I once had a decade long affair. It consumed all of my time, my friends didn’t approve or understand it, and I was obsessed. I tangoed with anorexia, shacked up with bulimia, and woke up next to binge-eating far more times than I care to count.
I was deep in the throes of eating disorders and an active player in the serial dieting game.
During this toxic love affair, I tried just about every diet, pill, potion, or strategy out there to help me lose weight.
I could recite the calorie, fat gram, and sugar counts of just about any “diet” food out there. Today I’m proud to say I’m out of the serial dieting game and have a loving, committed relationship with my body.
She treats me far better than I deserve and even though we don’t always see eye to eye, I’ve vowed to be with her in good times and bad, in sickness and in health. Frankly, she’s my soul mate. So what shifted?
How am I now able to eat with peace and pleasure? How did I stop the internal war with myself and my battle with food? Full disclaimer, it wasn’t easy and it took time. But, it was so worth it.
Commitment… to doing something different
The first thing I had to do was make a commitment to get out of the serial dieting game. It took some time for me to come to terms with the fact that hooking up with a sexy, new diet every Monday wasn’t actually healthy.
You know the definition of insanity right? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
How long have you been “on a diet”? 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? And how’s that working out for you?
When I asked myself that question, it became clear to me that what I was doing wasn’t working or getting me the results I so desperately wanted.
I knew I needed to change my relationship with food in order to change my relationship with my body, but I was a) scared sh*%less and b) completely clueless on what to do next.
Over the years with my struggles with eating disorders, serial dieting and horrible body image, I came to realize a few key tactics that helped me get out of the serial dieting game AND get the body I was after.
These 3 tactics helped me in my own battle with serial dieting and obsessing over food, calories, and weight. Some are a little unconventional, but you’re trying to break out of the insanity diet cycle, right? Sometimes, you just gotta shake it up and try something new!
1. Go on a no diet-diet.
I know, it sounds silly and honestly probably a bit scary, but hear me out. One of the non-negotiable things that must happen in order to get out of the serial dieting game is for you to understand and own your body wisdom.
Your body knows what it needs, but when you inundate it with fake diet foods, artificial sugars, and deprivation cycles, it’s not able to fully read its own signals and regulate your appetite. To reclaim your body wisdom, you need to go on a no-diet diet.
The rules? Eat whatever your body wants.
"To reclaim your body wisdom, you need to go on a no-diet diet."
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It might take a couple weeks to get the hang of it, but nothing has been more powerful in my life or my clients’ lives for stopping the tireless devotion to the latest fad diet.
2. Play with the dog. Down dog that is.
You already know that body wisdom is key for stopping the dieting tango. Hands down my favorite way to develop and cultivate this lost art is through yoga
. There’s a reason why yoga has been around for thousands and thousands of years. It works.
"There’s a reason why yoga has been around for thousands and thousands of years. It works."
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And while it can certainly shape-shift your body and make you lean and flexible, I love it most for its ability to develop awareness and tune into body wisdom. Not sure where to start? Use this free guide to get started and start to notice the changes not just in your body, but also in your mind and with your appetite. Body wisdom starts with body awareness.
3. Get creative.
How much mental energy do you think you expend by trying to keep up with your diet? Counting points and fat grams or playing the calorie budget game to see what you can have for dinner? My guess is lots.
Now what if all that obsessing over what to eat was out of the picture thanks to a cool internal regulating system? (see #1). You now have more mental energy to do some cool stuff with! When you use your mind to create, express, or critically think you’re engaging the right side of your brain - the feminine, creative side.
When you engage this side, you access a flow where your mind doesn’t think about left-brained things like numbers and diets, allowing you to let go of any anxiety you may have about being on a no diet-diet.
Some examples of right brain activities include painting, dancing, writing, baking, singing in the shower, and pretty much any DIY activity on Pinterest.