How to stop dieting and discover joy in your food!
In Lie #63 I’m joined by author Alexandra MacKillop to discuss the lie that dieting will lead to joy. Alexandra and I talk about how to stop dieting. So often to lose weight, we set food rules and restrictions that lead us to binge eating and self-condemnation. It’s a setup for failure. In her book Fulfilled: Let Go of Shame, Embrace Your Body, and Eat the Food You Love, Alexandra goes into depth about how today’s culture has distorted the way we women view our bodies and in this episode, she’s helping us sort through the confusion of different diets, body checking, and intuitive eating.
Points from today’s conversation:
Everyone has a diet, but dieting is a specific and intentional manipulation of what a person is eating that is based on what the diet is telling them instead of what their bodies are telling them. The goal is typically to lose weight.
We can often be afraid of moving from dieting to intuitive eating because we’re scared of what certain foods will do to our bodies. We put our identity in our bodies and can view who we are as what we look like. Food can change how we perceive ourselves and possibly how others see us, as well as our confidence.
Our bodies should never define our relationships with other people or with God.
There’s a diet out there to demonize every food, so it’s time to eliminate the “bad food” narrative. Zoom out and think about a time in your life where you were eating something “bad”, and everything was fine.
Our relationship with food gets complicated when we combine it with appearance.
“You are what you eat” has become a way of comparison. We assume if we eat the same diet as someone else, our body will also look like theirs. That’s unattainable and sets you up for failure and shame. The things we eat don’t directly affect the size and shape of our bodies, that’s genetics.
“We can’t control what our bodies look like, but when we base our identity in Christ we don’t have to live up to a standard; the standard has been set, making us free from trying to earn approval.”
If you want to start intuitive eating, make the decision that it’s going to be worth it to you and sacrifice your image of the perfect body shape and size. Take an honest look at the condition of your situation and plan to systematically oppose all the food lies in your head.
We experience a restriction/binge cycle because our bodies are wired to crave what they need to survive. It becomes a mental struggle because restricting something makes you desire it. When you break free from resisting, you spiral and lose control which leads to binging.
How to stop dieting and discover joy, stop making food our idol.
You can start to break food rules by picking 1 or 2 foods you crave and eating them regularly until you don’t want them anymore. It’s not the food that has the power, it’s the fear of what the food will do to our appearance.
Good news – sugar addiction is not a thing. It’s bad science.
Body checking is a group of behaviors that we engage in when we’re insecure that come from a place of fear and shame. Doing it regularly reinforces that the minutia of how we look is super important. It’s unhelpful. Make a plan to limit your body checking tendencies.
Your body is good; it’s not your enemy. It’s a gift.
“How can you live today so that by the end of your life you can look back and say that was a fulfilling life?”
Other episodes you may enjoy 3 Lies The Fitness Industry Tells You with Amy Connell and 3 Lies Keeping You From Being Healthy
Alexandra MacKillop is a functional medicine doctor, food scientist, and intuitive eater. On her blog, she combines her healthcare knowledge and personal experience, writing about nutrition and women’s health from a holistic perspective. Alexandra’s goal is to help you take the best possible care of yourself so you can live a vibrant, fulfilling life.
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