Are you feeling enslaved by your cravings? Are you fighting to stay control of your diet? There is a better way to get healthier without the pain of dieting.
Back in 2006 when I first started teaching women how to lose weight without dieting they couldn’t believe it was possible. They were certain that if they didn’t have the rigid guidelines and structure imposed bv diets to govern their eating, how will they avoid losing their minds and eating everything in sight.
Here’s the funny thing about that. I used to feel the same way and I was terrified that if I gave myself permission to eat all the foods I loved, I would surely never stop eating.
Diets reinforce a message that you can't be trusted around food
As a dieter I learned from experience that I couldn’t trust myself around food so I had to do everything in my power to stay a step ahead and control my voracious hunger. Consequently I spent my time worrying and planning what I should eat, how much and when. I focused on how many calories I was consuming and how many I burned. One day, on a beautiful Saturday, I wasted 8 full hours looking through the Weight Watchers site for low calorie meals. It’s insane how much time I spent obsessing about food and my weight during the years that I was a dieter.
You would think that during those years my weight would have been controlled and dropping consistently, but because I couldn’t tolerate the rigidity and structure of dieting, I let loose and broke out in binges at least 8-12 times a month. Back in 2006 when I made the decision to stop dieting and vowed to learn to eat to satisfy my body’s physical hunger, through intuitive eating, that’s when the binges began to radically diminish.
Two Women Want to Lose Weight
Let’s say Jackie and Linda are two friends who want to lose weight. They both really care about getting healthy and want to change their eating habits. Jackie jumps from diet plan to cleanse to fast trying to find the right solution to fit into her dress for the big high school reunion coming up.
Linda is tired of feeling the pain of deprivation of dieting and the burden of carrying around an extra 100 pounds. She wants to learn how to master food so that she won’t feel enslaved by her cravings. She is disgusted and feels ashamed of herself each time she runs through another bag of Hershey's kisses in a couple hours. To end the insanity, she decides to learn how to eat intuitively and gives herself permission to eat all the foods she loves.
Jackie fights tooth and nail trying to hold onto eating according to her plan of the day. This week she’s all about low carb and would kill for a bowl of pasta. She’s so frustrated because eating low carb she can’t eat her favorite pea soup. Her boyfriend gets a promotion and to celebrate he invites her out to her favorite restaurant for a pasta dinner. She reluctantly goes, promising that tomorrow will be another day. She eats every scrap of fettucine on her plate and leaves the table ready to explode.
When her boyfriend drives her home, she’s filled with guilt and remorse and decides to have a “what the hell” binge to clear the cabinets in preparation for going hardcore low carb serious tomorrow. She eats a package of Ring Dings, some frozen Oreos, cold Chinese food and even cooks herself up a Chicken TV dinner that she won’t be able to eat again in like, forever. The short story for her is that after her binge, she restarted the low carb, got frustrated again with the restriction and is still looking for the perfect diet to lose weight. In the meanwhile, she’s gained an extra 30 pounds due to all her binging between diets.
Linda, on the other hand is having a very different experience because she’s made the decision to learn to trust her body and welcome back all the old foods she’s always tried to avoid. By following the guidelines of intuitive eating to eat what you want, and stop before you get too full, she can’t believe the amount of freedom that she has around food. She finds herself not wanting to eat the frosting on cakes, and taking a small piece and walking away.
She’s learned that many of the foods that she used to binge on, like those Hershey's kisses, don't really don’t appeal to her anymore. They’re too sweet and many of them taste artificial and bland. When her dad bought her a box of her favorite maple candy, she thought that she would devour them in an evening, but to her surprise, she didn’t want any more than just one, as she savored it along with a pot of tea.
She smiles knowing that the rest of them are safe, waiting for her in the freezer whenever she wants them. She feels tremendous pride knowing that she’s in control of her food and doesn’t feel enslaved by her cravings anymore. Her binges have stopped and she feels amazing because she has a new love and respect for herself and her body and her life that she never had when she was so distracted by dieting. She treats herself with care and that feels really good.
Gone are the days when she would feel compelled to pull food out of the garbage to rescue it and eat it after she guilted herself into tossing it away as a means of getting back in control. Now she enjoys her meals completely and gets excited about the crunch of carrots and the burst of flavor that comes with eating an apple. Summer fruits have replaced her old sweet tooth habit of eating lots of chocolate.
Although she’s jazzed about her weight loss, she’s even more thrilled with how her life has blossomed. She no longer feels victimized by her circumstances. She’s not angry about what she can’t do and she focuses on what works for her. On the very rare occasions when she eats more than she wants, she forgives herself and moves on, never letting guilt make her feel shameful again.
She loves displaying her artwork and continues to treat her body and her soul with more love and respect. Finally after a lifetime of food and weight obsession, food has become a non-issue in her life and that gives her enormous pride. She notices that everything is flourishing because now her attention goes to filling up on life instead of food. She doesn’t even worry about getting to a certain goal because as she continues to eat to nurture herself, her weight loss is effortless.
I don’t know Jackie. I made her up, but I can relate to her story. Can you? But I do know Linda. She was one of my first clients in my Losing Weight without Dieting program. Linda was actually the inspiration for changing the name of the program to “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” Watching her transformation from food obsession to food peace has been one of the most satisfying experiences for me as her coach.
She taught me the value of looking at bigger goals instead of just counting down the pounds. Her evolution from angry person to joyful loving prosperous artist occurred as a result of learning how to master food and ending her obsession with food and weight. Here's what she has to say about how intuitive eating has helped her to make peace with food:
What would ending food and weight obsession mean to you? How would your life change if you didn’t feel so tied up and deprived and distracted by trying so hard to lose weight? What if you could eat the foods you loved and naturally lose weight without trying?
I’d like to support you on the road to making peace with food and loving your body. I invite you to click the link below to check out my program, “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” and see if it might be the right investment for you to end your food and weight obsession.
Lovin' the Skin You're In