Have you ever thought “Jeez I just wish that someone else would do it for me?”
I sure have. It was in my most desperate times and when I felt most out-of-control. That’s when those kinds of plans are most appealing right? I didn’t care if the food was going to taste like cardboard, I just didn’t want to have to think about it anymore!
When I was in my late teens or maybe in my early 20s, I decided to invest in one of those plans. Even though I was already in a healthy weight range that didn’t stop them from trying to “help” me. But that’s a different rant for another blog.
I signed up, did my weigh in, got my counsellor and bought my food. It was easy at first. It felt really good to “be in control”. I just had to eat what I was given and nothing else.
Until it wasn’t…
This carried on until the day I was invited out for dinner with my family. I wasn’t going to bring my prepared food with me so I ate what I believed was a reasonable amount and carried on with my plan.
When I went for my weigh-in we ended up having a conversation about this dinner. She wanted figure out how I could handle it better next time. She wanted to know why I was embarrassed to bring food and she questioned how important my weight loss really was to me. I left that appointment feeling ashamed and a little angry. How could she question that my weight loss wasn’t important to me?! honestly it felt like it was everything.
And yet, I wasn’t willing to go that far. Have you ever experienced that? Maybe you were asked to weigh and measure everything that you eat and yet at the family dinner you didn’t really want to break out your scales and spoons.
This is one of the dangerous traps of these kinds of plans. What happens is that people stop accepting the dinner invitations. They don’t want to fail. They don’t want to ‘fall off the wagon’ so they isolate. It’s dangerous because even if it does lead to weight loss it’s just not sustainable.
We are social creatures and we gather around food. We always have and we always will. Does that mean that every dinner out should be a thoughtless free-for-all? Of course not. I advocate strongly for eating within your body’s hunger and fullness cues. But the food is also supposed to be satisfying and the emotional needs that are satisfied from the social interactions are just as important as the nutrition provided in the food.
How do we find the middle ground? The reason why I spent my money on that program and why I was drawn to the pre-portioned foods was because I was tired. I was overwhelmed. I was frustrated and I felt like I didn’t have any control. I just didn’t want to have to think about it anymore.
Unfortunately the ‘eat-this-but-not-that’ plan is a temporary solution at best. We all have an inner Rebel who will eventually put up the middle finger and say “Screw it! I’m having the bread or dessert or (insert whatever was on the ‘no’ list)”. And the natural consequence to restriction is over-indulgence. And so the pendulum begins to swing again.
This is why I’ve landed with Intuitive Eating. It’s the middle ground. It’s the ‘pay-attention-but-not-too-much-attention’ plan. It can appeal to the Rebel in you as well as the Nurturer in you that wants you to be healthy and strong.
I’m leading an Intuitive Eating Foundations program in the New Year. I find that incorporating this new approach works best with others and some guidance to understand the nuances of middle ground. Going it alone can easily lead to confusion. If you’d like to be notified when early access is open, please click here.
Above all else, when you find yourself tempted to start another plan, ask yourself this. Can I do this for the rest of my life? Will I actually enjoy doing this forever?
If the answer is no, then your weight loss will be temporary and in all likelihood you’ll gain it all back. I know that sucks but it’s the truth. And aren’t you done with listening to the lies?
Dedicated to helping you find peace and power with your body,