Diet or no diet? That is the (really big) question. There are two schools of thought on this topic.
On one side, you’ve got those that believe that to have self-love means that you should eat whatever you want without regard to your health or overall well being, and just accept your body exactly as it is without diet and exercise for the sake of improving it.
On the other side, you have those that teach to be rigid and very strict with your diet and workouts. No treats, no splurges, and no skipped workouts whatsoever.
Where do I fall in this spectrum?
You might think that I’d say to forget dieting and thinking about weight loss completely, but that’s not really true. And if you know me at all by now, you know that I am not an advocate of the super strict plans either because it’s such a slippery slope for binging, over exercising, and obsessive behaviors.
So, I pretty much fall right smack dab in the middle of these two extremes. While I teach self-love and self-acceptance, I also teach taking good care of yourself and the amazing body that you’ve been gifted.
I teach that we should eat foods that are nourishing AND satisfying and get out and move our bodies, not because we HAVE to, but because we WANT to.
And, this may be the opposite of what you might think I’d say, but I also teach that…
All diets are not bad.
Let me explain. When you first decide that you want to get healthy and fit, you need a starting point. When you have no clue what you’re doing or how to begin, it can be a bit overwhelming.
So, in this case, a diet gets you rolling. It might help you feel inspired and in control of yourself because you finally have a step-by-step actionable plan.
At this stage, a diet feels a whole lot better than the “I’m out of control and I need to do something about it but I don’t know what to do” place that many people get stuck in.
Diets Are A Bridge Not A Crutch
I speak from experience here. At one point in my life, I literally tried every diet plan and pill on the market. Even though I had many frustrating attempts at trying something new, losing some weight, and then gaining it back… I don’t regret any of those experiences (even though they were pretty frustrating at the time).
Each of those attempts was a bridge to the next, and to the next, and to the next, which eventually led me to the healthy relationship that I have today with my body and with food.
Without each of those experiences, I’m not sure that I would be where I am today. They all taught me things about myself and about what I want for my life.
The trick is to not see the diet as the solution.
The diet is a tool, but the ultimate goal isn’t to be on a structured and strict eating plan for the rest of your life.
The goal is to be so in alignment with your own body that you know exactly what you need to eat in order to feel nourished and satisfied without the need for guidelines and rules outside of yourself.
This may seem like fairy tales and pixy dust, but there really does come a point where going on another diet just doesn’t feel like the answer anymore.
So there’s a place for it all, because it all teaches you something about what you want for your life.
The real prize is to get to that place where you test out the strict dieting and realize it’s not for you. And then maybe you swing to the other end of the spectrum, and test out the “I don’t care what I eat because I feel so deprived” approach, and realize you don’t want that either.
And then one day you settle in that place where you just want to feel good inside AND out.
When you do, THAT’S when the real magic happens.
Have you hit that place yet? Let me know if the comments section below.