The Stockholm Syndrome of Dieting

It’s a high in the beginning, isn’t it?

Making lists, planning it out. Calculating the numbers. Feeling in control.

But then…the hunger hits. The panic sets in. Do I eat when it will put me over my limit for the day? Do I choose celery when I really want guacamole? Do I sit there at the restaurant and smile while everyone else is digging in? Saying, “No, that’s okay…I’m not really hungry” when meanwhile, you’re about to eat your own finger???

It’s confusing and it’s awkward.

Some people love it, these highs and lows of dieting. I think some even thrive on them. Because the second that scale goes down 16 ounces, all is right with the world…and it makes it worth pressing on through the pain.

It’s like being kidnapped and falling in love with your kidnapper. Nobody loves being on a diet. But we like the feel of perceived control, the success of the numbers decreasing, the rumbling tummies and the willpower of steel that says, “Nope, I’m not listening to you.”

Is that REALLY how life is supposed to be lived?

What if there was a better way? What if you could become in tune with your hunger cues and find food that makes your body SING? What if you learned to address the emotions behind the urge to hop on the next diet trend. What if you learned how to find freedom in the body you have?

I want to challenge the entire concept of dieting as a means to finding contentment in your body.

I believe that for most people, the weight you need to lose is in your mind. Dieting is being held captive by something you hate to love and love to hate. It is enslaving. It is anxiety-inducing. Though we love it, it does more damage than good.

How do you know you are enslaved by the dieting mindset?

Before you start a program, any “wellness” plan, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. If the end result is not weight loss, would I still do it? If the answer is no, evaluate.
  2. Is this going to limit my social life and keep me from engaging authentically with others? If the answer is yes, evaluate.
  3. Will this steal my joy or make me a nervous wreck? If the answer is yes, evaluate.

Many people are working on changing their habits for health reasons, and I think that is great! There is so much healing power in real, whole food, and there are many chronic diseases that can be prevented and reversed with quality nutrition. But always check your motives. Weight is not the problem. Just focusing on weight loss is like putting a band-aid on gangrene. There’s waaaaay too much going on under the surface that needs to be addressed, starting with mindset and attitude towards food.

When you focus on diets only, you put all your trust in The Plan and lose your ability to feed your body what it wants, when it wants it. You put all your hope in the future when you have the dream body, and not in the here and now, where there is so much to be grateful for. I truly believe all of us can find balance in listening to our body’s needs. Nobody can tell you what works for you except YOU.

For so many, dieting puts our bodies in a stressed out state that increases inflammation that increases risk of so many other health issues, including mental illness.ย As an advocate for mental wellness, I CANNOT promote a one size fits all diet. What works for me may not work for you. But together, we can find quality nutriton that feeds your body and helps make you feel unstoppable!

Let’s use food as a tool to nourish you, give you energy AND enjoyment. You CAN have all the above!

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