Those who have struggled with weight loss for years know the discomfort of carrying around extra pounds, but what weighs even more heavily on a person is the extreme burden of eating. The act of counting calories, worrying about every bite, obsessing about points and fat grams, carries a weight all its own.
For many people eating is a subconscious act. For the dieter, it can be wrought with anxiety. The fear of is this right or is this wrong? Is it too much or too little? Will there be enough to satisfy me? Are very real thoughts that can quickly take the joy out of meals and add heaviness to eating.
When we are faced with rules, we feel confined. Are we eating within the lines? Or have we tipped the scale once again? These feelings can change hourly and bring with them tremendous amounts of guilt if we let them define us.
A diet, by its very nature, is about food rules. It constricts and confines. It makes us feel safe, while making us miserable. It contains us, consumes us and makes you crave all that you cannot have (food-wise and body-wise). It mocks our resolve and magnifies our weaknesses.
So why do we do it?
Because we know no other way. Society tells us that diets are The Solution. We believe what we see on TV or read in books more than we believe the voice inside of us. We listen to everyone, except ourselves. We silence the body. We do not trust that we know the answers, and they are simple.
There was a time for every one of us, when we knew instinctively what to eat and when to stop; a virtual “eating nirvana” of perfect non-judgment of our food and of ourselves. We were mere children and what did we know? We knew two things: what we wanted and when we were done.
So can we revisit that perfect state of eating for hunger and enjoyment? I say, “Yes”. No more diets. No more rules. No more guilt. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satiated. Lay your anxiety down with your fork and let it go. Trust yourself. You’ve got this one.