The Dieting Mindset

I’ve come to put dieting in the same category as smoking: an unhealthy habit that can ruin your health and screw up your life, drain your wallet and poison your soul.

Dieting keeps you from moving forward with self-acceptance, mindful eating, and  loving yourself. Dieting perpetuates the idea that you are not good enough the way you are and that you need to change to be acceptable to yourself or anyone else, and that an outside force is the answer, and that food is the enemy. Hatred, sadness, fear, hopelessness, all stem from dieting.

Letting go of this mindset is like removing a tick. Difficult, often painful, and hard to get it all out on the first try. It may be gone on the surface, but look a little deeper because the head might have popped off and is trying to stick around to keep you infected. Ok, kind of a weird analogy, but the first thing I could think of.

How do we stop? First things first, get all the outward reminders out of your environment:

  • Get rid of the scale, the measuring tape, the diet books and any “thinspiration” you have laying around.
  • Go on a media fast if you need to, away from movies and magazines that make you feel inadequate.
  • Get rid of any clothing that doesn’t fit or flatter. No more “goal” pants or next summer’s pink bikini. It’s a poisonous awful demon.
  • Clean out the cupboard and get rid of any diet foods. Dump the slim fast down the drain. Flush the diet pills, teas, meal replacement crap, etc.
  • Next, wash your brain out with soap. Refuse to engage in any conversational body bashing or diet talk. Change the subject or leave.

Listen to your thoughts and train yourself to catch the fat talk. Every time you have a bad thought about yourself, change it to a positive one. Practice. Instead of “I look like Humpty Dumpty” try “My curves are rocking this little black dress today.” At least find something you like, like “My eyes are so blue” or “I’m having a good hair day.” It takes practice, but if I can do it, I promise you can too. If I can learn to love my thighs, so can you.

Don’t let yourself plan any more diets! No more calorie counting! Stop looking at nutrition labels for awhile if you can’t stay away from the calorie counts (ingredients may be a good idea though) . Eventually, the automatic calculator in your brain that looks at an apple and says “80 calories” will shut up it you tell it to. I promise.

Good luck!

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Posted on October 9, 2010, in Body image, Intuitive Eating and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Dieting keeps you from moving forward with self-acceptance, mindful eating, and loving yourself. Dieting perpetuates the idea that you are not good enough the way you are and that you need to change to be acceptable to yourself or anyone else, and that an outside force is the answer, and that food is the enemy. Hatred, sadness, fear, hopelessness, all stem from dieting.

    amen. yes it does.

    dieting is tough to do–only few can handle dieting without feeling those things.

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