We live in a society where dieting has become the norm. It’s now a billion dollar industry and yet diets still fail 95% of the time. Would you board a plane if you knew it only landed 5% of the time? Why is dieting any different? The issue is that we are often set up to crash. Weight loss companies need repeat customers in order to thrive and unfortunately, we suffer as a result. The body is manipulated into losing weight in ways impossible to maintain. Food is no longer food but a number (calories, points), or an emotion (good, bad). Being on a diet becomes a difficult, fearful and unpleasant way of life, which often leads to reverse effects such as overeating and self-blame. You start to think you didn’t try hard enough or something is wrong with you. Now, the mind is reversed to thinking that the only way to happiness again is by being thin. And who’s there with open arms, ready to help tackle the weight battle again, only this time for real?? The industry of course! The vicious cycle is back on.
I’m not trying to negate that the diet industry is completely out to get you. There are definitely some good, solid programs that can help you succeed, however often there is one piece missing. We forget to talk to the one person who knows you better than anyone. Yourself.
Diet and exercise programs can be impersonal. We put all of our trust into someone else’s ideas and rules. They can make you feel like you got yourself into this situation and so continuing to entrust in yourself would be a bad idea. But by ignoring your intuition, we weaken our innate ability to feel hunger and fullness as well as our natural relationship with food to be used as fuel. We also never explore why we developed such issues with food in the first place.
If you feel you that maybe you would like to shift to a more manageable way at a healthy non-diet lifestyle, here are some ideas for the week to get you started.
Start slow. It takes time for your body to adjust and figure out what works best. We cannot plant a seed and then expect it to grow into something grand and beautiful within a day. We must nurture it and be patient. Remember that not every day will be perfect and that is okay. Explore what went wrong and try again, without any pressure or judgments.
Use positive reinforcement. Attitude is a major super hero when comes to attacking pesky pounds! It comes down to believing in yourself and that you deserve to be happy – starting TODAY! Not only will it help you lose weight, but maintain it as well. When a person becomes so invested in the idea that looking a certain way will bring contentment, they very often find that they still are unhappy even after they achieve their goal. This can ultimately lead to self-sabotage and weight gain. By starting to embrace the mindset that you are worth it, you can connect to your inner happiness and use that to guide you even further on your journey.
Befriend yourself. Next time you are looking in the mirror or before you go to bed, give yourself a compliment. It doesn’t have to be about your body if that makes you uncomfortable. Start small. You can note the awesome way you accessorized your outfit or how you paid all your bills on time this month. We are often quick to remind ourselves of the things we are doing wrong, however the positive details should not go unnoticed either. By doing this, you can develop a better sense of self appreciation while building your confidence. And who doesn’t want that??
Remember that is possible to co-exist with food. It just takes a bit of enthusiasm and persistence and soon enough you’ll be on your way to creating the body you want without the agony.
Danielle Mercurio is a personal life coach and founder of New You City Coaching. She is a passionate about helping city dwellers find balance amongst the chaos, as well as implementing simple and quick solutions to finding inner confidence and outer hotness.