My fabulous trainer friend from Fitness Jones Training and I hopped on his FB live to debunk some diet myths that keep a lot of people stuck, and share a fresh take on more sustainable and effective ways to approach health.
This is part 1 of 2 – click here for part 2 🙂
1st Diet Myth That Drives Me CRAZY!
“If you work hard enough and want it bad enough, you can have your ideal body. Once you have your ideal body, you’ll be happier, more successful, more confident, and life will overall be BETTER”
This is a HUGE myth that is driving so much frustration and unhappiness, and crushing our confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth.
Diet culture tells us this so when we fail, we know it’s our own fault. And it works!! Instead of blaming whatever plan or approach we were trying to follow, we internalize it.
We blame ourselves. Our inner mean girl shame voice chimes in and says things like we didn’t want it bad enough, we didn’t try hard enough, we didn’t have enough willpower.
The diet industry is so successful with this business model, that it’s a $70 billion industry. But if diets truly worked and did what the claims say they should do – claims vs. actual long-term studies and research, because there aren’t any of those, we would need just one. But diets don’t work. So we keep chasing them. We keep going back over and over, buying more and more products, plans, and strategies hoping the next one will work for us. We end up feeling terrible (emotionally + physically) and they end up rich off our insecurities and neverending quest for a more culturally ideal body.
I was in this cycle for so long! I was constantly hungry with cravings for sweet and carby foods, tired all the time, I would think, stress and obsess about food all the time – what I was going to eat, how many calories or fat it had in it, or if I was going out to eat how the heck was I going to stay strong around all that temptation?! Basically, all of my mental space was taken up my stress around food and my body.
I also noticed when I veered off even a little bit from my super restrictive food rules I saw a change in the number on the scale and would ALWAYS blame myself.
“Oh, it’s that I caved and ate all those cookies” or “I should have pushed myself harder at the gym last week” Each time I ate something I didn’t think I should or missed a workout, it was a blow to my self-esteem and self-worth. I was ashamed of my weakness and disgusted with my body.
But that shouldn’t be the case.
What was happening was my body was it was trying to tell me through those symptoms that something was wrong. Our body can’t talk to us, so it needs to show us when something is up through symptoms like those.
When we try to force our weight below our natural weight set point, like I was doing by skipping meals, cutting entire food groups like fat, overexercising, and taking crazy amounts of diet pills, major alarms sound off in the body.
Our bodies are carefully designed to protect us against weight manipulation, and trigger a whole series of survival mechanisms to fire when they sense a shift in its natural balance and homeostasis.
When our weight is artificially forced below its natural point, it slows our metabolism, increases our appetite, and increases our fat storage. It just wants to get you back to that natural point.
That’s why it’s important to work WITH our body to have it guide us to where we’re supposed to be so it’s easy to maintain.
There are 2 quotes I love that speak directly to this: “Your body isn’t meant to be at a weight it can only sustain through restriction” by Christy Harrison, and “If your body was meant to weigh less, it should not require drugs, supplements, extreme workouts, or intense self-monitoring to get there” by Rebecca Scritchfield.
I know our society likes to tell us that weighing less means being healthier and that skinnier means better…but those blanket statements are not true. Your healthy size will never require you to do unhealthy things to maintain it, and your worth is never reflected by your weight.
Diet culture doesn’t want us to know that the majority of diets fail, and that our weight is largely determined by genetics. They want us to believe we’re 100% responsible for our weight and it’s our fault if it isn’t where we want it to be.
Time to call BS to that!!
Check out the video version (not the best quality but the audio is pretty good if you even just want to listen as you drive like a podcast!)
~:30 How Me & Ren Met/About Me
~6:00 1st Diet Myth That Drives Me CRAZY
~10:00 Natural Weight Set Point
~13:00 How Our Biological Survival Mechanisms Factor In
~15:00 Not Becoming a Diet Statistic
~17:00 2nd Diet Myth That Drives Me CRAZY
~22:00 Natural Hunger, Signals, & Cravings
~26:00 How to be Sustainable with Healthy Habits