If you’re anything like I was in my twenties, you tell anyone who will listen to you about the new way you’re eating–because “it’s totally working this time.” But, when you decide to “cheat” with a little treat, it spirals into blacking out, eating as fast as you can, and coming-to totally stuffed. On days like this, you hide out and can’t begin to understand how you could’ve fallen “off track” again.
Maybe you go to the gym for an extra-long, guilt-ridden workout.
Maybe you tell one friend that you have to get back on track tomorrow, but you never tell them the full extent of how it went down and how it made you feel.
The Lonely Side of Dieting
It’s hard to tune-in to your friends when you’re in your head obsessing about the cupcake across the room that you’re not going to eat. In a more obvious way, when you set rules about what you’re eating, you oftentimes don’t go with the flow of what your friends are eating.
If you’re anything like I was, you’re skipping brunches, dinners, parties, or even vacations as a way to “stay on track.” If you don’t skip out on an event, you make sure you eat before you leave to avoid temptation.
Sound about right? Dieting is really lonely.
Spending time in your head obsessing about how to control the next thing you eat not only makes you unavailable to your friends, but also to potential partners. I’m sure this is one of the major reasons I wasn’t meeting anyone to build a lasting, romantic relationship. I was too busy constantly watching what I ate–my mind and my heart didn’t have space for someone else!
You’re Not Alone
Unfortunately, there are so many women like you having this same experience! We talk our faces off about the diets but hide in shame about our actual experiences with food. That’s the stuff we really need support to work through.
The good news is that at the root of all the obsessing is the desire to feel good about yourself. You’re just going about it all wrong! What would happen if, when you caught yourself thinking about the next thing you “should” eat, you instead…
1. Plan something that brings you fun or joy. This is the best way to nourish your body! When you are deprived of feeling good, it’s easy to try and find joy in sugar and simple carbs. What about that pottery class you’ve been thinking about or what if you actually broke open that novel that’s been sitting on your nightstand for months?
2. Wait and listen closely for your body’s signals of actual hunger. Do this instead of eating the next thing on “the plan” or relying on a clock to tell you the “right” time to eat. It’s a good idea to start to prepare food when you experience subtle signs of hunger, rather than waiting until you’re totally ravenous.
3. Check in with yourself and ask what you’re in the mood to eat. If you’ve been relying on diets for a long time to tell you right/wrong foods, this practice may feel a bit tough at first. The good new is it should feel totally freeing once you get the hang of it! This is also a great practice to prevent a binge later. If you’d like tips on this or if you want to learn how to stop obsessing about food, feel free to ask me directly!