“Wow I feel amazing today! I think I’ll go on a diet.”
Now THAT… is a phrase you’ll never hear a dieter say.
Why? Because dieting is ALWAYS preceded by dissatisfaction with your body or life.
It’s more a case of – argh! I hate the way I look, I hate my thighs – I’m going on a diet!
Or – none of my clothes fit, I feel awful and miserable – I’m going on a diet.
Or – I just need to tone up a bit more, I’m a bit flabby – I’m going on a diet.
And then you start your semi-starvation diet (trust me, that’s exactly what it is).
In developing countries, when people eat less than 1300kcal per day they’re classified as starving.
And what do we do for them? We send them food aid, humanitarian aid.
But there’s your workmate, or you, eating a semi-starvation diet of less than 1300kcal per day.
No one sends you food aid.
What do they do? Congratulate you for starving yourself.
Seriously, right?! That’s exactly what happens.
As in, you starve yourself in the quest of a diet, because you’re unhappy with your body/size/life and people say, “ooh isn’t she/he good, taking care of themselves!”
Taking care of yourself?! By starving your body? Because you’re unhappy with your body/life? What the heck is good about that?!
Tough message this one I know – but taking care of yourself means honouring your health. Nurturing yourself. Loving yourself.
Dieting comes from a place of self-hate (or a fuelling stop on the road to self-hate).
Intuitive eating comes from a place of self-love (or a fuelling stop on the path to it).
Look, people will dress up ‘dieting’ as self-love. And to them I say – nice try.
It’s not. Dieting is not self-love. It’s self-hate. It’s torture. It’s mean.
When you know that YOU matter, you want to take care of yourself – INTUITIVE EATING is what you want to do.
When you think YOU DON’T matter, that you’re not attractive or loveable, that you’re in some way flawed – DIETING is what you want to do.
Take a step back from the bathroom scales right now and ask yourself – what do I really want?
Rather than trying to find happiness in a diet, the secret is – to find happiness right now, to know you deserve happiness. To know that life (and your body) don’t need to be perfect for you to find happiness.
Then to go about creating good health by caring and nurturing your body with foods that nourish your body and soul, foods that make you happy, foods that honour your traditions, foods for celebrations, foods for joy. Rather than punishing and starving your body into a shape you believe will bring happiness. (It won’t).
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