I don't like diets. I don't like them for a number of reasons.
1. A diet implies that there is a beginning and an end. This means you will restrict a certain food group or calories or fat or what have you for a certain amount of time. When you reach your "goal weight", you go back to normal and try to maintain your weight. It's virtually impossible to do this. That's why Weight Watchers is so "successful". You keep having to go back for more, shoving more and more of your precious money down someone else's throat.
2. A diet is extremely stressful. Usually, people can't stop thinking about food, when they're on a diet. I should know. I've done it countless times. During my low fat days, all I ever wanted was a stick of butter, bacon, anything that had lots and lots of fat in it.
3. A diet focuses on one thing only. Weight loss. What it leaves out, are emotions.
What could emotions possibly have to do with diet? In my world, EVERYTHING!
I am an emotional eater. The more stressed out I get, the more I crave bad foods. Eating bad foods depletes my body of the nutrients I need to be healthy, physically and emotionally. When I'm missing important nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids) I will experience things like depression, anxiety, fatigue, stress... which then will cause me to eat more bad food.
My emotions are powerful. While I am in general a skeptical, rational, down to Earth person, my emotions run the show when it comes to my personal life. This can start first thing in the morning, when I walk past the bathroom mirror to the toilet and I notice my body: upper arms, belly, butt. On a good day (after eating well, resting well, loving and accepting myself) I will not look a second time. After all, it's just me.
On a bad day, the little devil inside berates me in the most cruel and condescending tone.
What I really want for me and for every other woman and girl out there is the ability to love ourselves just the way we are. This doesn't mean we shouldn't try to reach a healthy weight. It just means that we already are happy and grateful for the body we have been given.
But in order to do this, we have to learn a few things.
1. Eat real, whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible to nourish our bodies and souls, and look at it like it's a reward, not a punishment. Stop dieting, start living. Start learning to love fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish!
2. Use supplements where they are due. A Nutritional Therapist like myself can help you dial in your needs and help you find just the supplements you require to support your already healthy diet. The foods we grow today aren't nearly as full of great nutrients as they used to be. Supplementation has become absolutely vital in our modern world.
3. Consciously affirm each day that you are worthy, that you are a gorgeous human being with an amazingly strong machine of a body. Be grateful to that body of yours for supporting you, for adjusting to everything you do it, for being your best friend.
4. Learn to create good habits, when you are in a bad emotional place. Learn to forgo the junk food, go for a walk, start a new project, read a book, or if it has to be food, then make it a real food.
I really don't like that even in the paleo movement that we have seen, the most advertisement is made for weight loss. Yes, sure weight loss should be a pleasant and positive side effect. But health and wellness should be your #1 priority... always!