On Thursday, I had a really moving and pivotal session with a client who has been struggling to let go of diets, as so many are.
She was worried that not dieting would just give her the excuse to eat everything and she would lose control.
The irony is that by dieting for over 3 decades, she has, in fact, lost control with what her body needs and desires.
This is where the fear stems from, the lack of trust in oneself that often begins as early as childhood.
But not ‘dieting’ is so much more than just not going back to SW or WW, or stopping calorie counting – it is saying ‘I put my health and wellbeing first!’
And this finally clicked for my client who saw how dieting had just led to more and more weight gain for her over the years.
By dieting, I mean an approach which centres around food restriction.
This often feels safe – the boundaries make you feel ‘on top of’ your nutrition and oblivious to the diet mentality, for a short period anyway.
We know that rigid diets, that focus solely on weight loss as an end goal, are not sustainable in the long term. They encourage weight cycling (yo-yo’ing) that is associated with many negative health effects.
Until you decide to stop the rules and really explore your thoughts and behaviours around food, you can feel scared about the prospect of ‘letting go’ because what if you just can’t stop eating?
But the reality is, people who improve their relationship with food are less anxious around food, have fewer body image concerns and lower levels of disordered eating.
They also find and stay at their natural weight – this is the happiest place a person can ever me, fighting it is torture.
Reconnecting with your body enhances much more than your physical health and it is never too late – anyone can do it with the right support and guidance.
I help my clients get from A to B through a structured programme that teaches you to have faith and trust in your body.
It knows what to do (if you let it). Without guilt.
A non- diet approach does not mean you abandon responsibility.
You are repairing the inside of your head, healing your relationship with food and other people won’t necessarily see that.
You will find just the right balance between ‘fun’, higher energy foods and more nutrient-dense foods.
You will learn to respect your body’s needs and desires as well as your taste buds
And best of all, it will free up so much headspace so you can focus on other areas of your life.
I wonder how would that feel for you?