Dieting creates obsession around our bodies and food, which holds us back from focusing on what’s really important. Here’s how…
When I think back to when I was stuck in the dieting cycle, I remember being completely consumed by food and my body. There wasn’t room for anything else.
Thinking about how great my life would be once I was thinner, criticizing my body, weighing myself every day, planning out what I was going to eat, making my healthy meals, tracking my meals in a weight loss app, getting to the gym for my workouts, and going over my day berating myself for eating too much or eating the wrong thing or not working out hard enough. Every day, was the same.
All because I wanted to be thin. I believe that being thin would make me more beautiful, more worthy, and make me a better person.
I had no dreams and no plans for my life because I was waiting until I was thin. I believed that once I became thin, I could start my life. Which meant I wasn’t fully present for all the things going on in my life and I wasn’t enjoying everything in my life because I was waiting for myself to change.
Body size doesn’t dictate health or our worth, yet so many women are starting new diets every day trying to fit into the stereotypical image of health, beauty, and worthiness.
Women obsess about their size. We obsess about our size so much that all of our other accomplishments become insignificant if we aren’t thin enough.
By talking about our bodies negatively and by constantly dieting, we’re sending the message that we’re not good enough unless we’re thin.
On that pursuit of thinness, women are distracted. Women are distracted by diets and obsessing about their bodies instead of gaining the confidence to really create a life they love, feel happy, and change things for the better.
The $60 billion diet industry works to keep women trapped. Diet culture tells us that our bodies aren’t good enough and not worthy enough until they’re smaller. We become consumed by the idea of changing our bodies. We measure, weigh and track food. We weigh and measure our bodies. When one diet doesn’t work, we blame ourselves and start a new one.
I recently read the book, “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” by Lindy West (the Hulu show with Aidy Bryant is based on this book). I love Lindy’s insight into how diet culture impacts women.
“Women matter. Women are half of us. When you raise every woman to believe that we are insignificant, that we are broken, that we are sick, that the only cure is starvation and restraint and smallness; when you pit women against one another, keep us shackled by shame and hunger, obsessing over our flaws rather than our power and potential; when you leverage all of that to sap our money and our time—that moves the rudder of the world. It steers humanity toward conservatism and walls and the narrow interests of men, and it keeps us adrift in waters where women’s safety and humanity are secondary to men’s pleasure and convenience.” – Lindy West, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
When I stopped spending all of my time obsessing about my body and food, I made room for so much more. Most importantly, I’m more present in my life, I have more gratitude for my body and my life, and I’m more connected to the dreams that I have for my life.
Changing your mindset about your body and food will allow you to create so much freedom in your life. From the small things like being able to go out to dinner and eat anything you want without guilt or shame to the big things like shifting your focus to things that really matter to you.
Take a moment and think about all the time that you spend thinking about the size and shape of your body, the time that you spend thinking about food, and the time you spend thinking about exercise.
If you took all of that time and stopped focusing on your body and food, what else could you be focusing on?
What dreams do you have inside of you that have been sitting dormant because you’ve been waiting to be thinner?
What have you been putting off until your body is different?
How would it feel to be more present for your life?
Diet culture starts infiltrating our belief system at a young age, so shifting your mindset can be a challenge. But creating that freedom around food and your body is possible!
Having support to break away from diet culture and the dieting mindset, start to eat more intuitively, have more compassion for your body, and learn to trust your body more can help.
Ready to stop dieting and start making peace with food and your body? Download my free Anti-Diet Starter Guide.
Join my Body Positive Virtual Yoga Studio for online yoga classes that focus on body acceptance, self-care, and body positivity.
Make sure you join my private group – Happy Healthy Empowered – for weekly live coaching sessions, exclusive body positive and intuitive eating content, self-care tips, and more! You can join here.
To find out more about my health coaching programs, click here. I’m a holistic health coach and an advocate of intuitive eating. My one-on-one coaching programs help you to make peace with food and your body, trust your body more, stop restricting, experience pleasure from food, move your body in ways that feel good, and learn how to nourish your body without focusing on weight loss.