Can you still strive for body goals whilst giving up dieting and breaking free from binge eating?
Good question my friend and this is what my clients ask me a lot.
They come to me with the desperate want to stop binge eating but they are still clutching tightly to the hope that the road to recovery will lead to weight loss.
I can’t blame them for wanting this. They’ve desired weight loss for most of their life, hence the reason WHY they’re stuck in the diet binge cycle…
My answer to this question is both yes and no at the same time! ????
Whilst we absolutely CAN strive and work towards health and body related goals, this can only be done successfully AFTER we have learnt how to free ourselves from the dieting mentality which keeps us stuck IN the diet binge cycle.
My clients will tell you I must say the words; ‘This is a PROCESS’ a millions times over, and for good reason.
And THIS is what people struggle to accept. Because of their dieting mentality; my clients want to ‘hurry up already’ and just reach recovery – which is feeling normal around food and free form their body prison.
It’s like the crash diets they’ve been so familiar with, they just want the quick fix solution to their problem.
But there is NO quick fix solution to finding food and body freedom (sorry!). It takes working through all of the stages of giving up dieting whilst being supported by a professional coach.
IT WILL BE UNCOMFORTABLE.
IT WILL BE SCARY.
IT WILL BE FUCKING LIBERATING.
IT WILL BE WORTH IT.
Once you reach the stage where you basically don’t give a shit about what you eat; THIS is when we can start to look at ‘body goals’ or more realistically; health-related goals. And when I say ‘don’t give a shit about what you eat’ what I mean is that you don’t judge or congratulate yourself in any way… whether you’ve eaten 2 tubs of ice cream or a salad.
The hardest thing to change when ditching the diets is ‘dieting mentality’.
What do I mean by this…?
Dieting mentality is that voice in your head that’s constantly judging the shit out of you.
In relation to food and your body. She may sound like this:
“Are you seriously going to wear those shorts when your legs look like that?!”
“You’re such a loser for succumbing to those cookies. May as well eat the whole pack and then nip to the shop for binge food and start again tomorrow.”
“There’s no way you can give up dieting! Who are you kidding? You’ll end up the size of a house!”
“Your jeans are getting tighter… this whole giving up dieting thing isn’t working, quick get back on that shake diet!”
THIS is the voice that is running the show and sabotages any form of progression on this wonky, wobbly but oh-so-freeing journey to food and body freedom!
Your dieting mentality voice is fatphobic, nasty, ridiculous, unrealistic, thinks she’s Sergent major and downright rude.
The first step to letting go of your dieting mentality is to notice that she’s there.
Then call her out on her bullshit.
Laugh at her, because she actually IS ridiculous. ????
Thank her for trying to ‘protect you’ and keep you brainwashed to all of society’s and the media’s messages – which is actually where you learn it all from in the first place.
You know, the messages;
Fat is the worse thing ever.
Processed food will kill you… (oh wait, isn’t that coconut oil nowadays…) ????
Nobody will love you or find you attractive unless your a size 6,8,10 or 12… but if you’re a 12, you’ve got to have a small waist and big ass… or is that skinny legs and no boobs…whatever message the media want to sell you on this year.
Your life will suddenly be perfect when you lose weight.
I could go on.
And you’re dieting brain is probably having a field day right now. Thinking that I’m crazy and fat IS bad etc etc blah blah blah.
If you can’t invest in your recovery and join my ultimate food freedom and body confidence program then do yourself a favour and read ‘Body Respect’ by Linda Bacon.
Being fat does NOT automatically mean you’re unhealthy.
I’m not even going to open this can of worms else I’ll be here all day! Check out the book.
Which leads me nicely to…
‘Body Goals’ and recovery
So assuming you’ve done all the necessary liberating, uncomfortable, scary, wtf, wow this is great inner work (that requires a ton of body image work and guidance from a professional) and are at stage 5 of giving up dieting, NOW we can talk body and health goals.
So now you’ve got rid of your diet voice or at least turned her into a hoarse whisper that never rules over your sane compassionate bad ass voice, we can start to discuss body and health goals.
The first thing I will say is that having a HEALTH and FEELING goal is WAY more beneficial than a ‘body goal.’
Let’s use a health and feeling goal to start off with:
Let’s say your goal is to become fit and strong and have lots more energy. Great goal!
Next step is to brainstorm how you could work towards this. On your brainstorm, you may write things such as;
Workout 4 times a week. Lift weights during the workouts. Add in more veggies and protein. Make conscious decisions around foods that don’t necessarily support your goals…
E.G. It’s pizza night yay! ???? You could say something like this to yourself:
“So I know that ALL FOODS ARE ALLOWED… LIKE FOR EVER…. ???? and if I want 200 pizzas I can have them.
Food is NOT a moral issue and I’m not ‘good’ for avoiding the pizza or ‘bad’ for eating it.
I also know that my goal is to have loads of energy and to feel fit and strong.
Will eating this pizza take me one step closer to that goal or one step further away?
What matters to me MOST? Eating the pizza and the enjoyment I will get out of the experience or getting one step closer towards my goal?”
You may decide that you really want the pizza but instead of having an XL to yourself (or is that just me ????), instead you’ll have half and an extra large side salad… or whatever feels good to you.
You may decide not to have the pizza.
You have decide to eat every last bite of your XL pizza because it’s just worth it!
AND THAT’S OK!
You would make decisions from the same base of thought throughout your day each day.
Every choice you make is like a vote to either get you closer to your goal or further away.
Let’s take a specific body goal for an example:
Let’s say your goal is to build your muscle definition. (I’m not allowing any weight-related goals because that includes weighing and measuring and sends you down THAT rabbit hole again..)❌
You could brainstorm what actions you could take each day to bring you closer to that goal…
E.G. Start weight training 5 days a week. Rest 2 days a week. Eat more protein. Increase the number of whole foods you will eat. Etc.
Then go through the same thought process as I explained above.
When you’ve recovered from binge eating and diet-related trauma, change comes from a place of love and abundance, not rigid rules and scolding.
Can you see the difference? You approach life and your goals with love, openness, curiosity and acceptance that YOU hold the power to decide. And whatever you do decide, it does NOT dictate your self-worth.
If reaching a certain body goal or health goal means a lot to you, then it will be easy to make decisions that bring you closer to those goals.
And if you choose to make decisions that are always taking you further away from your goal then you need to ask yourself if it REALLY means a lot to you… And if it doesn’t, THAT’S OK AND PERFECT!
Life is supposed to be enjoyable and fun.
And you are the creator of your reality.
And whatever your body ends up looking like due to the actions you take towards your goals then that’s all perfect.
If your body is’t looking how you want it to look then practice acceptance, be proud of yourself for showing up everyday and working toward your goals. And focus on the improved FEELING and health that is coming from your efforts.
Your body is not a machine or a piece of plasticine that you can mould and shape. Your body is a miraculous vessel that you live in that enables you to experience life…! Do you want to spend it fighting with that amazing body of yours?
Have fun – don’t take life too seriously and love yourself through everything!
You got this girl, I’m here if you need a body image coach with a big heart and the tools that work.
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