A few years ago, I wrote this column about letting go of all the diets, tricks, rules and pressure I felt to lose or maintain weight. After decades of heading down several rabbit holes and getting dogmatic about anything that made sense in the moment, I realized it was all a bunch of BS, really. I wondered why I couldn’t just go back to eating like I had in my youth, when I never gave it much thought at all. If it didn’t work out, I could just be fat and happier, or if truly compelled, always jump back on that merry-go-round I hated and that offered so little serenity, despite whatever outcome.
Honestly, it felt blissful to let it go.
When I started researching resources for The Self-Loathing Project, I found a litany surrounding the anti-diet movement. Much of it seemed to be touting the very same ideas I’d embraced the past few years. Last year, I shared my review of The F*ck It Diet, a wonderful book on the subject, which verified many of my newfound beliefs and gave me some more ideas to chew on (ha!). This past month, that led me to begin reading Intuitive Eating, which anyone will stumble across when researching anti-dieting. This book has been around since 1995(!), although the fourth edition is about to debut because the concepts have evolved with the times. The book is authored by two dieticians/ nutritionists who specialize in eating disorders (don’t let that scare you, if it does). This book is furthering some additional healing around eating for me, things that devolved over time due to all the weight-loss mania and dogma that basically replaced my ability to listen to my own body’s cues.
Because I give a you-know-what about your evolution and healing, and because so many people are screwed up in this arena, I want to recommend this book to anyone who:
• Thinks they have to/should diet or follow a program to lose or maintain weight
• Is on (or breaking) a diet, whether it’s eating paleo, doing keto, counting macros or calories, doing WW, eating low-fat, on their tenth Whole 30, drinking shakes, following a program with guidelines or rules, practicing The Secret for weight loss, getting hypnotized or whatever
• Thinks they are a food or sugar addict
• Thinks they have no willpower
• Thinks their situation is hopeless
• Thinks there is “good” eating and “bad” eating (and subsequently, that they are good or bad)
…and probably lots, lots, lots more (but you get the idea)
Doesn’t that list give you hope? It should.
Could it be none of this is your fault? That you aren’t some willpowerless loser? That there might be some logical explanations for how you arrived at this way of thinking and being and that you can overcome them without the only solution you thought possible?
Sure wish I’d found this book back in 1995, which is about when all my weight loss lunacy began…but hey, now is better than never. And so it may be for you, too.
P.S. Even though the anti-diet movement is out in full force and this book has been around since 1995, I literally have only one friend who talks publicly about this topic. Conversely, I have hundreds of other friends who have talked about weight loss, dieting, being fat or having an eating disorder (including sometimes how they’ve overcome theirs, even if they haven’t). This topic affects MANY. That’s why I’m bringing this up.
P.S.S. Want to read the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating? You can right here, as well as learn more about the book and the topic.
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A collection of columns, articles and general a-musings.