Cue crying from one of my kids, perhaps a little screaming. Inevitably, I’ll need a band-aid. Band-aids, the real-life ones, have purpose – i.e. keep out germs and help keep the wound clean so it can heal. I’m not against band-aids.
But… I am against the Diet Band-aid.
I had this analogy run through my mind earlier this year. One of my sons got a huge scrape on his thigh. It was probably 5-6 inches long. It wasn’t deep and didn’t need stitches, but it was still large enough to need a lot of band-aids. The problem was that he didn’t want to stop living his normal active 12 year old life. So he kept swimming every day, playing sports every day etc. And without fail, every day he’d come back to me with a band-aid falling off and a wound that was weeping and a little bigger than the day before.
In his case, the band-aid was making matters worse. Each time he wore one, he thought everything was safe underneath – so he’d forget about the wound. And then the wound would be bigger and deeper. In the end, he finally stayed out of the pool, left the band-aid off for a few days and it was able to dry out. But he was left with a HUGE scar!
As I kept working with him over the weeks it took to finally get his leg healed, I thought about how diets are band-aids too. We have some kind of cut or wound – our negative body image or desire to change how we look. We put the diet band-aid on, thinking that it will “heal” the band-aid. We believe that once the band-aid/diet is off, our negative body image or thoughts will magically be gone. But in reality the band-aid/diet has actually kept the wound/negative thoughts fresh and they are larger and deeper.
What we really need to do, is let the wound/negative diet thoughts see the light of the sun… dry up and heal. That is NOT done through a diet or eating program. That is not done through shame and trying to keep changing our bodies that that we will like them. Healing is done through looking at the thoughts… Getting curious as to where they come from… Questioning them…. See if they provide value for us… (Hint: THEY DON’T) And then… Let them go and choose thoughts about our bodies that are helpful. Choose thoughts that allow you to love and accept yourself, just as you are.
Are you carrying around a wound or even a scar from years of negative body thoughts? Have you been repeatedly putting a diet band-aid on your wound, hoping that temporary weight loss would “solve” the problem?
If you are, you are not alone! In fact you are probably like most of us. But, that is not how you have to continue to live. Click here to schedule a free mini-session to start healing!
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