In my Ditch The Diet Revolution Community, I frequently ask our members to post their questions for me to answer. Last week, one of my lovely ladies, asked a question which really got us all thinking and I decided to explore the answer in a little more detail.
She asked what I thought of people who are actually genuinely overweight. She herself is 2 stone heavier than she used to be and she felt that she can’t afford to wait while she just eats what she likes. She’s desperate to stop being diet obsessed but at the same time finding it really difficult to be accepting of herself when her weight is so imperfect right now
How many women believe that their weight is still something they need to fix and fix it fast?
Based on years and years of working in this field with hundreds and hundreds of women, here’s my reply:
First thing first is stop panicking. many women find is so difficult to let go of diet rules & restrictions as even though it’s never really helped them, it’s become almost like a comfort blanket and the thought of letting that go can create anxiety, panic and fear. I can hear from your question that you are scared (correct me if I’m wrong) which is totally normal too. Breaking diet thinking and ditching diets all together, regardless of your current size/weight, for most women is really hard to get your head around as at the moment you probably don’t believe it.
I’m assuming that your weight gain has been due to dysfunctional food relationships such as emotional eating, binging and overeating? The human body cannot and will not put extra weight on unless you are overriding everything which she (your body) is telling you i.e. eating based on hunger, removing the guilt of food choice and being Ok to stop when you feel satisfied (even if there is food on your plate.)
Although I appreciate that you believe your weight is something which urgently needs to be ‘fixed’, I encourage you to try and see it from a different angle. I PROMISE that if you take your attention off your weight and even off food in many ways and really focus on the tips and suggestions I give here and on my website, improving your mindset, shifting your beliefs about body image, letting food obsession and diet obsession go and also learning to become more accepting of you, your body & your eating habits, extra weight does and will start to be let go of (in cases where there is genuine excess weight). I know that this is such as multi-dimensional topic and very emotionally charged and I know it takes courage to start breaking all the rules and beliefs you’ve always believed but it’s so worth it.
Something else to mention is whether your weight is affecting your health or if it’s more self esteem/confidence. There’s a lot of research which squashes all the conventional and social beliefs that people who are ‘overweight’ are unhealthy, much of it isn’t true. Which brings me onto my next point. Does being overweight mean you are unhealthy? According to Linda Bacon, author of Weight At Any Size, much of our beliefs around health and weight correlation are actually unproven! In her research & in her book she discusses how fat is not the killer it is made out to be. The evidence that being fat causes cardiovascular disease or diabetes is flawed: there is correlation, but correlation does not mean causation. The number of people who die because of weight related illness is far less than we believe.
When we start to Ditch The Diet & Drop The Weight (which is the name of my signature program) it is not about making you thin. It is NOT about becoming an ideal size or reaching a goal weight. It is NOT about going on yet another diet with a new set of rules or guidelines. It IS about accepting & loving your body as she is RIGHT NOW. It IS about learning to trust yourself & your body around food again. It IS about undoing the damage & unravelling the layers which years and years and years of dieting has done to your body, mind & soul. It is NOT a quick fix. It’s a life change
Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem.
A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates “thin” with “healthy” is the problem.
It starts with us changing our mindset & our beliefs first and foremost.
It can be scary to break rules
It can be anxiety provoking to go against the grain
Yet the more you try and fix your body as quickly as possible, the more that backfires on you (usually in the form of falling off the ‘diet wagon’, binging, feeling guilty and then starting a diet again)