A client of mine recently told me about a 21 day diet challenge at her gym. She thought it would be fun to do and not a big deal. The thing is that we had worked together in the past but the marketing lured her in.
When she started the plan (and she only lasted 2-3 days before overwhelm set in) she shifted back into her old habits. This affected her for months! Here’s the thing, if you have been dieting, restricting or controlling your body for a long time and you start a new way of being (Ahem, the method I teach) it is still EASY to slip up.
The old way is quite compelling and lures you in. “Genius, of course I can do this – it’s ONLY 21 days” then you can’t get past day 3. This is why it’s important to keep practicing. My client of course came back to work with me because she got derailed by the gym challenge and when we worked together it was easy and effortless.
Diets are tricky!
They make you think that you can do something for 3 weeks or whatever amount of time and get these *amazing* results. Ummm, can I get some of that marketing 😉
“I can totally do that, I can totally restrict myself for that time AND then go back to normal” 🥴
BUT the thing is…
It messes with your psychology, your body, it restricts you and the sad thing is that those diets and restrictions do not take into account YOU. They don’t care about you, your emotional wellness, what you’ve gone through and why you seek out food to comfort yourself and feel safe.
Sometimes when we have gone through emotional events in our lives that were traumatic (not resolved) we want to comfort ourselves and cope. If we don’t know how to move through our emotions we will pick something to help us not feel crappy and for an emotional eater that will be food.
Food will feel comforting and you will be nourished by it to a degree. When we eat it releases feel good chemicals.
Those 21 day plans are very one dimensional. They say eat THIS and only looks at calories in and calories out. It doesn’t look at you holistically or food holistically. One part of satisfying hunger is to physically fill your stomach. It has stretch receptors. For the other ways to truly satisfy hunger check out this post HERE. Sadly, diets do not take these into consideration.
So, this is one of the many reasons diets don’t work and a new way is needed.
What helps you have sustainable change or moves you into sustainable change?
True nourishment that takes you from restriction to satisfying meals that nourish your body.
Accepting your body where it is at instead of punishing it. Transforming that limiting mindset of “I should look like THIS and weight THIS” to accepting where you are at and finding YOUR healthy.
Emotional Wellness where you see how you use food to cope and shifting it so that you move through your emotions so that you have a healthier relationship with them and hear their wisdom.
And also adding in other lifestyle factors that help with sustainability.
We need a new way…
At the end of the day when you are doing something for your body that is different like trying to change habits and other things to promote health in your body you need to have patience with yourself. You need to have care and compassion as well.
As you change those habits you will feel ungrounded. Those old habits and patterns help you feel safe and protected. They are familiar. And so, you need a new way of doing things that helps you feel safe, protected and makes you feel good! This is what creates sustainability.
It’s important to ditch the dieting mentality, there are so many myths and noise out there that it can feel overwhelming. When you truly find a way to sustain your health; physically, mentally and emotionally you have a solid foundation to come back to and check in to see if something is good for you or not. It will be an experience not simply a thought.
I hope this video has helped you see how diets are not there to serve you. After 21 days you are left hanging perhaps re-gaining the weight, having no progress on health issues, feeling more defeated and more distortion about what you need. True change takes time and leaves you feeling empowered. If you’d like some guidance let me know!
Certified Holistic Nutritionist + Emotional Eating Expert.