January 31, 2019
Are you done with seeing yourself as a failure?
I 100% am.
So yesterday I wrote a provocative blog post called To the Man in the Van Thank You, all about being shamed on Tuesday night when I was training out on the streets of East London as part of a CrossFit Session.
The response I got was remarkable.
Lots of support and encouragement, but also lots of anger about the issue of being shamed for running in public, lots of…
“yeah this happens to me too”
And as one woman said,
“You are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t”
It got me thinking back to a comment a lady left in a survey I did around this time last year.
I was thinking a lot about failure, in fact I was writing a book proposal for an idea I had, and I was also preparing for my Tedx (on Living a Bigger Life, which you can watch here). I was interested in really getting to the bottom of how soul destroying the dieting world actually is for us women. I was shocked at the stat I came across which stated that
The average women in the UK will spend 31 years of her life on a diet
31 bloody year.
Which in effect means, we never cracked it the first time.
And what is the definition of insanity….doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
It truly is a madness.
We are told by the dieting companies, and health organisations and our mothers and all kinds of other well-meaning folks that diets work…calories in versus calories out, simple right?
Which means the problem must lay with us.
We got it wrong.
But its OK cos we will try again, there is another diet we can try and this time we will be super strict, we will stick to it…we will reach our goal weight.
Anyway, this lady in the survey I ran about a year ago said,
“I’ve got to the point where its less painful to stay as I am, than it is to try again and fail AGAIN”
And that comment hit me like a truck, because it resonated with me so much.
It is exhausting being on a constant diet.
The hope followed by the disappointment followed by the guilt, and then rinse and repeat.
The detrimental effect on my mental health of me dieting is just not worth it to be a size smaller, it just isn’t
Now I know there will be people reading this thinking “Fat is unhealthy” “Obesity is the cause of all those diseases” “Costing the NHS all this money” and you are more than entitled to your opinion.
But for those of us living through this, the pressure to be smaller, the pressure to be a good “Fatty” someone who is at least trying, the pressure to hide away in shame…there has to be another alternative, there has to be.
A few days ago I was asked by someone in an interview basically how come I am still overweight when I do so much exercise, and it is a question I am asked often, and if not asked I am sure people think about it…and I don’t 100% know the honest answer, all I know is
- When I restrict food groups from my diet to lose weight, it causes obsessive behaviors
- When I go for 4 weeks eating a strict calorie controlled diet, no alcohol, heaps of exercise, no eating out….and still don’t lose any weight, I start losing the will to live
- When I get excited about a new approach, the disruption it causes to my life is never worth it and it takes over my life
I don’t want to be thinking about food and exercise 24/7 I want to actually live.
This doesn’t mean I have cupboards full of cake and live on takeouts…anyone who knows me knows that this is not me at all.
My preference is to fuel myself mindfully, to eat an array of different foods, to not let my diet dictate my life…to fuel myself for the intensity of my life, the life that I actually enjoy now.
I hate that when it comes to dieting it is so black or white.
You are either on a diet or off a diet.
Being good or being bad…and even when you are being good, there is always something more you can do right?
What if it didn’t have to be like that?
Imagine a life which doesn’t involve calorie counting, or punishing yourself for having dessert, or a glass or two of wine.
One where self care and eventually self love are at the heart of your health choices, one where joyful movement and creative management of your time give you a much better (and more sustainable) return on investment than signing up YET AGAIN to another diet club
And imagine a world where you didn’t feel so alone, where you didn’t beat yourself up in your own mind, where you were able to share your thoughts and feelings and seek advice and support on improving your health without the fear of judgment?
When I asked the women in my Stop Dieting Start Living programme what they loved most about it, being part of a community of like minded women figured highly.
Its a place to be honest and to be me – No judgement! A place to reflect and feel safe.
Non judgemental support of women who i feel can understand where I’m coming from
Ideas, motivation, focus and support.
Now that January is nearly over, do you really want to spend the rest of the year being on then off then on then off your diet? Surely there is a better way?
Why not try something new, where you literally can not fail?
On Monday 11th February we start another cohort for Stop Dieting, Start Living, and if you sign up before midnight tomorrow you can get a £50 discount, there is even a payment plan making it just £33 per month for 3 months. The programme is for women who want to explore whether giving up the diet mentality could work for them…no pressure. With 6 modules, downloadable worksheets, lots of love and support…plus weekly input from our resident Nutritionist Nikki Haggett…I promise you this programme will change the way you feel about diets FOREVER.