I have a five-day challenge starting next week called Done with Diets. The thing is that being done with diets is hard to do. It’s like breaking up with a long term partner when you know it isn’t working, but you feel comfortable with them, and you’re scared of working out what happens next.
Now if you know me at all in a personal capacity, you’ll know that breaking up is something I have some experience in and I’m no stranger to the messy kind. So I thought I’d take the metaphor, extend and bend it to help you see how you can go through the process of breaking up with diets.
It’s not me; it’s you
This first step takes some doing, but when the realisation comes to you that you are actually spending your precious days with an utter idiot and the relationship is going nowhere, it’s incredibly liberating. In the dieting context, you can do this by making a pros and cons list of all the benefits that dieting has brought into your life versus all the costs.
My list looks like this:
Make your own list and feel free to send it my way or burn it in the fires of hell if you need to release the rage once you realise how much time you are wasting on this relationship.
We need to talk
This stage usually involves some awkwardness when you try and be the mature adult, save someone else’s feelings and hope they agree that it’s over. The thing is, with the dieting industry, they just can’t let go. You are the best thing that’s ever happened to them, and they aren’t going to let you go without a fight.
Here’s some of the shite they’ll come up with to keep you:
Let’s call this what it is. Manipulation.
If this were a relationship, some of these phrases would be damn right abusive. So don’t stay there listening to this crap. Move onto Stage 3 of this breakup.
I’ve left them, and I feel so good. Oh no now I feel scared and alone, oh wait I feel great again I have my independence and reclaimed my life. I’m every woman; it’s all in me. Oh actually I’m really lonely and wish I never did this, will they have me back?
In every psychosocial theory of change, this stage is called ambivalence. It’s a stage. We can work through it. All those feelings are valid and what they do not mean is that you need to start another diet. Put the phone down and stop googling for the latest weight loss fad to shed half a stone before Christmas. I’m serious put the phone down!
You’ve got this. Revisit your reasons for this breakup and find tools to start feeling those feelings instead of using diets to repress them.
Are you feeling shit about your body today? Let’s talk about that.
Can’t look in the mirror? Maybe that could do with talking through too.
Because here’s the truth; no amount of weight loss with resolve your body image issues.
If you go back into a dysfunctional relationship, nothing will change. The good news is we can get to the final stage.
It will take time, but you’ll start to form a new relationship and this time it’s with your own body and mind. Stomach says it’s hungry… I hear you, buddy, here’s a snack. Bad day and feel like some cake would help? It’s one day and chatting to a friend over that cake really did help. Wine over date night with that gorgeous new prospect? Don’t mind if I do. Thirsty? Well, water might help and so on. You get the idea. Your mind and body will love this new healthy relationship and being treated with kindness and respect.
So are you ready to be done with diets?
Here’s a link to schedule a chat about how I can help you through this process and come out the other side healthy, fit and strong.