loosen your grip
So yesterday morning I was reading through my email. I got a promotional email from someone that started out like this:
"There was one undeniable fact that was true no matter where in the world we traveled: No one stressed about food.
I mean, not one of the elders we talked to ever wondered if they were eating too much sugar, too much fat, too many carbs, etc.
No one was on 'a diet.'
In fact, when we brought up such topics we would get a few laughs.
These amazingly healthy people never attached stress, guilt or anxiety to the food they ate. They were simply grateful for every bite.
So why do we attach all these negative emotions to food in most of the industrialized world?
More people than you may realize deal with disordered eating and it's a huge problem. The crazy thing is that we're doing all these diets and we know they don't even work!" (end quote)
The email went on with all kinds of statistics about how dieting simply does not work for weight loss.
And then I expected there to be a message about how we need to let go of diet mentality in our culture. However, guess what happened instead???
The email went on to recommend YET ANOTHER DIET. They claimed that this one was totally scientific and would tell you exactly what you needed to eat to lose weight with only 5 questions! Wow!!!
I couldn't believe it. Here they had spend several paragraphs explaining how in other cultures, they do not stress about their food choices, and they presentsthe answer to our food stress as going on ANOTHER DIET to lose weight!
This email caused me to reflect on another question I have been considering since I heard it on a podcast:
"Would you still eat well and exercise if your body shape never changed?"
All of these diets we go on are ALL about weight loss. For most of us, healthy diet & fitness = weight loss. They are also synonymous terms.
"If I go running today, it'll make up for eating cake last night."
"If I choose the kale salad and drink lots of water, that number on the scale is bound to go down, at least a little."
Most of us have some variation of these thoughts on a regular basis. And then at some point, we think: "This isn't really working. What's the point?" and everything we had committed to do goes out the window. Sound familiar?
So take a second to really consider this question -- if the food I ate and the way I moved my body had no effect on my weight, the shape of my body, or my outward appearance, would I still have the desire to take care of myself?
Is there more to it than weight loss?
I think we all know the "right" answer, but I want to you take just a minute and consider what you really believe deep down.
What if you could loosen your grip on the belief that exercise and eating well is only for how it makes you LOOK and start to open up to the possibility that we make these choices for how they make us FEEL INSIDE of our bodies?
How fundamentally would that change how we operate in the world?