If you have tried to lose weight through dieting and failed in the long run, it’s not your fault…
but you are doing a few things wrong if you truly want to feel good in your body!
In today’s solocast, I talk about the reason why everyone is hopping on the diet wagon in the first place – weight loss! The reason diets are so tempting is because we often think we truly want to lose weight. So let’s talk about why it’s not happening, and what you might try instead.
Listen in so you can focus your efforts on achieving the true desire that’s hidden behind your weight loss goal.
Possible Problem #1
Honestly, you might be way too focused on the scale.
You’ve heard it before, but…a number will never define you! And no matter what is says, it will never bring you true happiness. How can I be so sure? Well, I used to be a dieter too! And honestly…I reached my “goal” weight quite a few times. Even when the number said what I had been working so hard to make it say, I was still me.
My mindset about myself and my body and my worth hadn’t changed, which meant losing weight didn’t mean what I thought it would. So many women have shared similar stories of losing weight because they thought they would be happier, more successful, more confident, or somehow….better. But when the long awaited day came and the scale said they had “made it”, nothing changed.
Here’s the deal: what you’re chasing is a feeling. The feeling of loving your body, of being worthy, of being accepted. And you can create that feeling for yourself on a daily basis, not matter what the scale says.
Focusing on the Feeling
Your whole self wants to feel good — body, mind, and soul.
Let’s pretend a toddler is questioning you on why you want to lose weight. They ask you, “Why do you want to lose weight?”, and maybe you say, “I want to feel better and have my clothes fit better.”
The toddler says….”Why?”, and you say, “Well, I want to feel confident in myself.”
The toddler says, “Why?” (you see where this is going!), and you say, “Then I’ll have the confidence to apply for my dream job.”
And of course the toddler says, “Why?”, so you say, “So I can live my life’s purpose and enjoy my life!”
If you have toddler, you know this “Why, why, why?” thing is real life! But even if you don’t, you can see how pushing past that initial reason and digging deeper can help you learn things about the true why behind your actions.
In this case, what I ended up truly wanting was happiness and purpose. So here’s something interesting: I don’t need to lose weight to work on increasing my confidence or living my purpose!
Non-Weight Loss Ways to Achieve Desires
How can we increase our confidence and purpose without focusing on weight loss? Well, body love is a great place to start!
One easy place to start is to practice body gratitude. For instance, try looking in the mirror and stating true facts that you can really believe and appreciate. I might say, “I love my arms because they let me hug my kids.”, or “I love my legs because they carry me all over my neighborhood and my walks.”
So try it out: Stand in front of the mirror and give yourself a compliment or express gratitude for your amazing body! This is simple and effective if you actually do it. It might feel uncomfortable, but it’s worth it!
Possible Problem #2
You might be restricting too many foods.
This might be connected to food stories about what’s “good” or “bad”. It might be a formal diet, or it might just be certain foods you never allow yourself.
So here’s the thing; dieting starts a restriction cycle that WILL lead to binging. Whether that happens immediately, or at some point down the road — when you restrict, you eventually binge.
Another downside to restricting and dieting is that it doesn’t teach you how to be around food. All dieting does is tell you that you should eat this, and you shouldn’t eat that. It’s based on rules that don’t always work very well for an entire life.
Intuitive eating is a chance to learn how to be around food by learning what works for your body and what doesn’t. Rather than dieting to lose weight, you can focus on learning to release restrictions. This helps you reach a place where food is literally just food. It’s not good, and it’s not bad — it’s just food.
As you work through these mindsets and habits, you’ll likely find ways in which your self-image and self-worth are tied to food, dieting, and weight. Those are big things to work through — but investing the time and energy can allow you to experience food freedom and body confidence beyond your wildest imagination!
Possible Problem #3
You’re focused on punishment and loss rather than enjoyment and positive additions.
For example, you might be forcing yourself to go to the gym and burn calories. You’re focused on not eating food you like the taste of. You’re finding ways to cut, decrease, and eliminate things that have previously brought you pleasure and enjoyment.
What if, instead, you looked for ways to add positive things into your life? You could add green veggies to increase nutrients and help your digestive system function better. You could add in enjoyable movement to clear your mind and release tension. Adding self-care practices like baths, journaling, date nights can leave you feeling less dependent on food for pleasure.
Get curious about your emotions, and look for ways to handle them in ways that make you feel better, not worse. Sometimes that means thinking about how you’ll feel after you do something that you don’t necessarily want to do. For instance, if you’re going to the gym but you’re not feeling super into it, it can be easy to frame it as something you have to do (that punishment mindset!), which doesn’t feel good. Or you can frame it as something that’s going to clear your mind and make your body feel really good (a self-care mindset!).
In the same way you didn’t love your parent’s strict rules (and may have even rebelled against them), you probably don’t love living a life in which you’re constantly creating harsh rules for what you’re allowed to eat, or how you’re required to move. You might even find yourself rebelling against yourself!
You’re After The Feeling
The best thing you can do for yourself is get to the root of your true WHY. Once you know that, then you can work on adding in body love and self-care practices that will help you actually achieve those desires. No dieting required!
Ready to make real change that actually lasts? You can find out about my current programs here: caitlinball.com/quitdieting, connect with me on Instagram, or jump on my free, on-demand training here: caitlinball.com/training.