Ditching the Diet Mentality: Nourishing Your Soul's HungerJul 07, 2023
At some point, we must pause and ask ourselves a fundamental question:
"What am I truly longing for?"
Frequently, we turn to food as a solution for various issues, be it anxiety, navigating challenging relationships, and more. The journey toward genuine healing starts with delving into our true desires and mastering the art of confronting uncomfortable emotions without resorting to food as a coping mechanism.
Listening to the hunger of your soul involves taking a moment to heed the inner call for a more authentic existence. Beneath the layers of your emotions lie sacred messages that can guide you toward the highest expression of your being—all you need to do is listen.
If you find yourself using food to satisfy emotional or mental cravings while neglecting your soul's needs, you'll likely never achieve true contentment. To break free from the cycle of negative food habits and body-image concerns, you must address all your needs, desires, values, and goals and determine how to pursue them.
As a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Food & Body-Image Coach, a significant aspect of my work involves assisting women in clarifying their objectives and identifying any obstacles in their path. I do this because I understand the stress of dieting and obsessive calorie counting firsthand.
However, the ultimate decision lies with you:
Will you embark on a journey of self-acceptance and courageous self-love, or will you tread the familiar, gloomy path of diets, food restrictions, and ignoring your soul's cries?
When you examine the research, you'll discover that over 95% of all diets fail. In my years of dieting, all I experienced was anxiety, depression, stomach discomfort, mood swings, and superficial relationships.
So, if you're torn between a life of dieting and measuring your self-worth or a life rooted in self-love and body acceptance, I urge you to be honest with yourself. Is dieting genuinely making you happy? Are you open to trying something different, something that actually works?
I understand how daunting it can be to let go of food rules, detox regimes, and extreme workouts. It's only frightening because it's unfamiliar. And if it remains unfamiliar, you may want to seek more support and consider working with a trained professional who can help you shift your perspective.
I can guarantee that once you commit to this new way of living, eating, thinking, and self-caring, there will be no turning back!
If you make that commitment:
Will you feel scared and uncertain at times? YES. Will you experience good and bad days? YES. Will allowing yourself to eat without restrictions feel strange initially? YES. Will you feel liberated? YES. Will your efforts be worthwhile? ABSOLUTELY!
Transitioning from a diet-focused mindset to a mindfulness-based approach will enable you to savor the foods you love while reconnecting with your body's intuition. If you're ready to embrace self-acceptance and self-compassion rather than dieting and body criticism, here are some tips to get you started:
- Practice mindful eating by savoring the colors, textures, and flavors of your food.
- Release unrealistic body expectations one step at a time and seek support.
- Shift your self-talk to be as kind as you would be to a friend.
- Define your own version of a healthy body and relationship with food.
Next time you feel emotional discomfort, ask yourself, 'What am I truly longing for?' What can address my feelings or fulfill my deeper needs right now?' Exploring your true hunger will help you cultivate a healthier relationship with food and your body, ultimately leading to a more meaningful and fulfilling life. When you are genuinely committed and ready to put in the work, this approach will never disappoint.