How to Find Out if You’re Ready to Stop Dieting & How to Start

Health Coach Paige Schmidt teaches you the first few steps to take to ditch dieting for good.

I recently listened to a call by Geneen Roth where she talked about cherishing yourself and how holding onto negative thoughts and objects can hinder doing so.

This made me think about the things that we still hold onto but need to let go of when we’re headed out on a journey of tuning-in, listening to our bodies, and ditching diets for good.

Geneen gave two metaphors that I want to share with you:

1. Start With An Empty Cup

Imagine that you have a cup full of self-loathing (or something negative), then try to add to that already full cup with something positive such as self-love. What will happen? It’ll all spill out, right?

We need to clean out our cups first, and then pour in self-love. 

This is exactly the same when breaking free from dieting. If you are trying to stop dieting but are still reading blogs or following Instagram accounts that encourage dieting & weighing less-than-our-natural-weight, it will be really hard to truly embrace intuitive eating.

2. Move Out the Old

In a second metaphor that Geneen gives, she talks about buying new living room furniture. You cannot move the new furniture in unless you move the old furniture out, right? This is also true for us. When transitioning from dieting to intuitive eating we MUST clear out the old stuff, both physically and mentally.

So, what do we clear out?

Physical Environment

In your physical environment there are tangible diet things you can throw away. In Finally Free Simi and I encourage you to throw these things away (aside from the clothes) and not donate them because we’re taking a stand against dieting, not sharing it with other people. It’s an empowering place to be.

This includes:

  • Clothes: Slowly get rid of the clothes that make you feel uncomfortable and only keep the clothes that make you feel joyful and content. I know that this is hard. It took me for forever to finally do this. In fact, in the beginning, instead of donating my clothes all at once I took out the clothes that no longer made me feel comfortable and put them away so that I couldn’t see them, just to experience it first and feel disconnected from them. However, finally getting rid of those clothes was so liberating. And hey, you can buy new clothes that make you feel great in your body! Really, size is just a number!
  • Binders, files on your computer, or books that you have on dieting or specific diets
  • Any scales, whether they be food scales or body weight scales

Mental Environment

Our mental environment includes old diet mentalities that we all know full-well. These are things that you’ve likely believed without questioning.

Why do you think we forget to question whether something might actually be accurate? Here’s why: We just want something to work. If it works for others, it must work for us, right? Or, we’re remembering only the BEST parts of an old diet we did. We fantasize that it’ll be our answer to everything.

We never stop to question if this is really the only way or if it’ll even leave us happy. Our mental environment can be much harder to clean up and will take time, but it’s SO worth it.

This includes:

  • What you are teaching yourself from Google (beware of the search bar questions)
  • Instagram accounts you follow that promote dieting
  • Apps on your phone, such as MyFitnessPal
  • Programs you purchase
  • Blogs that talk about and encourage dieting
  • Following any diet and telling yourself it’s for other reasons. There are many diets that say are a great jumpstart or are simply for you to get healthier (clean eating), but most of the time, the underlying motivation is to control your weight
  • Believing things you see or hear without questioning them

It’s difficult to break away from a dieting mentality that we have so deeply engrained in ourselves for so long. However, as we begin to drain our cup of the negative mental and physical things that hinder us from breaking free, we can begin to fill our cup with self-love and tune-in to our own bodies.

Ready to ditch diets?

Ready to Ditch Dieting? Want support?

Then take a look at mine & Simi’s course, Finally Free.

In the first session of Finally Free Program, we talk about breaking up with diets. There’s a reason we start with this topic and spend an entire session on it.

We need to see PROOF that diets don’t work – in Finally Free, we share this proof with you, and we share the exact steps you need to take in session one to break up with diets for good.

Here’s the thing, if there is still lingering hope that one more diet lurking around the corner will work for you, it will be hard to give up dieting. Choosing to eat intuitively is a choice to trust your body instead of dieting. It’s a choice to say “dieting has not worked for me, it’s time to let it go.”

You absolutely have choice:

You can choose to try another diet and see if the weight you want to lose comes off.

OR…

You can choose to commit to putting energy toward listening to your body and accepting whatever your “natural weight” happens to be. I like to share with my clients that we’re only in control of taking care of ourselves. We are NOT in charge of controlling that number on the scale.

If it takes a diet to get to X amount of weight, it will take a diet (and might not even work after a while – our bodies get more and more resistant to dieting) to maintain X amount of weight. You have to ask yourself: Is that worth it for me? Is that what I want? Do I want to struggle to diet the rest of my life? 

I would recommend that you ask yourself some really real/deeper questions:

  • Sure, maybe, a diet has worked for me before to reach X amount of weight, but what will it take to get there? What will it take to stay there?
  • If I’m not doing something that’s going to work for the rest of my life, is this a good use of my energy and attention?
  • Do I want to diet for the rest of my life to maintain a weight that my body might struggle to maintain?
  • What is so important to me about weighing less than I do now?
  • If a diet still feels appealing: What are my current beliefs of the experience of dieting? Am I accounting for the good memories I have and forgetting the hard ones (i.e. the binges that come with it)?

In my opinion, it is so much more healing for us to invest our energy toward working to accept ourselves where we are now and to commit to learning more about our bodies and how to respond to them. THIS is where true transformation and health await.

It’s pretty clear that I don’t stand for dieting because I’ve seen what a struggle and attachment it creates for so many women. Dieting leads to disappointment every time (if not immediately, eventually). 

You can begin to fill your cup today with ultra positive and pleasurable juice in mine + Simi’s 28-Day Pleasure Plan which helps you to jumpstart or restart your journey with intuitive eating. Finding pleasure in food is quite possibly the MOST important step in intuitive eating.

Has this post helped you in understanding how to truly break free from dieting? Are you ready to let go of dieting? What are some other things you can clear out to fully embrace intuitive eating/listening to your body?

Love, Paige
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