Worry, anxiety, depression, mood swings, fear, mistrust, guilt, helplessness, rules- lots and lots of rules, preoccupation with thought and a sense of disempowerment. How do these words feel when you read them? If someone told you to follow something and that this is what it would give you, would you say yes? Guess what, this is what you sign up for when you are following a diet.
If you are following a diet or have followed a diet in the past, think about how you felt. Have you felt any of these feelings? Dieting creates so much emotional damage and so much mistrust within ourselves. And you don’t even realize that it is happening! For a while, you feel a sense of control, a sense of order. There is a plan and you now know HOW to eat again. Isn’t that what gets you so convinced that you need the diet? You have this sense that you don’t know how to eat? You’ll make the wrong choice. So much mistrust is created.
If you diet and you feel this way, know that it is not your fault. You did not create this. The diet has. Know that there can be peace with food. Peace with how you see your body. But another diet is not going to be the answer. You have to change how you see and do things in order for you to feel differently about food and body.
Intuitive Eating fosters this to happen. It is turning inward. It is relearning to listen to your body, how it feels when you eat certain foods, when it says its hungry, when it says its full, what else it might need to be satisfied. Looking at why you went on a diet in the first place, what feelings about yourself created this need for control. Even if you have to follow a certain diet for health reasons, it will always feel like a diet if you have not worked on your relationship with food. Look at food as a relationship. How healthy is this relationship that is supposed to nourishing? Would you be willing to change that? Could you take that step to feel like you understand yourself and the space that food holds in your life. If it isn’t a place of love, a place of kindness, a place of enjoyment, of fueling and nourishment, of even fun, then know that this is how it could look. You just have to be willing to break free from the rules that tell you that you can’t.