I want to tell you why every diet you’ve tried has failed you, but first, it’s important for you to understand how I came to be aware of the facts I’m going to be telling you. You, see, it’s not as simple as merely learning the science of things. It’s the context to how that science applies to real life that matters.

My Story

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 19 years old and my first year of college hadn’t been good to me… or maybe I wasn’t good to it, but that doesn’t matter.  Either way, I had woken up with 20 extra pounds keeping me cozy like a Northface jacket. I remember it as having happened overnight, but the truth is I hadn’t been taking care of myself for over 6 months. That was also the day I started to try to lose weight. I’d never dieted before that day despite years of eating mainly junk food, secret food binges and massive lack of self esteem.  

For the next 7 years I would struggle with my weight. Losing, then gaining it back only to lose it again and then gaining that right back again. Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Right Size Smoothies and then weight watchers again. Within that 7 years I also got pregnant… and yikes! I woke up the day we were leaving the hospital with our cute little baby, stepped on the hospital scale and hit rock bottom… 208 pounds. That’s when things really got serious. I cut out all sweets/ baked goods and only “ate clean.” Then I went so far as to cut each of my meals in half and eat them 3 hours apart.  I joined a gym 3 years later and started trying to “eat like the bikini models.” From there it turned into two- a- days during the summers with fasted cardio in the am and weights and interval training in the pm. Then I found CrossFit… and it was magical because they told me I could eat more food! I got taught all about the Zone Diet and Paleo.

So it was great because I was eating about 1400 calories a day instead of 1200. But I drank the Kool- Aide so to speak. From there my perception was that in order to get the body I wanted I had to train more and train harder because in my mind my diet was good. If I already had a good diet it had to be more training that I needed. That was the start of 5 years that would change everything for me. I spent the first 3 of the last five years training… A LOT…and eating very little. After all this time I finally realized I needed a coach. I needed a resource outside myself who could help me weed through the crap, help me understand the right way to fuel my life and training and help me get to where I wanted to go.

It was going REALLY well. Performance was increasing, weight was coming down and I was feeling like Superwoman. Little did I know that I was about 1 straw away from breaking the camel’s back. That straw came from massively increased stress, being a people pleaser and trying to be everything to everyone between September 2017 and February 2018. My body had finally had enough and with a giant slap in the face everything went south. Without changing a single thing, I got injured… again…I gained almost 10 pounds in 3 weeks and sleep became almost impossible.

That’s when, together, my coach and I went looking for answers. Since February 2018 we’ve been consulting with a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist to assist us in getting different tests, supplement protocols and nutritional strategies in place to help me heal my body naturally. That has also meant that my training has had to change massively as well, which has been really frustrating at times. It’s been a long and difficult road so far, but over the last two years I’ve learned what I should have been doing all along. Obviously it doesn’t help me now, but it has become my mission to make sure no one else has to suffer the same fate. It is my job to teach others that there is a better way. That treating your body like a trash can isn’t the way to get the body you want.

Why diets don’t work

At one point in time we’ve ALL tried to diet. All of us at one time or another have woken up that Monday morning and turned our world upside down in order to lose weight. Remember… “The diet starts Monday!”

Well, the problem is that every one of us has experienced multiple “The diet starts Monday” moments over the years. Every few months you hopped on the newest, latest and greatest weight loss tactic only to give up or fall off after a few weeks because, either life got in the way, or a social situation came up that didn’t align, or whatever else happened.

Where we all went wrong

There are several reasons why the diets you’ve tried have fail you. The first of which being that we are using the word DIET incorrectly. The original definition of the word Diet is “The kinds of food that a person, animal or community habitually eats.” That’s the perfect definition, but we as a culture have created a secondary definition for the word Diet. As a noun: “A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons” and as a verb: “restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.”  

Hmmmmmm. I wonder if that’s why I struggled for so long, and why you’ve been struggling too???? OF COURSE IT IS! Because for so long it’s been about restriction and deprivation instead of balance and moderation.

Wonder why there are foods that you literally can’t keep in your house because if they show up you’re eating them like they’re the last foods on Earth? It’s probably because somewhere along the way you heard someone say that food was “bad”  or “unhealthy” and the control was then shifted to the food and away from you. You gave the food the power.

Or maybe one day you were flustered, upset, sad, angry about something and you didn’t know how to release that energy properly so you grabbed some ice cream, chips, or candy as a release and felt a little better afterwards. You gave the food the power instead of finding a physical release for your emotion.

Well I’m here to tell you to stop giving the power away! Food doesn’t have power, it is merely the gasoline for your machine. You need food to wake up, get dressed, move throughout your day, run your brain, exercise and play with your kiddos. You don’t “need” the food to make you happy, cheer you up, calm you down, reward you after a hard workout, reward you for making it through a hard day or anything else. You need food to live.

You see this is the fundamental reason why “diets” don’t work. They don’t work because they tell you it’s not ok to eat certain foods. This creates a sense of failure when you do eat those foods.  They don’t work because they lead you to believe you can undo years of unhealthy habits in a short period of time. You didn’t gain weight or become unhealthy overnight, so it is highly unlikely that in the course of one 30 day period you will undo all of that. It’s the first 30 days that set you up with the foundation you need to begin your journey towards a better relationship with food , a better understanding of how to eat in a balanced, healthy way, a better knowledge base to help you understand how to navigate life in an overall healthy way.

Shift your mindset- Those 30 days are your FIRST 30 days.

 

Photo by Jamie Matociños on Unsplash