One of the things we work on in the food module of Beautiful Swans is getting rid of the ‘diet baggage’ that you’re carrying. If you’ve never heard that term before, (I may have made it up – it didn’t appear in a google search 😉 ), I use it to mean beliefs and behaviours that you haven’t shifted even though you’ve stopped dieting. And you know, some of them are pretty weird!
When you finally realise the damage that diets do to your psyche as well as your physical body, ‘stopping dieting’ seems easy to do but for many of us, the diet mentality is so deeply ingrained that some behaviours and actions are so normalised, we don’t realise the harm that we are still doing to ourselves.
One of the things we focus on in the Beautiful Swans method is listening to your body and using your intuition to know what and how you need to eat. But that is easier said than done. So, what might suggest that you’re still carrying diet baggage? Have a little look at the list below and see how many you’re still doing.
- Overeating on some foods, because they’re ‘healthy’ and you ‘might be hungry later’.
- Worrying what other people might think of your food choices
- Weighing yourself
- Still thinking of foods in terms of calorific value, points value or syn value
- Working out how much extra food you can have if you have exercised OR how much exercise you need to do if you eat that food (Sidenote: this is often a behaviour associated with eating disorders but 2 of the big UK slimming companies have, in the past, allowed extra food if a certain amount of exercise has been completed in a day. )
- Labelling food bad or good – especially in relation to high calorie / points / syns in a previously followed diet
- Talking about being ‘naughty’ or feeling guilty when you eat certain foods
- Creating ‘healthy’ versions of ‘bad’ foods with low fat / diet versions of other foods.
- Still swinging between ‘being healthy / good’ and ‘fuck-it’ eating
- Choosing the ‘healthiest’ meal option on a menu rather than what you ACTUALLY want to eat
- Snacking on the food you think is healthiest and not the food you want or that will actually fill you up.
In fact if you’re still labelling foods as healthy, naughty, good or bad then you are still carrying diet baggage. If you’re still worrying about the least fattening option or whether you’re allowed to eat something, you’re carrying diet baggage.
It’s time to put the bag DOWN. Right there, on the floor and leave it there. It’s time to start enjoying food again. It’s time to start listening to what your body wants, not overriding it with binges, not using it to fill the emotional void or abusing it with food but to listen to it, take care of it and stop punishing it.
If these are ringing a bell with you then you might find this gift useful. Bust the Binge is a 5 minute intervention when you feel like your relationship with food is spiralling out of control. It’s a gift for you.