An old diet wire or “I’ve blown it, now, so I might as well eat….”
Before I share with you something that I’ve been thinking about, I want to take a moment to check in with you about what drew you to this blog post? I am wondering if you are dealing with compulsive or emotional eating or whether you have dieted and regained the weight – possibly many times? Are you ashamed of your body and do you feel like life would be better if you were thinner? Are you tired of feeling like a failure? Would you like to create peace with your body and with food? If so, I am glad you are here! These struggles can be so isolating and my hope with this blog is to provide a “place” where women, and men, can connect, share, gain ideas and information about healing their relationship with food and their bodies, in a diet/body-judgment “free zone”. I hope it also serves as a source of hope that this healing is possible!
I’d love to hear what drew you here and what you might like to learn about, or feel supported around, by this blog. So, please leave me a comment below and be sure to sign up, right to the side of this post, if you would like to automatically receive links to new posts as they are published.
Okay, on to what is on my mind today….
I recently read a quote which was shared by Kathy Kater, LICSW a Psychotherapist, Consultant and Author of Healthy Bodies: Teaching Kids What They Need to Know (curriculum) and Real Kids Come in all Sizes: Ten Essential Lessons to Build Your Child’s Body Esteem. The quote was from the August 1, 2014 Bottom Line Publication. Here is the quote:
I think most of us would agree with this, wouldn’t we? It is such a simple and beautiful reminder of what is important. What I would like to think about, with you, is the diet wire that might get triggered by this thought. I am wondering, for those of you with a history of dieting, what happens for you when you think about this quote, especially now at the holidays?
Any thoughts of – “You’re right, life is too short. I shouldn’t be worrying about what I eat”, or “this is the only time I will get a chance to eat these, cookies – this candy – this fudge” or “forget about taking care of myself – it is the holidays!”?
Most people that I have spoken with, who have a history of dieting, have an old “diet wire” related to either being “on” or “off” of a diet. Do you know what I mean by this? It is that experience of either being good (on my diet) or a “free for all” or “what the heck – I’ve blown it now, I might as well eat”.
One of the challenges in moving away from dieting and towards an intuitive eating or a mindful attuned approach to eating is that this wire is so easily triggered. Giving oneself the permission to eat and enjoy foods often triggers the “off the diet” experience of eating anything and everything. People often share their frustration and discouragement with me around this happening. What we find is that they expect that because they “know” that this kind of thinking doesn’t make sense, that they will do it differently. Do you know what I mean? It is the kind of thinking that goes, “I knew better but why did I do it anyway??”
I want to reinforce what you proabably already know and what is so easy to forget, in these moments, and that is that “knowing” is not the same as doing! If you have a history of dieting, it is reasonable to expect that you have this diet wire and this response will get triggered. Changing our “wires” takes time. So, be gentle with yourself in these moments!
If someone has this wire, what might they do to start changing it?
The first step might be just noticing and doing your best not to judge – but just to notice. “Oh, there is that feeling of being in the “what the heck – I’ve blown it – off the diet so, I might as well eat – phase”. Just the act of noticing changes the experience (it brings another part of our brain onboard) and starts to bring something new into that old wire. You may still eat more than you would like and if so, it is a good chance to practice the self-compassion from my last post.
I would love to hear what thoughts, feelings, or fears came up as you read this post, thought about the quote or as you think about holiday eating. Also, if you found this post useful please feel free to share and if you would like to receive these posts as they are published, all you need to do is sign up to the right side of this post.
Until next time….. how might you Flourish in your body?