I was recently listening to an episode of the podcast Dietitians Unplugged, all about the similarities between diets and cults. Whoa, there are lots. One of the cult-like qualities of diets is that if you leave the diet world, you may feel alone, ostracized, left out, or no longer part of “the group”. You may find yourself in the midst of conversation with friends and family who have decided to try Keto, Intermittent Fasting, or whatever diet they chose as their 2023 motivator. You may be feeling jealous (I wish I had some food structure in my life! I wish I could join this conversation!), annoyed (enough with the diet talk!), confused (do I need to diet, too?) or various other emotions. If your goal is to divest from diet culture, here are some other emotions you may be feeling that can keep you motivated as an Intuitive Eater;
Other Possible Emotions
- Calm The feeling of calm can come from having the ability to choose food based on when you are hungry, what sounds good, and previous experiences with that food. Even though you once thought food structure was best for you, you have found more peace and calmness from simply letting your body be your guide, and trusting that it knows what is best for you.
- Joy Joy because of the lack of thinking you have to do now that you have developed a better relationship with food and your body. You don’t have to count, add, subtract, or excessively plan. Unlike your friends and their new diet plan, you can live life with more brain space to be happy and joyous.
- Hopeful Maybe you are still early on in your Intuitive Eating journey, but you can already look into the future and see freedom, acceptance, and a whole new outlook on life. Instead of a feeling of dread (can I still stick to these diet rules for the long haul? Am I really enjoying this?) you are hopeful of your future, knowing you are back where you began as a child; listening to and trusting your body.
- Brave This is where your Rebel Ally voice may come out! Your immediate emotion when your friends talk about their new diet might be jealousy, since you can’t partake in the discussion. Soon, however, you may realize you don’t have any desire to partake in the discussion anyway! You have divested from diets and you’re feeling great. You may feel brave and say something such as “I had a delicious lunch today, it was so satisfying! The weather was nice too, so I ate outside”, then all of a sudden the conversation changes to the weather, or upcoming outdoor events (so much more interesting).
As your friends continue with their diets, and maybe even have some early success, you may really start to question your Intuitive Eating journey; “I too could be changing my body. I too could be getting the praise”. But it’s important to remember, unlike diets, Intuitive Eating is forever. Intuitive Eating is the door to freedom, joy, satisfaction, and true happiness.
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