Principle #1: Reject the Diet Mentality
Ok, so you have decided to look into Intuitive Eating!
I am a little biased but I think you are making a wonderful decision.
So where do you start?
Have you ever considered where you fall on the Intuitive Eating scale? Here is a brief survey, compliments of @EvelynTribole to assess where you at beginning your journey to Intuitive Eating. Click here
The first and biggest step in the Intuitive eating journey is learning to reject the diet mentality. The diet mentality is a fierce bitch! Ready to cut you down and make you feel like shit and your weakest moments.
While it is nearly impossible in our society to completely shield yourself from the filth of diet culture, you can train yourself to recognize and identify when diet culture is trying to infiltrate your world. Learn how to call it our instead of letting it call you out.
One thing is for sure, diet culture is everywhere in our world. There are so many studies proving the damage the diet culture has done to us humans. Loss of control eating, weight cycling, disordered eating behavior, these experiences are what we are seeing in a large body of research. Here are a few of the most mind blowing studies. Please look them over, the results are eye-opening.
One of my favorite studies, related to a popular show I used to watch (often while eating pizza), is the biggest loser study. This show is full of weight stigma and bad advice. I used to love Jillian Michaels, I used to dream of being one of her contestants. Working out eight hours a day, eating 1200 calories, it sounded wonderful! (Not). However, results show that even six years after the study, most contestants not only regained the weight but had lower lean muscle mass and a higher resting glucose level. Six years later! This is just one example of how growing up in that diet culture can really fuck up your body later in life. See the full study here.
The research is clear but what has your own experience shown you?
Where has diet culture shown up in your life?
Is it in your social media, magazines, TV shows?
How about in your family?
Did your parents diet?
Did your parents restrict food and count calories?
Did you hear comments about your body?
All these things contribute to our diet story.
How did you feel growing up in your own body?
Was it hard?
Did you get made fun of for being different?
Did you get laughed at when you grew breast or started to see chest hair?
As harmless as these things might seem in the moment, over time this compounded diet experience dictates a large part of our how we feel in our bodies as we continue our lives.
NOW Think about this...
What have you gained from dieting?
What has dieting added to your life?
Has it increased your self-esteem? Increase your confidence? Improved relationships? Helps you gain friendships? Increased your happiness?
No, dieting does not do any of these things.
Maybe the better question is what harm has diet caused to your life?
What has the cost of dieting been to you? Has it impacted your social life?
Created destructive behaviors?
Physically impacted your body?
THIS question that struck me like a knife…..
What things are incomplete, ignored, or unexplored because of your body?
(I know, impactful shit right there!)
One study, this one I will never forget, tested the effects of starvation on World War II soldiers. They took perfectly healthy, normal eating behaved men and starved them. Within a few weeks the men were dreaming about food as they had never before. They were obsessed, thinking about food 24 seven. Some participants even attempted to steal food, binge eat and lie. Now imagine starving yourself your whole life, are you surprised that you crave things and/or binge eat?
If you starve a dog, then put a bowl of food in front of them, they’re going to eat the whole bowl of food.
Our biology is the same.
Our body will act the exact same way.
It is our brain that convinces us that no we do not need that food.
Your brain can only fight your body so long before you either stop functioning physically or break down mentally. Biology only gives us those two options. Trying to fight it and trick the mind or body by only eat during specific hours of the day, not eating carbs, eating fat free, sugar-free, taste free, joy free foods will only work for so long. It’s basic biology.
The evidence is clear and the resource supports it. Dieting is not only harmful it also backfires and creates all sorts of problems for you down the road.
The first step in this journey is the ability to identify and reject diet culture. Don’t except it in your world. Call it out, cut it out.
With this first step, you’ll be well on your path to intuitive eating lifestyle.
Stay tune for principle number two, and helpful tips to help you reject the diet mentality in your life coming soon.
Thank you for reading, please comment below with your thoughts and feelings. I would love to hear from you.
Love coach Tay Tay