What is the diet mentality?
Dieting mentality is a state of mind that takes over your entire life. It consumes most of your thoughts and brings with it anxiety, stress and guilt if you happen to ‘fall off the wagon’. It’s that all or nothing approach that literally is impossible to maintain and causes you to ignore your body and your hunger and fullness signals. It’s not letting yourself have that piece of birthday cake when you desperately want it and then most likely end up binging later in private. Dieting mentality sucks!
The thing is that when you have been stuck in a diet mentality and when you have reached your body goals, you STILL won’t be happy or feel fulfilled. A lot of the time we have these body goals in order to shock other people into seeing us and thinking, wow how did she do that, she looks so good! If we take the time to ask ourselves WHY we want to achieve our body goals, we tend to do it for external reasons. Ultimately we just want to feel loved and accepted and we think that if more people admire us, then we will be more loved, liked and included. Truth bomb > You will not become a better person if you reach your body goals!
How it can hold you back
How many times have you said no to a social occasion that you actually would have loved to go on but you were stressing and had anxiety about the food that would be there? This is a sad and lonely place to be and I have been there numerous times. At the time it feels like you’re doing the right thing in isolating yourself because you see it as a sign of being so dedicated. The problem is when you think back to all the memories you could have made and the time you could have spent with loved ones, you often end up regretting it. I like to think like this: When I am concerned about food anxiety or making choices I imagine myself on my death bed (niiiice) and think would I be lying there like, wow go me, I had abs my whole life! Or would I be cherishing the memories and the moments that made me smile and feel connected to others…? Just something to think about when looking at the overall picture beauties…
#Fear of rejection
Have you ever not done something because you were scared that you didn’t look good enough, or that you weren’t slim enough, or fit enough? THIS is dieting mentality. You only think you are worthy as a human if you have an ‘acceptable’ body and so you shy away from things, people and opportunities that would bring you joy. You are holding yourself back until you have reached a certain weight or dress size because we say, “I will do it when… I will go on holiday when I’m bikini ready, I will go for the new job when I feel confident in my clothes…” STOP THIS BEAUTIFUL RIGHT NOW! You are worthy NOW! Stop holding yourself back, get out of your own way and just do the thing! You are not a better person if you reach your #bodygoals.
#Inability to connect with yourself and others
When you’re in diet mentality you often find that you compare yourself to others all the time, you judge others (and yourself) and you tend to be in a negative state of mind most of the time. Every time you look in the mirror you will find things to be unhappy about and make that your new focal point. I also use to look at other people and think something like, “how can she wear that crop top when she doesn’t have abs …?!” When really, because everyone is a mirror for ourselves (another episode), the reason I was annoyed at this person wearing a crop top with no abs was that deep down I desperately wanted to have the confidence to do that…! So dieting mentality pulls us away from seeing everyone as equal and showing up with compassion for yourself and others.
Dieting mentality also causes us to ignore our bodies. If we are hungry and it’s not time to eat yet because our diet plan doesn’t allow us to eat until lunchtime then we ignore our hunger cues. The same happens when we have a binge… First of all, we most likely have a binge because we are restricting too severely so our body is screaming at us to eat…it also increases our hunger hormone ghrelin which physiology tells us to eat and reduces or leptin levels which is a satiety hormone that helps us to feel satisfied. And we all know that when we binge, we keep eating waaay past our fullness cue… in fact, most of the time because we only allow ourselves this opportunity to eat all the things (until it happens again right?!), so we often eat until we feel physically sick completely ignoring our bodies signals to stop eating. We basically become machines and attempt to programme ourselves to behave in a certain way. This stops us from expressing ourselves and experiencing how beautiful life can really be.
So how can we overcome this dieting mentality?
The first thing we need to do is to become aware of what dieting mentality means to you. What are you doing that is putting you in dieting mentality? For me, well it was everything (lol!) Sometimes I would be counting calories, sometimes I would only be eating ‘clean’ foods. Sometimes I would be following a plan, other times I would be a part of a diet club… etc etc! But work out what you are doing right now that is keeping you in this trap. And then stop! This is HARD AS HELL but it is so crucial if you are going to heal your relationship with food and yourself. You need to start to listen to your body and honour your hunger and fullness. Start by practising eating whatever you really feel like eating but only when your hungry and stop as soon as you feel satisfied. I appreciate that you may have health goals so if you fancy the cookie dough 24 7 (like me) then you won’t reach these goals by doing this. So this is where we can start to build healthy habits each day or week that do not come from a place of restriction or rules but a place of abundance and good feelings as you work slowly but surely towards your health goals. I can personally help you to do this! I also have something very exciting coming up that will help you do this is a more affordable way! So watch this space!
When it comes to fitness and working out. Are you going to the gym but you hate it? Are you forcing yourself to go running but you dread it and it hurts your knees? Again… STOP! Sit down and stop for a minute and think to yourself, “What is it that I really love to do…?” Do you just love walking in the country? Then do that! Do you love spin but you read somewhere that you should be doing weights instead…? Well, get your ass back on that on that spin bike instead! The BEST form of fitness is doing what you LOVE and what you WANT to do. So your homework is to get real with yourself and commit to doing something regularly that lights you up, whether that’s a dance class, body pump, running, walking or yoga and have fun!
#Have compassion for yourself
When you are going through change it is essential that you have never-ending compassion for yourself.
In order to love yourself fully, you must also love the experiences that shaped you into who you are today.
We can’t change the past no matter how much we hate on ourselves or regret it. So the more compassion we have towards ourselves the more positive momentum we have going forward. As perfectionists, we think that having compassion for ourselves are us letting ourselves off the hook or that we are letting ourselves go. This is not the truth. The more compassion we have for ourselves, the more progress we will make towards our goals because we coming from a place of love and not hate.
#Commit to a new way of life
So now you are aware of what is keeping you in dieting mentality and what you can do to become free of this. Now it is time to commit to a new lifestyle that will empower you to become free and happy. It will be uncomfortable but it will be SO worth it! As always, I am here for you if you would like my personal help, and go out there and shine because you are enough exactly as you are and you can have, do and be anything you want!