Anyone who has ever done a hardcore diet knows the inevitable outcome of over-restriction: the binge. Binges come in many different forms, some easier to spot than others. It could look like stress eating after a long day at work, overeating whenever you’re out with friends, or having a massive “cheat day” that makes you sick to your stomach.
So, as any person forced through this stressful and thoroughly unhelpful cycle would, you’ve decided to try the “not dieting” thing. You will no longer restrict anything, you’ll throw caution to the wind and indulge all the time.
But really, you were already not following your diet when you were having a cheat day, or eating your feelings, or slamming down three courses at dinner with your friends. So why does it feel like “not dieting” means an endless binge with no thought to health or nutrition?
To help solve this puzzle, we have to redefine what dieting itself is. The dieting we’re talking about isn’t exclusively the type of food you put in your mouth. It’s about the mindset you have when you’re choosing and eating these foods. By this definition, not everyone who eats salad is dieting, and not everyone who eats cake is bingeing.
The phenomenon of dieting is rooted in the way you think about food. It’s attempting to manipulate the quantity or type of food you’re consuming without thinking about the actual energy needs of your body. Eventually, your survival instincts are bound to take over. Next thing you know, you’re raiding the fridge.
A lot of people will tell you these binges are a result of your lack of willpower or dedication, but in reality, they’re instinctual. They are a natural reaction to habitually ignoring the cues of your body, not a reflection of your ability to stick to a meal plan.
When we offer our members the opportunity to stop dieting, we’re helping them make an intentional choice. The decision isn’t coming from a “screw it” mentality or a desire to just eat everything. We’re hoping our members will find that letting go of restriction and allowing themselves to have “forbidden foods” helps them reconnect with their body’s cues and innate food desires.
This might seem like a dream come true, but like anything else in life, it takes a lot of hard work. It’s hard not to look at the surface level and assume that this process will just lead to endless weight gain. It’s daunting to figure out how to listen to your body’s signals again. It can be scary to face the difficult emotions brought up by years of negative self-talk and self-loathing. It takes believing that you’re worth the energy and investment you’re putting into yourself. And, girl, you are.
When you’re willing to fix your mentality, the food becomes less of a focus in your life. You don’t feel compelled to eat the whole quart of ice cream because you can identify, accommodate, and tolerate the frustration you feel after your long day at work. You also know you can have that ice cream whenever you actually want it.
And whenever you look in the mirror and notice yourself picking apart every little flaw, you will have the tools to remind yourself that you’ve committed to not dieting because you’re done feeling out of control when it comes to food. You’d rather be present in your life for all the other moments, to experience all the good stuff, the hard stuff, and everything else. Flourish is here to help you access these tools. Our expert nutrition and mindset coaches will help you learn what you need to know to take control of your eating habits. Sign up for our waitlist here to get started on your journey to a healthier, more balanced approach to nutrition!