rather than force.
2. To develop internal wisdom vs external wisdom
When I dieted, I only focused on external factors: What the scale said, which expert suggested what and what time it was. (because even if I was hungry at 4pm, I’d force myself to wait until 6pm to eat). Developing and honoring internal wisdom is far more useful because it means you’re listening to your body rather than an expert who doesn’t know you and your own biochemical and lifestyle needs. Honoring your internal hunger cues can guide you to a place of eating when your body is communicating to you it needs nourishment, thereby rewarding you with satiety. Again, it’s about flow, not force. It’s about accepting and honoring your appetite.
3. To be less fearful of food
Dieting made me orthorexic. I was literally scared of certain foods and made food a moral issue when it’s simply energy. I felt victorious when I ate certain foods and guilty when I ate others. That is giving food a lot of power!! Now I realize that food is to be enjoyed and not to be fearful of (unless of course you have a life-threatening allergy to food) and that paradigm shift in my mind about food has made such a difference in my ability to truly bring awareness and pleasure to the eating experience again.
4. To trust my body more
I did not trust myself….at all. I trusted diet experts who never met me more than my own body and the communication and feedback it gave me throughout the day. Stopping dieting gave me an opportunity to trust that my body, like all bodies, need our care which includes trust, communication and respect. We trust our bodies to breathe naturally and correctly so why don’t we trust it to eat naturally and correctly too?
5. To not base my self worth on a scale
Down a pound or more meant I was awesome and successful and felt incredible. Up, even a half a pound, meant my day was ruined, that I was a failure and I felt hopeless. Now, that I rarely weigh myself, I focus instead on the self-care and healthy behaviors I do daily. Because ultimately that is WAY more important than what the scale said which never takes into account fluid shifts, constipation, hormone shifts, medication changes or any other variables which could affect the scale that particular day. I cannot say enough how particularly freeing this aspect of diet cessation has been for me.
6. To stop obsessing about food
If I tell you right now to not think of an elephant, where is the first place your mind goes? Right, exactly! Telling yourself not to think about food and to manipulate and control our appetites, trying to tame it, only makes us obsess about it more. Creating random food rules makes us apt to break them. Creating false scarcity around food makes us fearful and keeps food in the forefront of our minds because we will be fearful of someone taking it away. I now adopt an abundance mindset around food. Every and all foods are available to me, whenever I want, and as much of it as I want. And guess what? I don’t obsess anymore. I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. I mostly choose healthy, nourishing foods and don’t sweat it when I don’t because I savor every bite of the comfort foods, which allows me to feel satisfied with much less of it. And since I know it will always be available to me, so I don’t create a “last supper” syndrome and go off the deep end. If you want to learn how to make this critical mindset shift, click here to set up a 6-week 1:1 session package with me.
7. To stop being my own food police
I created false scarcity and would police myself with arbitrary and random rules that I would often break. The penalty for the “crime” was deep loathing and frustration with myself and being angry at my body for what it was. Now that there is no more food police around and I’ve been set free, there is no more shame, frustration and force. Truly, this is a gift you can give yourself.
8. To enjoy being in social situations again
I was scared to go to parties. I dreaded going on vacation. I often refused to go out to dinner with a friend. Why? Because I was scared of overeating or “breaking” my diet. When dieting and the pursuit of weight loss prevents you from being with people you love and enjoying yourself in social situations, you know it’s time to look at things differently.
9. To stop intermittently being ravenous and miserable
No two ways about it. Dieting made me resentful, bitter and miserable. I hated being hungry all the time and just watching the clock until I could have my next snack or meal. I hated being left out of social situations and longingly looking at other people enjoying food. I hated being irritable with my friends and family. And, feeling lightheaded, irritable, and ravenous with 3 little girls to take care of is kind of a nightmare. So is trying to workout when you feel that way. I even remember waking up in the middle of the night, starving, just waiting until morning when I could eat again. Make no mistake. I believed I could not lose weight UNLESS I went to these types of extreme measures.
10. To model healthy balanced eating for my daughters
My daughters used to see my sulking at the dinner table with my “special diet food” while they ate their delicious, balanced and healthy dinners. They would ask me why I wasn’t eating with them and why I ate so differently than them. What was I to say? “Well, mommy doesn’t like her body and needs to bully it to be thin so she can feel successful and admired” No way. I refuse to feel that way anymore or ever have my girls feel that they are not good enough the way they are. I know now my role is to help them navigate which foods give them pleasure and satisfaction while also nourishing their little bodies for health and growth.
11. To free up energetic and physical space in my life to do things that truly matter
When I gave up dieting, I had time to build a successful business, write a best-selling book and be there more fully for my friends and family. No amount of weight loss can trump how wonderful that extra mental space and time has given me.
Which of these resonate with you? Are you ready to make these powerful mindset shifts around dieting and health too? I welcome your comments below!