Not everyone's beliefs are the same, but I grew up in a household that prayed before dinner. We gave grace to the meal and thanked the Lord for our blessings that day. It is hard to think that many around the world do not have dinner on the table or even food at all on a daily basis! Now, I am not here to preach or go Gandhi on you, however, as you read this you may find yourself saying, "Preach girl." I am about to pull you back to reality when it comes to giving YOU grace around food, your body and diet culture. Namaste?
While I am not going to sit here and banter the fact we as average Americans have plenty of access to food compared to other countries, I am going to ask why we as Americans abuse it? Why we as US citizens abuse food to then mentally abuse ourselves? Why we jump from diet to diet instead of creating lifestyles? We give grace to food and thank God (or whatever you believe) for it and then cannot give ourselves an ounce of grace!
--"I eat keto."
--Hour later: "Crap, I had a banana that has too much sugar and now I am going to fast for the next 3 days.
--Next day: "I am intermittent fasting."
--Hour later: "I am hungry, but I shouldn't eat. Well maybe if I eat low carb that is ok."
--That night: "Kids we are having spaghetti for dinner."
--Hour later: "I give up and hate the way I feel/look."
Does it not just make you tired trying to keep up with it all? Not only are you trying to mentally keep up with what to do next in regards to food and this ever changing diet culture, you are also beating yourself up in the process. You are slowly allowing your mental and physical health to decline. You are allowing your body image to create your identity.
Ask yourself this:
If you have an extra taco or extra slice of pizza, does that define who you are as a human being? Is your identity now, "(insert name here) who had 3 slices of pizza."NO!
Fun fact: The clients I see in this office with digestive issues normally have tried the most diets.
You can look back and reflect on all the diets you have tried, all the diets that worked temporarily and all the diets that made you slowly lose your confidence within yourself. There was a time that your mind shifted with food. Your body went through changes, you gained some weight and now you wake up day in and day out wanting out of your own skin. You compare to everyone around you and spend ridiculous amounts of time trying to Google your issue. It is sick when we begin to hope something is wrong with us as an explanation for weight gain or body issues.
I heard two great things from a course I am taking:
1. You are more than your body.
2. Health and fitness is not a look; it is a feeling!
So here is your reality diet check.
Stop tying your identity to a diet or to food. You are so much more than what you put in your mouth.
Stop trying to find happiness within yourself through the next fad diet. The little support groups, 30 day challenges, etc. that are only diet focused are not your permanent solution to internal happiness.
It took you more than a week to get your body to this place of discomfort and stress when you look in the mirror. Expect it to take more than a week to start achieving your goal as well.
There is no such thing as a perfect diet. Keto, IF, Atkins, Paleo, whatever it may be...it is not perfect and do not expect to be perfect!
Stop thinking that everyone is judging you. You are your biggest critic and to be honest, everyone else is focusing on themselves just as much.
Stop jumping from fad to fad. Go back to the basics. Food fuels the brain and until you start regularly providing it that fuel, it will not mentally change. A CONSISTENT healthy diet (body and mind) is what will truly getting you back to loving yourself again. TRUST ME!
This blog is not permission to go willy nilly with ALL the food; you know I preach the whole food approach and you can give too much grace. But this blog post is permission to affirm that YOU are so much more than a diet. You are so much more than your body. If you want to love it, then respect it. Stop sending it to hell and back (with dieting) trying to get your mind right!
Your homework: Begin asking yourself how YOU (the true, deep down inside YOU) are going to start gaining TRUE control? How are you going to impact your body in a healthy way? Not what your best friend is doing, not what the latest Instagram fad is; how YOU are going to feel good. Do YOU!