We often want to lose weight, stop binge-eating or follow a particular diet (i.e. gluten-free, Atkins, etc.) for the wrong reasons. The motivating factor usually is to hit a certain number on the scale, look like the latest swimsuit model or join the “in” crowd following the newest diet fad. We don’t want to be judged if we eat a piece of bread from the bread basket. We follow these diets because the pressure from external forces brainwashes us into thinking they’re right and our instincts about WHAT’S RIGHT FOR US are wrong. Hardly ever do we question those beliefs or stray from societal norms because it’s too hard to go against the grain.
It isn’t until we hit a certain weight that’s judged harshly, reach a level of hopelessness or realize that the new fad isn’t working that we start to question if it’s truly right for us.
What would happen if we did question? Have we ever stopped to think that going along with the crowd is harder than being different? If we’re expending so much energy fitting in, we are denying ourselves the energy to follow our instincts and eliminate the suffering that doing something unnatural causes. This suffering creates negative thoughts that morph into branding ourselves not good enough or unworthy only because a particular “norm” isn’t right for us. Wouldn’t it be much easier to search inside ourselves for our truth, follow it and achieve (with little to no effort) a fulfilled life free from the suffering of molding ourselves into something we’re not? I’m not saying wanting to lose weight is bad. I’m saying that the motivation, reasons and ways to achieve weight loss or a normal relationship with food be questioned to achieve the results we want.
How do we determine what’s right for us? If we’ve been trying to lose weight, stop bingeing, yo-yo dieting or whatever, why haven’t we achieved it yet? What has our strategy been? Is our goal weight realistic? Maybe we’re going about it in the wrong way and need to look inward to find what feels more natural. If we’re bingers, lifting the restriction off of food will probably lessen our binges. If we’re emotionally eating, identifying our emotions will allow us to deal with them without food. The most important question is how do we FEEL when we’re following the latest diet craze? For example, does eating a gluten-free diet (if we don’t have gluten sensitivity) feel right for our bodies? Are we losing our hair because we’re missing vital macronutrients due to a weight loss diet? Are we following the diet to the letter and still not losing weight?
The answer to these questions can go one of two ways. One, we find that following the new fad is in keeping with our truth and we see the weight melting off. Two, we discover that following the path that strays from the crowd is the way to a joyful life and optimal health. Whatever the answer, go ahead and become the next swimsuit model or hit that number on the scale, just be sure to question if that’s what you’re really hungry for!