Stepping into the Unknown

You’re stepping into the unknown. Breaking up with dieting and cultivating a new relationship with yourself, your body, and food is the unknown.  We know dieting. Gosh, do we know dieting. It’s comforting, clear, precise, controllable, and not only culturally acceptable but culturally encouraged.  

Everyone is doing one, thinking about doing one, reading about one, talking about one, getting off one, and failing at one. Dieting is a way of life.  

If we’re dieting, we’re part of society. We are accepted. 

If we’re overweight or in a larger body, then you’re “working on yourself” and considered accepted.  

We wrap a lot into dieting. We wrap a lot into the success at dieting.  

Dieting promotes itself as a glorious present that if you follow the exact outlined steps you will reach your goal – weight loss (aka acceptance and self-love) and optimal health (aka disease-free).  

Here’s the thing though – diets over the long term have never been proven to work nor ward off disease. In fact, chronic and yo-yo dieting actually do the opposite, leads to inevitable weight gain and puts our body into a survival, stress mode.  In some research, it is even noted that yo-yo dieting may be more harmful to our health than remaining overweight. And can even lead to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.  

Yes, chronic dieting is harmful to our body. 

Why isn’t this discussed more? Because diets SELL – they sell books, products, programs, supplements, and medications.  Dieting is an industry, a thriving one at that. 

Breaking up with dieting is a rebellious act. You’re going into the unknown and often without a lot of support from the people around you. 

But you are not alone, there is a whole counterculture actively breaking down this research and promoting health at every size and an anti-diet lifestyle.   Clearly, I’m apart of it and so are you. You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t at least curious about breaking up with dieting and looking for an easier way to live rather than being obsessed with weight loss and food.   

The first thing you can do today (not food-related – yay!) to start to step into this unknown is to get curious.  Like, really curious. Start to read more about anti-dieting, health at every size, and for the love of all that is holy, UNFOLLOW accounts on social media that promote weight loss, dieting, and extreme exercise routines.  

Getting curious cultivates a learning mentality. When we’re in a learning mentality, our minds are more open, we’re more receptive to new ideas, and we’re less hard on ourselves for not knowing something. It also allows us to question the validity of things that we’ve always just believed because “that’s just the way things are”.  

The more you practice curiosity, the less hostile you will become towards your body and food. Inner dialogue conversations that used to sound like “man, I’m so weak, I have no willpower” will turn into “Hm, that was challenging, perhaps I should look at how I’m approaching this”.  There is a clear difference in the tone of the dialogue. 

Overtime (and a lot of practice) you will begin to tap into your own inner guidance and authority.  The difficult thing about this is that you have to be willing to risk the unknown. It’s uncomfortable, scary, and unfortunately, not something you can control. Within you is a compassionate soul ready to provide you with guidance and support – all you have to do is start to listen with curiosity rather than judgment. 

Cultivating Curiosity Action Steps:

  1. Cultivate a nonjudgmental attitude. May be easier said than done because we are so hard on ourselves. 
    1. Example: Judgmental attitude talk → I’m such a failure. Why can’t I stick to anything? 
      1. New Approach → That was tough. Perhaps I was trying to do too much all at once, what’s one small thing I can do today instead of trying to do it all?
  2. Get curious about food instead of hostile. 
    1. Example: Hostile language → Eating that makes me feel/be fat. 
      1. The new approach → I wonder why I feel so full after that? Maybe I’m eating too fast? I wonder where this story about this food is coming from? Where did I first hear that this food was “bad”? 
  3. Be receptive to learning. 
    1. Example: Not Receptive → I already know what I’m supposed to do, I just need to do it. 
      1. The new approach → I wonder if the nutrition guidelines that I have in my mind are rooted in dieting mentality. Maybe I should do some reading or consult with an anti-diet nutritionist to learn more? 

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