Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality
Updated: Feb 11, 2021
So, you’ve hit rock bottom and realize dieting is not the way to go to achieve optimal health. It can feel quite scary to stop dieting after it has been part of your life for a while. It’s normal to feel scared and panicked. Dieting has been the mechanism you’ve been using to cope with stressors, lose weight, and take control of your life and health. But now that you know dieting does not work and is harmful, you are ready to become an intuitive eater. By letting go of the diet mentality, you're also letting go of the false hopes and disappointments that are caused by dieting. This is a big step in your journey.
The first step to becoming an intuitive eater is to reject the diet mentality. What does this principle mean to you? There are many ways you can reject the diet mentality. One way is to throw out magazines and diet books that promise easy and quick weight loss. Take a moment to think if you have any of these lying around your house or on your bookshelf. Maybe you follow accounts on Instagram that offer you fad diets and false hopes? Make that move and unfollow them. Trust me, you will not regret it. The next way to reject the diet mentality is to get angry at the lies that have caused you to feel like a failure each time a diet didn't work for you and you gained back all the weight. It is very important for you to let go of any remaining hope that a new and better diet is out there, and to trust that diets are not the solution. Even a little bit of lasting hope can prevent you from reawakening your intuitive eating ability. Only after you’ve changed your beliefs about dieting and have fully rejected the diet mentality can you improve your relationship with food and your body.
Be aware of your thoughts and behaviors surrounding food – do they still align with the diet mentality? Are you only eating at a specific time, not eating past a certain time, labeling foods as “good” or “bad,” or following a rigid meal plan? Ditch those rules and start creating healthy, long-lasting behaviors that will make you feel your best long-term. Do you have a scale that you idolize? Get rid of it! This can be hard to let go of, but it's part of the process of rejecting the diet mentality. The scale sabotages your mind and will distract you from becoming intuitive. Furthermore, your weight says nothing about your health. Many factors influence weight, such as water retention, muscle mass, stress levels, and hormones, so throw that scale away.
Last but not least, be compassionate toward and proud of yourself for taking the initiative to create a positive change in your life. It’ll be a bumpy road, but you’ll get there. Here at Restore Family Therapy, we have dietitians and therapists who specialize in intuitive eating and can help you on your journey to becoming an intuitive eater. If you are interested in learning more about intuitive eating or the eating disorder treatment that we provide, please reach out to us for a free consultation at restoreft.com.