I am so sick and tired of talking with women who just can’t manage to stay on the straight and narrow of clean eating. SO sick of it.
Now, before you get in a huff at my impertinence let me explain.
I don’t mean I’m sick of women telling me about it, I mean I’m sick of the reality. Which is that most nutritional advice out there is completely unrealistic, or overwhelming, or would require the self discipline of a Tibetan monk (not sure why Tibetan in particular).
I know this because I’ve done the diets and the clean eating bootcamps many times over. I’ve done them and I battled through and sometimes I felt great and other times I’ve failed. So overall you could say I failed because the ultimate outcome was always to not just look a certain way but to feel great. For good, not just for a day or a photo shoot or a comp, although that’s cool as well. And feeling great (to me) means eating in a way that I see as sustainable, enjoyable, fun and results based. Yup, the ‘perfect’ diet for me has to have all of those things. One or even 3 just ain’t gonna cut it.
So do you know what? If we’re talking about following a ‘diet’ diet, I’m okay with failing. Do you see me wanting to never again indulge in my chocolate addiction? I think not. At least these days I manage not to quite eat a whole block of chocolate
But this is what really annoys me about it all.
It’s not what your diet says you should or shouldn’t eat, although that may be an issue. It’s the fact that every diet you go on conditions you to think there is an end point. You think “if I can just get through this day, week, 2 weeks, month, if I can just lose x amount or look great for this big event …”
If you can just do that, then what? You could keep eating so virtuously but really deep down you have absolutely no intention of completely and forever giving up your favourite indulgences. Do you? And if you do then you really are a one in one thousand robot. Ad there are such people, maybe one or two of them reading this blog, but probably not you. And I’ll admit it, most definitely not me!
your ‘healthy’ diet sucks big time!
So this is why your diet – no matter how clean or back to basics or pales it may be – sucks.
It sucks because it tells you to eliminate. To sacrifice. It tells you that you can’t, that you shouldn’t, that you are bad, that you have poor willpower. It tries to trick you into thinking that if you could just be stronger of mind or more organised than you’d enter dietary nirvana, a place where you’re happy to eat the same food day in and day out and will always and forever be able to turn your nose up at the food everyone around you is eating.
I mean seriously – is that something you think is EVER going to happen 100%? And do you even want it to?
Dieting will make you CRAZY! (photo by fireyes)
Your diet sucks because it doesn’t work.
It assumes you are not unique, that one size fits all, and I’m even talking about everything I write on nutrition. I rarely lay down rigid diet rules and I teach you how to listen in to your body and what works for you
but you are still the one who has to do the work and learn from experiences. What’s more, your diet teaches you that rules are finite. It fails to address your changing needs over time and that what worked for you before may not work now.
Your diet sucks because you can’t stick to it.
You discipline yourself for a meal, a day, a week maybe even months.
But eventually you crack, whether it’s the after dinner sugar cravings or the 6 week slump. Sooner or later you give in. And you feel like you’ve failed. You are voluntarily engaging in something that makes you feel bad about yourself! Are you crazy? Don’t worry, me too 🙂
Your diet sucks because it is confusing.
It tells you things based on rules not based on your body, your background, your issues with food, your current stress and lifestyle. It adds more overwhelm with its lists of shoulds and musts and it fails to help you see how it can become a way of life. So it just brings you back to the issue of failure and only being something to do until x event or date or kilos lost.
Your diet sucks because the person telling you to do it has their own issues and story.
And that has at least partially influenced what they’re telling you to do. Are you them? No. So why assume that what works for them works for you? You can listen to their ideas and get some kickstart structure from them (perhaps from me!) but you still have to trial it. Nobody’s word is God.
Your diet sucks because it is boring, because it is unchanging and because it makes you scared.
You’re scared of missing a meal or maybe of having one, you’re scared of running out of your supplements for two days or of accidentally eating 5 extra grams of carbs or of misjudging your cheat days or just of choosing the wrong diet! Which brings me to this –
Your diet sucks because you chose it by gambling.
Yes maybe you gambled on referrals and great testimonials and even on some practice of your own with an ounce of knowledge thrown in, but it’s still a gamble. You’re still hoping that it’s going to work; you’re putting your faith in rules rather than in your own ability to test and measure.
so what do you do? how to create a truly healthy diet plan?
This is what you do.
You try your very very hardest not to end up too far down the rabbit hole. You listen to your body. Maybe you use a food journal to do this, but you don’t freak out if you forget to do it for a day.
You acknowledge that your needs can change meal to meal let alone week to week or month to month. You eat whole foods but if you really and truly are longing for some junk then you have it. If it makes you feel like rubbish then you don’t have it again. Simple.
Perhaps you do follow a structure just to get yourself started, something simple and practical that works, like the Woman Incredible Look Great Naked Eating Plan
, but you don’t let fear convince you that such structure is the way it must be forever and ever.
You do NOT obsessively weight things or count calories. You don’t eat something just because you ‘should’. You avoid fear at all costs! You vary things, do the complete opposite now and then. You get rid of guilt. How? Simply by choosing not to play with it.
If you eat a meal out or have a treat you just eat it and enjoy it, you don’t über analyse it.
You don’t push your diet on other people, unless they ask and even then you are gentle about it because they are not you. And only you can learn over time what works for you, and you can use mentors and health experts such as myself for ideas and support and some basic structure to kick you off it at the end of the day like a little duckling you have to swim away on your own and be free.
i’ve had enough of crappy diets making women doubt themselves
I am so sick and third of women telling me guiltily, shamefully of how they’ve failed.
Of how they have no willpower, no discipline.
I am so sick of thinking of all the time I’ve lost going through these same thoughts myself. I am so sick of the fear that surrounds nutrition, the panic that ensues at the idea of eating carbs or fruit, even though yes I generally don’t advocate eating a lot of those things and I think that if you have an issue with not being able to stop then you do need some structure to break the sugar addiction, but I think that even that is still just the beginning.
Sooner or later you haven to be willing to step off the ledge, to eat the bloody banana and trust that the world will not end, to enjoy a massive serve of whatever the heck you like on occasion. To find your own sweet spot where you eat what you’ve learned makes you feel good and you do it out of enjoyment of those foods not out of fear of what you should or should not be doing.
Just eat it! Or don't! Whatever. But either way, love your choice. (photo by mzacha)
I am so sick and tired of women thinking they’ll never win at nutrition. How can you win at a game that is different for everyone; even different for YOU from day to day?
So swim away. Spread your wings. Jump off the ledge. And if you want a piece of fruit that badly eat the damn thing.
You are the rules.
Life is now. Press play.