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”

Food for Thought: Water Your Dreams with Optimism

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”  – Lao Tzu

So you’ve crystallised your dreams for the coming year and you’ve planted the seeds of your desires in the (hopefully) fertile soil of 2020.

Now take a moment to look inward and tell me – do you expect your dreams ultimately to grow and blossom, or wither and die?

Be honest.

Your answer makes all the difference.

Continue reading “Food for Thought: Water Your Dreams with Optimism”

A New Year’s Day Reminder

If you wrote a New Year’s Day letter to yourself (remember Season’s Greetings: A Letter to You?) here’s a friendly reminder to open it.

Enjoy reading your letter – I hope it brings you comfort, insight and encouragement.

If you haven’t written your letter yet, it’s not too late. Why not take some time to write one now? If you’ve immediately dismissed this suggestion, maybe ask yourself why. What’s holding you back?

Continue reading “A New Year’s Day Reminder”

Welcoming in the New Year

“May light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.
May your hurts turn to healing;
Your heart embrace feeling.
May wounds become wisdom;
Every kindness a prism.
May laughter infect you;
Your passion resurrect you.
May goodness inspire
your deepest desires.
Through all that you reach for,
may your arms never tire.”


― D. Simone

Continue reading “Welcoming in the New Year”

Season’s Greetings: A Letter to You

You’ll notice things are a little different on the blog this month. The usual features are being replaced with a series of festive-themed posts to help you through the holiday season.

And before the festivities really begin to ramp up, why not stop and take a breather?

Think about how the past 12 months have been for you and consider what you want next year.

Continue reading “Season’s Greetings: A Letter to You”