Dieting is Never the Answer

This is the time of year when most New Year diets have failed.

Yes, The Eating Silly Season is coming to a close. To be fair, Eating Silly Season is now all year long, but in January it’s especially silly as Diet Culture stages its annual Grand Parade of Bullshit and Misinformation.

Look – there’s that “celebrity doctor” shamelessly promoting disordered eating on social media in the name of “science”. There’s that “diet guru” on TV forcing people who are Not Thin to lose weight rapidly with zero regard for their psychological wellbeing.

Then there’s you.

How are you doing with all of this?

January isn’t easy if you struggle with emotion-driven overeating, and lockdown has made it even harder this year.

It feels like there’s no escape from Diet Culture’s toxic messages.

“You have a problem”, says Diet Culture, “and we have the answer”.

Dieting is never the answer.

I conduct a lot of assessments with new clients struggling with eating disorders. If they have a history of dieting, I often ask them two questions: “have your issues with food got worse since you started dieting?” and “has your weight increased since you started dieting?”.

The answer to both questions (which often surprises them) is always “yes”.

Dieting is never the answer.

In my experience of working with clients with overeating issues, those who see improvement in their eating behaviour really understand the damage that dieting has done to them – physically, emotionally and psychologically – and commit to developing a normal relationship with food.

Those that continue to struggle with binge eating hold on to dieting and weight loss as their salvation.

Dieting is never the answer.

I get it, I really do. Once you’ve invested in dieting as the answer to your issues, it’s hard to let go.

Besides, Diet Culture swears it has the structure, control and results you’re looking for.

Except it doesn’t.

You can’t find yourself by following a diet plan.
You can’t resolve binge eating with restriction.
You can’t heal trauma with weight loss.

Dieting is never the answer.

©️ Julie de Rohan 2021.

***

The research on the dangers of dieting doesn’t lie. For the hard data on why dieting doesn’t work, read “A World without Dieting” and follow the links.

To better understand your own experiences of dieting and binge eating, read “What Does Dieting Do to Us?” and “Why Am I Doing This to Myself?”.

To help develop a normal relationship with food, read “How are You Going to Eat for the Rest of Your Life?” and “How Do You Heal Your Relationship with Food?”.

 

Once the Storm is Over

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”– Haruki Murakami

You don’t need me to tell you it’s been a tough year.

It has.

Incredibly tough.

Continue reading “Once the Storm is Over”

What’s the Price of People-pleasing?

A friend phones to ask you for a favour.

You’re already swamped and you don’t have the time or energy to help them out. Plus, this particular friend never seems to return any of the favours you do for them.

They wait expectantly for your answer.

A voice in your head is advising: “don’t agree to this. You have too much on already. Say no”.

Into the phone, you say with a smile:

“Yes, of course, I’ll do it – no problem”.

Why?

Continue reading “What’s the Price of People-pleasing?”

Food for Thought: Our Needs Bear Equal Weight

“The wants, needs, feelings, hours, hopes, and dreams of everyone around you bear equal weight to those of your own. Neither mine nor yours are greater. Ingrain that into your understanding”. ― Richelle E. Goodrich

Can you “ingrain that into your understanding”?

For some it’ll be easy, it’ll already be part of your world view. “Of course my needs are as important as anyone else’s. Why wouldn’t they be?”, you think.

Some behave as though their needs are more important than anyone else’s.

For others, it’ll be tough to believe your wants, needs, feelings, time and aspirations are in any way important, let alone just as important as anyone else’s.

Intellectually, you might know that it must be true.

But you just don’t feel it.

Continue reading “Food for Thought: Our Needs Bear Equal Weight”

What’s in the Way?

Be kind to yourself.

Love yourself.

Be yourself.

How often do we see stuff like this on social media? Perhaps we’ve heard words like these from a well-meaning friend when we’re struggling. Maybe we’ve said them ourselves to try to encourage people we care about.

I know I have.

Yes, we should all be kind to ourselves, love ourselves and be ourselves.

It’s good advice.

It’s great advice.

But for many it’s just not that simple.

Continue reading “What’s in the Way?”

Personal Note: Slowing Down

“Let’s loosen up some time and take a break to recalibrate our life. We need no endless overthinking, though. Let’s just connect the dots, set the scene and steam ahead.” – Erik Pevernagie. 

Apologies for the radio silence, folks, I hope you’re all doing OK. I know it’s been a while since I’ve published a post. September has turned out to be an exceptionally busy month for me, in what has been an extraordinarily busy year.

I make the mistake sometimes of thinking I can do it all. Weirdly, I’m often surprised to find out I can’t. I’d assumed I could keep up with my writing schedule this month as well as everything else but it turns out something had to give, and it was my blog that missed out.

Continue reading “Personal Note: Slowing Down”