Get Rid Of The Diet Mentality

Hey, happy Tuesday!

How did all that motivating go? It’s amazing what pictures, some quotes, and a good workout plan can do for us, ya know?!

And it’s amazing how much ‘junk’ is out there to do just the opposite.

The other day on the radio there was some person trying to promote some medicine that magically helped her drop lots of weight. She said “the weight just fell off” with the pill. Hah.

Yes. That may be true, miss dieting-pill lady, but they never do say what happens a few weeks later when the person starts eating again……

I know, I know. I am such a cynic. Or maaaayyyyybbbbeeee I just know too much about dieting, weight loss, the science of it all, and the research that backs it up.

“Diets”

Diets get a bad rap because most of them usually promote eating a special type of diet (or only one type of food…..grapefruit anyone?!), restricting calories, and/or they are short term or short-lived.

Most diets work. Yes, yes they do. If they didn’t there would not be a whole slew of them on all the bookshelves. And the companies that promote the diets would not be making billions.

BUT (and this is a huge but–pun intended. heh–) almost ANY popular diet out there is not maintainable in the long term and thus the weight loss ends and the weight comes right back on (plus more, usually) once the diet is stopped. (I am not talking about a healthy diet when I say “diet” in this section.)

Anyone who has “goes on a diet” actually intends to go “off” that diet. They don’t realize it at the time, of course; amidst all that excitement of buying the book, the pills, the special food, or ordering in the pants, DVD, or special gimmicks, who would?! But that is exactly what they’ve chosen.

They have chosen to live in a special way for a certain period of time.

Until the ‘diet’ ends. Or the food gets too expensive. Or the scale doesn’t budge. Or they’re sick of eating cabbage soup. Or they just want to eat what they want to eat when they want to eat.

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Sound familiar?

This is why diets work…..in the {usually, VERY,} short term. And this is why diets FAIL miserably in the long run, and in the healthy scheme of life.

Get Rid Of The Diet Mentality

Besides, living off of a diet and rules of what you can and can not eat is THE worst. Trust me, I would know.

I designed my own rules once upon a time. I got skinnier, yes. But it did not last. And then I chose another way to diet. And then another.

Unfortunately my “diet” and diet rules turned into an eating disorder and then later into disordered eating habits, but finally, I said NO more to the disordered eating-diet-hating food-hating my body-disliking my weight-comparing myself to others– mentality 2.5 years ago.

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Here is HOW I did it, how I got rid of the diet mentality once and for all (and am now my fittest and healthiest I have ever been):

  • I had to learn to like myself. I took time to get to know ME again. And I ended up liking myself more than I ever had! Once I became more confident and less sneaky about food, I was a much happier person. Oh, and it attracted my now-husband to me in 2009. (He told me so.)
  • Β I gave up counting calories obsessively. There is a time and a place to counting calories and looking at Macros but in an obsessive way…not so much. I still every few weeks or so, put my food intake into an online tool to check how my Macros are coming out. I like numbers and I like seeing that I eat enough protein fats and carbs to fuel my active lifestyle, but I do not obsess over them. To end that obsession I went cold turkey. One day I counted everything and the next I let it go. It was hard, but works.
  • I started listening to my body again. In dieting we are told to eat this then, eat this much at that time, and to not eat that, and to only eat that size, blah blah blah! It is confusing and takes us outside of our bodies and feeling what our bodies want. Diets tell us to eat when we’re told to and essentially tell us not to pay attention to our hunger or body cues. I had to re-teach myself to listen to that body. It took me gaining some weight and overeating a few times to get it, but once I did, I hardly ever overeat anymore. I don’t even remember the last time I was uncomfortably full!
  • Instead of honing in on every calorie, I started honing in on what I could lift at the gym. I’ve mentioned this before, but focusing on fitness and what I could do at the gym fueled a healthy passion inside me. I started eating to fuel my body right so I could lift heavy weights, instead of eating to live so I could be a certain weight. I also started to dance more (my true passion!), and I became a fitness instructor. Being a motivator to others in the fitness world is definitely a way to learn that you must listen to your body–or else there is no way you can help someone else listen to theirs! And yes, being a BodyPUMP instructor has solidified all of the above for me and I am getting stronger!

It is hard to learn a new skill! That I know.

And it most definitely takes time and patience, so give that as gifts to yourself if you’re in need to get rid of the diet mentality.

I can promise, however, that the journey to health (and being rid of dieting) is worth it. It may be long, hard, rough, frustrating, exhilarating, and intense, but that journey is worth the gift of peace, healing, health, (eventual body fat loss too!) and fitness to yourself.

You are most definitely worth it.

Have a lovely day, my friends! Off to tackle an intense run…..

***OH and before I forget, check out the interview I was asked to be in! I was interviewed all about dancing and Zumba and why it’s my true love. I was honored to do the interview! Wahoo :)

What do YOU do to focus on fueling right and not in a “diet mentality” way?? What are some things YOU do to eat in a healthy way for your body??

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Comments

  1. i eat every few hours to keep me from getting starrrving… and cranky!

  2. It’s up! :)

  3. Listening to your body and intuitive eating are definitely key! I’m trying to focus on feeding my BODY more than my BRAIN right now. Meaning that I need to pay more attention to how certain foods make me feel after I eat them- and not just during. :)

  4. ohhhh such a great post! thats why I always tell people that it was easier to lose the weight then it has been to maintain…i’ve had to learn to eat healthy the majority of the time, and balance the healthy foods and the not so healthy foods I enjoy…i’ve had to learn to stop counting every calorie and look at food as delicious fuel rather then something that makes me gain weight…lol. what a rollercoaster that has been.

