By now many of us know that in the long run diets typically don't work. Many diets are successful in helping produce temporary weight loss and short lived good feelings that go along with them. However from a physiological and psychological perspective most diets are doomed to fail. Unfortunately, many of us have embraced a diet mentality that is insidious and often results in and encourages dieters to be in a constant war with their bodies.
Physiologically many diets impose severe restrictions in food intake that put the dieter’s body into a starvation response. To support and protect us in our survival when the starvation response kicks in our body’s metabolism slows down, it begins to conserve energy and readily stores fat and burns muscle as well as fat when it runs out of calories. This in turn causes us to lose calorie burning power. When muscle is lost it burns fewer calories and stores fat more easily when we go off the diet. Each time we diet the process is compounded. This explains why a person can start dieting at 140 pounds and ten years later weigh 180 pounds. Regardless that the dieter is now eating less food at 180 pounds than she did at 140 pounds and struggling to lose and keep the extra weight off.
Psychologically the effects of dieting are frequently devastating. When the temporary success of the diet is gone and the pounds start to come back on no matter how “good” the dieter is she begins to panic. Then comes guilt, followed by body hate which often times leads to starving and binging. Anger and self-condemnation may follow and may turn into another burst of inspiration to start again. This cycle once known as yo-yo dieting becomes a self-defeating perpetual downward cycle. This is where many dieters begin to believe that there is something wrong with them. We are encouraged to try harder (I am just not good enough at this) or try another diet (this is the one, the magic formula).
We live in a culture that has created and continues to perpetuate what is known as the diet mentality.
The diet mentality encourages us to look outside of ourselves for answers. It feeds on our self-doubt and convinces us that we cannot find the answers to our health and well being within. It implies that there is something intrinsically wrong with us.
This mentality supports the erroneous beliefs that:
If I don’t lose weight on this diet then there is something wrong with me.
I am unable on my own to decide which foods are best for my body and the best times to eat them.
I need to be in control of what and how much I eat, I cannot trust my body and my natural instincts.
My self-worth is determined by the shape of my body and or what I weigh.
There are “good” foods and “bad” foods. I should never eat the “bad” foods.
I need to deprive and punish myself to be thin.
I invite you to take another look and reassess whether or not this path is working for you. I encourage you to get off of the destructive merry go round of dieting and embrace a path that encourages and supports your reaching and maintaining your health and fitness goals.
Step out of the cycle of dieting and into the process of health and well being. Choose the path of discovering your natural ability to feel good about yourself, love and respect your body and yourself, and be slim and healthy. Let go of the need for rigid food plans, exercise regimes, deprivation, or willpower. Know that you are normal and that the state of your physical body is merely a manifestation of years of imbalance of the body, mind, and spirit.
Open to the knowledge that your food, weight, and body issues can be a gateway to self-discovery that will improve your entire life, not just the size of your body.
Loving your body and if necessary releasing excess weight permanently is a process of growth and change.
This process involves:
Acceptance of yourself, others, and where you are at in this moment in time. Making friends with yourself and learning how to love and support yourself in thoughts, words, and actions. Striving to find peace with whom you are and where you are in your life journey.
Making your health and well being a priority. Be willing to invest time, energy, and money in healing this area of your life. Taking the time daily to observe and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions.
Paying attention to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual experiences with curiosity and an open mind and heart.
Observe, challenge, and change limiting beliefs that get in the way of your reaching and maintaining your health and wellness goals.
Acknowledging the past that contributed to where you are right now and become willing to let go of it. Forgive yourself and others.
Embrace change with a commitment to move forward and do things differently.
Being willing to be in the ongoing process of growth, ready to take action and do the work necessary to move forward.
Being open and committed to experiencing a healthy and happy future.
Being patient with yourself and the process. As you continue on your path the process gets easier.
If you are struggling with weight loss and the diet mentality, I encourage you to be easy about this and strive to develop a patient and compassionate attitude.
Embracing change is all about you taking back your power, taking charge of and responsibility for your choices.
In my personal life and in my practice with clients I have found that in addition to implementing practical steps and strategies, the application of Modern Energy Tapping (MET) to be a powerful tool that support deep change. They have shown to be unique and direct ways to identify and transform limiting beliefs and habits of thought that interfere with your health and wellness goals, thus, enabling you to make sustainable changes based on self-love and self-respect.
To read more about MET and how it can aid you in your quest for weight loss and healthy body image. Go here: Modern Energy Tapping
Contact me for a free consultation and learn how Modern Stress Solutions can help you make peace with food, weight & body image once and for all.