You feel like you have been on the dieting roller coaster, are feeling down because you have broken your new year’s resolution, or maybe you are so confused with all the information that is out there – eat this, no this is better, no try this, there is so much information available now and it is constantly contradicting itself. With the amount of information and the cultural and societal pressures that you are supposed to look a certain way, it takes the joy out of eating, a task we need to do to survive.
I recently heard a webinar from Eric Edmeades. He is a serial entrepreneur who has developed a “diet” program, so that may decrease his credibility in some people’s eyes, but he questioned why we as humans are the only species that “go on a diet”. Most species “have diets,” they don’t diet in the meaning of trying to lose weight. This is a profound thought that many people don’t think about as they yo-yo up and down with their weight, trying to feel better about themselves and fit into cultural and societal expectations.
In our desire to look a certain way, placing our self-worth and self-acceptance on our appearance, we lose our ability to trust our body and the self-love that is vital for us to be a whole being that thrives. In this process, we lose the ability to be in tune with our body as it was designed and allow our body to self-regulate to manage our intake to be a healthy, thriving body – just like all the other species of animals in the animal kingdom.
Most adults have long lost this ability due to the parental, cultural, and societal pressures which were placed on them long ago, when they were babies, toddlers, and young children. When well-meaning parents told their child they were not leaving the table until their plate was clean, or guilted and shamed their child into eating by using the poor children in Africa, or maybe it was the “one more bite,” all of these tactics eroded the child’s ability to self-regulate their intake, eventually placing their child on the dieting rollercoaster as teenagers and adults.
If this is you, it is possible to regain this ability, as well as pass positive eating behaviours on to the next generation. We are social beings and eating is a social activity which should be enjoyed.