Oh this is such a good question and one I get a lot! I also relate with this question as well. I know that when I was starting this work, there were many starts and stops for me. I thought I was ready, I bought the Intuitive Eating book by Elyse and Evelyn several years before I was ready to give up dieting and completely change my focus as a coach. My hope is that you don’t waste nearly as much time as I did. I really wish I would have put the brakes on my dieting cycle a lot earlier. So that is my hope for you in this podcast episode.
But a few key things to remember:
- It’s ok that you’re scared – it’s normal
- Recognize that diet culture wants you to stay scared and keep coming back for more
- Get curious – what are you afraid of? Are you afraid that you’ll just keep gaining weight? That you’ll never like what you see in the mirror again? Are you worried that you’ll lose control and just go crazy? What if I just eat tacos or chocolate all day every day? Take 5 minutes and list out all of the fears.
- Now that you have your list – I want you to recognize that all of these ideas are just thoughts… and that’s what is creating the fear inside of you. AND all of those thoughts are completely up to you. Are they serving you? Do you like the feeling or reaction you have to them? I want you to know that you can choose different thoughts or even just more neutral thoughts if those thoughts aren’t serving you. Let me give you an example. So one thought I said was “What if I gain weight?” When I thought about this in the past, I felt almost a gut or visceral reaction. I would almost immediately think of ways to restrict my eating or control, control, control. I felt anxious and anything but in control. I determined that this thought was not serving me at all. So I had to go to a more neutral thought. Instead of what if I gain weight I chose to think, if I gain weight that’s ok or just, I might gain weight. Notice I didn’t think, “I will be so thrilled if I gain weight.” But ok – was neutral for me. This worked for me and helped me than examine what was really concerning me about weight gain. That’s a whole different Blogpost. I promise we’ll tackle it.
- So please do this prep work when trying to decide if you’re ready for this. I have a lot of compassion for you. This process is one that requires some soul searching for sure.
Now let’s talk about a few key signs that you ARE ready
- You have hit diet rock bottom – Have you ever thought – I just can’t go on another diet! There’s got to be another way than counting or tracking or measuring or ____ or _____. You dread every option you see. You just know that they won’t work because nothing has worked before for very long.
- You feel like you’re obsessed with your body and food. If you were to quantify how much of your day is spent thinking about food – how many minutes would you guess? You long to free up that space in your brain.
- You’re experiencing symptoms of diet backlash – This is characterized by
- eating less food, yet having more and more trouble losing weight
- The mere mention of a diet triggers cravings for “sinful” or restricted foods
- You experience a diet binge or overeating at the end of a diet or when you “slip up”
- You don’t feel like you can trust yourself around food. You worry that your body doesn’t know when you’re hungry or what you’re hungry for
- When you do go on a diet or protocol, you find that you’re able to stay on a diet for a shorter and shorter period.
- Social withdrawal – you avoid social interaction because you don’t want to have to deal with trying to figure out appropriate foods to eat
Now maybe some of these resonate with you and you recognize yourself in a few of them. Try them on for size for a bit. What if I didn’t take the time to worry about my food and weight day in and day out… what would a day like that feel like? What would I have more time to do? Get excited about the answers that come to that question… those are answers from your intuition. They are telling you that you are so much more than your weight, a number on a scale, and the size of your pants. You were put here for so much more.
But if there is still some fear in your heart – mixed in with hope. I invite you to take the first tentative step – put weight loss on the back burner. Healing you relationship with food, with your body, and with your own body wisdom cannot happen when you are still worrying about weight loss day in and day out. Put it on the back burner. Practice the mantra – I’m not worrying about that right now. Gently push aside those concerns acknowledging that you can come back to them if you need to. But for now, they are not the most important thing.
And when you’re ready – book a one on one call with me to see if you’re ready for this. Regardless you’ll walk away with a few tips to moving toward greater body trust. We can all use that I’m sure. Click here and schedule a free 20 minute coaching session!stop
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m a certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and the owner and creator of Spendlove Coaching.
My own wellness journey led me to getting my Master’s Degree in Health and Wellness Coaching from Creighton University – Go Blujays!
I help my clients discover that they are the experts of themselves. Using the tools learned inside my program and during coaching sessions, clients learn how to shift their mindset, taking back the power they have lost to dieting and diet culture