Principle 1: Reject the diet mentality
Welcome to day 1 of the Intuitive Eating Principles & Practice series!
Rejecting the diet mentality is a crucial, yet very challenging step. Throw out the diet books and articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better weight loss diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.
Remember to give yourself grace & self-compassion: you’ve been inundated with diet culture’s harmful messaging for years, if not decades! Deconstructing & unlearning this mindset takes time, patience, & intention. You are not alone.
- I invite you to explore your dieting history, including any food plan or “challenge” that promised weight loss. Did the diet really work in the long run? Or are you just remembering the temporary weight loss?
- What has dieting cost you? Consider your social life,relationships, eating behavior, mood, time, food preoccupation, & money?
- Has dieting ever served as a coping technique when you feel out of control? Where dieting gives you a focus and distraction from stress?
- If you stopped dieting long ago, are there still lingering thoughts or behaviors that keep you from truly feeling free from diet culture’s grasp?
- What dieting components could you choose to let go of today or this week? Perhaps no weigh-ins or weighing less often? Maybe not counting macros or calories or points? Perhaps not participating in discussions of weight loss?
- If you don’t feel ready to let go of weight loss, can you put it on the back burner? It’s acknowledging that the desire is there, but not acted upon.
- If you’ve already implemented this principle—what was your turning point? Perhaps it was a realization or aha moment?
- Be curious, notice, and reflect.
Please share your reflections in the comments, as it may help others to realize they are not alone. It may also inspire those who are ambivalent!