Sadly, our society and dieting culture persuades us that we need to control and manipulate our body rather than embrace our authentic self. There is an immense pressure to look a certain size and shape and, if we don’t fit that exact mould that we should diet and change our bodies until we do. There is a constant, unrelenting pressure to conform and strive to look like the photo-shopped and airbrushed image that we see splashed on magazines, ads and clogging our social media feeds (don't even get me started on 'fitspo'!).
Diet talk floods our day-to-day conversation. 'Fat days' are "normal". If we're not on some kind of a diet then we're really just not trying hard enough. Scales or the images we see in the mirror determine whether the day is going to be a good one or not. Food is calories. Taste and pleasure are 'cheating'. Food and weight consumes every waking thought.
We are flooded with headlines about our “weight crisis” when what we actually have is a dieting crisis. Diets don't work and it’s not your fault. Countless research studies have shown that diets are unsustainable and typically lead to weight gain (not weight loss) over the long term.
The diet industry is seductive but there is one fundamental flaw of every single diet and that is the assumption that we can control and re-shape our body, regardless of our genetics and biology. The diet industry tells us that if our calories in are less than our calories out we will lose weight (and keep it off). On face value this sounds logical. But it is actually massive oversimplification of the way our very clever, and very complex body works.
You see the body cannot distinguish between intentional deprivation – dieting - and unintentional deprivation such as famine or starvation. During periods of food deprivation our body responds in exactly the same way. Our metabolic rate and desire to exercise are reduced to conserve energy; while at the same time we have an increased focus and drive to find food in order to reverse the deprivation.
We cannot fight nature. Diets don’t work and it is not your willpower letting you down. If it was all about willpower at least some people would have life-long success following a diet – and we know that just isn’t the case. You don’t fail diets. Diets fail you.
We are all born trusting & loving our body exactly how it is. The number on the scales does not define you as a person. That buzz in your head every time you think about food or glance a peek of yourself in a mirror - it doesn't have to be there. You are so much more than your weight, your body shape and your food choices, I promise.