Yes it is a dirty word. A word that imposes limits, that can turn a life upside down and inside out and do so much damage in the meantime. Its very idea is restrictive in what it allows and it restrains us from our own control.
Yes, the simple DIET has had its hold on many of us over the years and is now worthy of avoiding. In fact in honour of all that a Diet asks us to ban, we can now BAN the diet.
Now I realise that we hear so much about 'lifestyle' these days, as opposed to 'diet', but do we get it and are we truly LIVING it? Are we making a lifestyle for ourselves, or are we so brain washed by the rules of dieting that we have no idea where to begin.
Lets begin with the diet.
For centuries diets have been used as a word and way in which we control eating. For some it was a word that we had to use. We had to be on a diet of some description in order to be 'doing what was expected' for us to be in shape. Being on a diet was trendy. For many others it was a word they pained to use as it brought more agony than success.
Lucky ones survived years of dieting and have made it to being able to eat their way through a normal life. Others, not so lucky have or perhaps still are, enduring painful eating disorders from it. The diet has a lot to atone for! Its sins were its very making. That it bound our minds, it controlled our guts, it limited our behaviours, it created what seemed to be a beginning of 'size, shape and look' being expected in a certain way.
I have been in the fitness/wellness industry for over 30 years now. I have seen so many diets come and go, and at many times I too tried them, although my attempts were more to see and experience what many clients were putting themselves through as the new way to win the weight war! Soup diets, lemon diets, cabbage diets, Blood Type diet, Pritikin diet, Fasting and Juicing diets, Atkins Diet, the list is just endless. It is safe to say, that for the majority these haven't worked.
And there begins the first issue with diets.
That they don't work. That they set us up for failure. And not just once. But that the very regime that they are, streams into our mind the importance of 'acceptable' size, shape or look, which means if we fail one diet, we search for another. And another, and another. Until we cannot remember the last time we weren't on a diet. A time that our food wasn't controlled by someone else's rules. A time when we weren't counting calories. A time when we enjoyed our relationship with food.
Rarely are diets based on health, and our wellness, they are fads created to trap us into the cycle of our own self doubt and self hate.
And here begins the second issue with diets - did we ever need to?
The need for diets came out of our own disassociation. That we stole our true self from our living. That we replaced that person, with the need to be someone else. That some how the media, the famous, the rich, the social scene setters, governed a world in which we all fell. A world that determined fashion, lifestyle, size, look and shape. The need for diet, was really a need to fit in. Be accepted. Be normal. Be seen. Be loved. It was a way for us to tell ourselves that we are 'fixing' the problem of our own misery.
Whats the better way forward?
I could go off on a tangent here and talk about our lack of self love, and the price we have paid for it. Endless diets being one. But I am wanting to focus on the diets itself. On finding a way forward from the space of the dreaded diet. Any diet. The better way forward, is within the 'lifestyle' that we hear so much about. The answer is in our living.
So let me give you some steps forward to begin. Because we just need to begin.
- step 1 - take the time to go and get a health check now. So you can be honest in the beginning of where you are at. Get your weight checked, your blood pressure, get blood tests done, you can check full blood count, check cholesterol and iron, you may want to look at fasting sugar tests to see if you have issue that may lead to diabetes, get your thyroid checked to make sure it is functioning properly. At the same time if you havent already get a pap smear, and get the nurse to do a breast check to make sure you are well. If we are going to be thorough, go and get a skin cancer check as well.
- step 2 - throw away any scales you have. You now have one record of weight you dont need another. If you want to, and weight is an issue, take some measurements, it truly is the best indicator you can find.
- step 3 - start with a week of observation. Take note of every time you are hungry, what you are eating and why. What are you feeling when you eat? Is it hunger or emotion? If emotion - which emotion? What times are you eating the most and what foods seem to attract you the most. Pay attention. This simple task will give you so much advantage.
- step 4 - take a look back over your week and see what you have discovered. You will see trends. You will see times of the day that you are eating most commonly. You will see if you are an emotional eater or not. You will learn so much about yourself.
- step 5 - the rest of the journey is individual. The way you create your lifestyle means you have to know what kind of lifestyle you want and how you can live that. You want energy you want vitality you want to glow and accept who you are. You also want to be able to enjoy yourself, to not feel deprived, to feel you are enjoying the food you eat and the life you are living. The way to truly do this, is individual. BUT you are now armed with the most important information that you can have to take the steps of finding out what foods to eat and when to help you live. You have options. You can google to your hearts content and you will find answers to what you now know. You can reach out and find a nutritionist to help guide you. You can go to a naturopath. You can message me, and I can guide you. You have options. But first - make sure you have taken the time to do the first steps above so that you have knowledge for us to work with.
Some basic do's and don'ts to get us going?
DO follow your own instincts and gut decisions. Take the time to listen and tune in.
Don't follow diets because they have worked for someone else. Or take on a diet because a celebrity uses it.
DO learn to love who you are. Look in the mirror and find all the things that you love about you. Even ask other people what they love about you and your shape and body and skin, so that you can hear and take note of what you already have to be proud of.
Don't listen to your own, or anyone else's negative self talk about how you look, what your shape or size is.
DO take the time to write down all that you love about you and place notes everywhere that you can to remind you ... 'hey great butt! ' ... 'I love your smile'.... 'you look great in jeans' ... ' I love our style' ..... 'I love how I am feeling'.....
Don't focus on the things you don't like about you. Sat y tuned into all that you love.
DO educate yourself. It is not hard these days to know what is right and wrong to eat, what is at least a basic guide. Take the time to know!
Don't be ignorant and stick your head in the sand and pretend not to know better!
DO add plenty of fresh vegetables into your diet. Make sure you eat a couple of pieces of fruit a day. Keep your plate colourful.
Don't keep eating the way that you have been. Remember that if you do what you have always done you will get what you have always got.
DO make way for changes in your life so that you can feel great, feel alive, feel happy and full of energy.
There is just so much to talk about. But the focus here is to move you away from any thoughts of diet and into a path of wellness that is about a lifestyle of living. Something that works in with the way you want to live and brings you the greatest health and wellbeing.
Reach out. If you have questions or want to know more then reach out. You are worth taking the time to give a great life to.