A couple of weeks ago I wrote about intuitive eating, and in this week's post I'll write about principle number one of intuitive eating, reject the diet mentality and how. Rejecting diet mentality is the first thing you have to do in order to start your intuitive eating journey.
For starters, the "diet mentality" is the concept that you need constantly "watch what you eat" to become healthy, fit, thin, happy, lovable etc. The diet mentality is pervasive to our culture and is usually so ingrained into our thought process, it can sometimes be difficult to spot after years of living by it.
The Intuitive Eating workbook states that “diet’s do not work and they can lead to body dissatisfaction, food and body preoccupation, food cravings, reduced self-esteem, weight stigmatization and discrimination and even a full-blown eating disorder”. This is why it is so important to let go of the diet mentality first. In fact, being on a diet, and intuitive eating, are very different things.
Here are a few ways you can start to reject the diet mentality in your every day life:
Throw out all the diet books and magazines that you have
Unfollow all the diet accounts on social media
Start following non-diet/intuitive eating accounts on social media
Learn how to use self-compassion
Explore your diet history; has dieting worked for you, or what are the negative effects of dieting for you?
Write down the benefits and pros of letting go of dieting
Lastly get rid of your scale by throwing it away or smashing it
Learning to live with more self-compassion for yourself is is going to make your life a lot easier when it comes to eating and dealing with your body image and food. Let’s be real, intuitive eating is hard, but as the Intuitive Eating workbook says “intuitive eating is not a pass or fail process—it's a learning experience”. That is why I call intuitive eating a journey, and it’s so important to let go of the shame and blame when it comes to eating.
Learning to cultivate self-compassion can help you increase your feeling of happiness and it can help you overcome your food guilt, which can help you promote change. If you are interested in learning more about cultivating self-compassion and rejecting the diet mentality than please check out the Intuitive Eating book and workbook by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. Both books can be found on amazon.
If you want to dive deeper into self-compassion then check out this website on self compassion. The self-compassion exercises in The Intuitive Eating workbook are modified from Kristin Neff.
Blair is an eating disorder recovery activist who promotes self-love and self-acceptance. Blair Thompson is currently studying to become a Registered Dietitian who will specialize in eating disorders, intuitive eating and the non-diet approach.She has been in recovery from an eating disorder for +5 years and is a strong believer in speaking and writing about the stigmas around eating disorders.
Read more about Blair on the Blog Squad page.