When you decide you want to make a change in your life, you have to begin with changing your thoughts. If you try to create change by focussing on your behaviours, the change won’t last. You simply can’t engage long-term in a certain behaviour while thinking an opposing thought. For example, you can’t force yourself to play piano every day without examining and unpacking thoughts like “I hate playing piano,” “I’m going to skip it just for today,” and “Why am I bothering? I never wanted to be a famous pianist anyway.”
Divesting from dieting is no exception. When you realize that diet-binge cycling is no longer serving you, the place to begin is with deliberately shifting your thoughts about food and your body. It requires active reflecting on who you are and your place in this world. It demands you ask yourself some fundamental questions: are you entitled to take up space? Are you entitled to pleasure? Are you entitled to putting your energy into something other than containing yourself?
If you try to quit dieting by leading with your actions, you get lost in a new set of self-imposed rules that are really just the flip side of the rules and restrictions you’re trying to unlearn in the first place. This approach isn’t supportive or sustainable. When you focus on your behaviours around food—whether it’s restricting or permitting—the result will always ultimately end up being about how “good” or “bad” you were with food (according to a constantly-changing yardstick). You look for ways to track your progress by how intuitively you ate that day; you admonish yourself for not eating “mindfully”; you work to try to “just not binge.”
But when you lead your change process by deliberately cultivating a new mental orientation around food—choosing a new set of thoughts—everything is so much easier and more sustainable. It’s where the magic of transformation really begins.
When self-compassion and unconditional self-love become your dominant thoughts, and weight neutrality becomes your ideological orientation, food just becomes easy. The obsession with it vanishes as it becomes just another not-a-big-deal part of your life. Yes, you forget about the chocolate in your fridge or the chips in your pantry. But this no longer seems like miracle. It’s just part of your deep-down knowing that the life you are entitled to is worth more than what MyFitnessPal was ever going to show you.
If you feel drawn to answering the question of what your life entitles you to but feel scared of what the possibilities could mean, let’s talk. I have two openings right now in my one-on-one coaching container. Maybe one of those spots are for you. Book a call with me and let’s discuss the life beyond food obsession that is calling to you.