  5. i have most definitely been caught up in counting calories and being obsessive with what and when i feed my body. it was horrible! i was always feeling anxious about it, and when i “messed up”, i felt SO guilty about it, binged, and then it all backfired on me. what’s the point?!?! eating when my body is hungry and feeding it healthy and nutritious foods is what works best for me! great post!

  6. It is definitely hard to let go of the diet mentality once you have tried it before. Eating a meal without even thinking one time about calorie counts is still something I have yet to accomplish in years and years. Although I wouldn’t say I diet or I watch my calorie counts in an obsessive way, I do know that the diet thoughts are still there subconsciously. It’s definitely something I work in every day!

  7. Great post girlie!! I hate hearing about diets so much because I know that while they can give someone instant, and gratifying results, they will ultimately probably end up where they started or worse! One thing I do to get rid of the diet mentality is to not deny myself certain foods- that just makes me want them even more and causes guilt and then eventually shoving my face with it! No good!

    • I know it’s such a sad thing to me that people waste SOOO much TIME and MONEY on diets. It is wrong and awful. I want to fix that world πŸ˜‰

  8. Listening to my body is so so so important. I’ve never gone on a “diet” …. I view it as a terrible word :) balance is key. If you know what you’re body needs (not wants) you’ll be smooth sailing, baby!

    In order to keep eating healthy …. I buy nothing but healthy stuff! I won’t be tempted to eat junk if there’s none in my house!

  9. I was JUST explaining this idea to Will the other night because I had reviewed diets in the nutrition chapter of my PT studying. This is a GREAT post, and I agree 100% with everything you have to say! Diets are dangerous and misleading, and something I was unfortunately addicted to in the past when I WAS pretty overweight.

    A healthy diet may take longer to see results with, but it’s the only kind that lasts!

  10. Kick ass post my dear friend!!

    Closer to the 100 pound mark I told myself once 100 was met, I would start transitioning to listening to my body, stopping the calorie counting, etc. Something inside of me knew I didn’t want to live my life in an obsessive and restrictive manner and I recognized that I was walking a fine line…so I just stopped.

    Since then, every day I am learning and working toward normalcy.

    I see these fad diets all the time and it makes me shake my head BUT at the end of the day, a person has to go through the diet, lose the AWESOME amounts of weight, give up the diet, GAIN BACK all of that weight and then realize that diets just aren’t the way to go in order for the cycle to truly be broken…My hope is that they commit to making a change rather then hopping to the next fad.

    • You’re amazing!! You have made it–you have a healthy mindset and do not bounce back and forth. That is true balance and beauty. GO you!!

  11. LOVE THIS POST!!! It’s so important not to get too calorie restricting crazy! Unfortunately, I learned that the hard way in my younger years… :( But, it’s made me STRONGER today since I know now that I need to FUEL my muscles :)

  12. I’m definitely still working on counting calories vs binging, it definitely is taking me some trial and error! But thank you for posting this, it’s great to hear from someone who has been through similar experiences !

  13. Counting calories is a losing game in the end because it’s all about denial. And none of us enjoy being told NO over and over and over.

    A quick drop in calories results in an quick drop in body-fat, but in time, the weight loss stops, the metabolism slows and you’re stuck eating that tiny amount of calories or risking putting that lost weight back on

    :(

    First time commenter BTW. Going to sign up for the RSS feed

  14. nicole says:

    i used to obssess over calories, lost 10lbs gained it all back from bingeing and it’s freaking me out! i’m 17, not realllly over weight but i know if i get healthy i’ll be a better size. it’s been a long time since i’ve counted calories but i still binge :s i am trying really hard to get into this intuitive eating and it’s so frustrating when you can’t see the end. (numbers gave me something concrete you know) so i’m not sure what i’m trying to say except i do feel kind of hopeless! i am an intense volleyball player so i want to get healthy to become a better athlete.

    when you were in the midst/beginning of your intuitive eating, how did you push through it i guess? what realllly got you through it.

    (occasionally i get the urge to start counting again but i know it’s just an easy way out that will back fire)
    help

    • Oh honey, I feel your pain!!

      It WAS a long road-but there IS a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise. If I can do it, anyone can!!

      Here are a few things to consider:
      1. Try writing down how you feel before, during, and after a binge. Be totally HONEST with yourself. This is the first step. If you’re lying to yourself about how much you’re eating, what your’e eating, and what you’re doing to your beautiful body, you can’t move forward.
      2. Say out LOUD, the next time you have a binge, ” I am binge eating.” Or if you feel more comfortable, write those words down. When we connect our emotions to our actions to our thoughts, we can take control again and determine our destinies.
      3. Remember WHY you want to be healthy. Remember that food is fuel, and that is it. Food does not control you, and you are a healthy, awesome athlete. Keep these things in mind–post ’em on a mirror or in a journal.
      4. Don’t obsess over the numbers, but do be aware of your portions and ratios (i.e. 55% carbs, 20% protein, etc.). These things will help YOU be a better athlete if you keep them in check–but for that reason only. NOT for weight purposes.
      5. Smile, pray (if you’re religious), and be grateful for the beautiful gift of a body you’ve been given….it makes it all worth it :)

      Have a great day, Nicole!

  15. Love this. The last few paragraphs were perfect. We are all worth it and we all deserve to give ourselves the gift of patience and time. You rock, love your posts!

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