Why the non-diet approach or thoughts on You Becoming the Boss of You

I used to be a big believer in meal plans. Eat this and lose weight. Simple as that. And if (when) you gained the weight back, well, you shouldn’t have stopped eating the same thing over and over and over again.
But over my years of experience I began to wonder, “Is that all there is?” Was I really helping people? That was, after all, the whole reason I became a Registered Dietitian.
Twelve years of being a dietitian began to change my way of thinking. During that time I counseled Soldiers and their families, including being the Dietitian for a Bariatric Program. The people I was counseling were honest and disciplined. Their very livelihood depended on maintaining a certain weight. They couldn’t sustain it. Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians I had worked very closely with were active and ate well and didn’t have a perfect BMI. They had years of schooling and experience and in some ways their livelihood depended on it. They couldn’t even attain or sustain that ideal BMI. Could it be Nutritional Science had been influenced by the diet industry? What was missing?
When you dig into the data the numbers are not pretty. The vast majority of people who lose weight gain it back. Including this new study that made the rounds about the method but totally missed the point that pretty much everyone gains it back. Very often, that slim minority that maintain resort to heroic measures, i.e. recording every single morsel of food consumed. To paraphrase Linda Bacon, PhD there’s a fine line between being a good dieter and an eating disorder.
It’s time. It’s time to stop looking for the next diet or the next magic pill. It’s time to let go of attaining a number on a scale or clothing label. Let go of attaining a thigh gap, eliminating cellulite, getting rid of the baby weight, etc, etc. and focus on health and self-care It’s time to focus on health not weight. It’s time to focus on habits that will build you up, not tear you down. It’s time to learn to take care of you. Let all that stuff go and let you become the Boss of You.

Always, Never, Sometimes

“Stretches every runner should do.” “ Foods you should never eat.”
I think these are called “click bait” which Urban Dictionary defines as;
An eyecatching link on a website which encourages people to read on. It is often paid for by the advertiser (“Paid” click bait) or generates income based on the number of clicks.

What these “stories” have in common is that they are mostly someone’s opinion. Sometimes the opinion is valid, rooted in the scientific method. Sometimes the truth lies somewhere in between. Sometimes they are so nonsensical they defy logic. What these absolutes do have in common is that they are extrinsic. Relying on someone else to tell you how to exercise and what to eat. Again, I look to babies as an example. No one has to tell a baby to move. They know when they need to wiggle! Music comes on they are shaking their little bodies. Likewise they never choose food based on its ORAC count or saturated fat content. They eat what they like and stop when they are full. Have you ever tried to coax a baby to eat just one more bite (a very bad thing but a topic for another day)? She will either clamp down her little jaws so tight you will not get a spoon in. Or, if the child is less opinionated, she may eat the food only to vomit it up a short time later. Over time we learn to override our internal hunger and satiety cues by “finishing our plates” and “waiting until meal times.” But what if we all just “tuned in and tuned out” (to borrow a phrase from my parents generation? We tuned in to what our bodies are telling us and tuned out all the noise that doesn’t help. We’d become the boss of ourselves and give ourselves the permission to eat, love, move and live!

EATING ON THE RUN UNDERMINES MINDFUL EATING

Great big, DUH, right? I like to call it drive-by eating. It may not even be guilt ridden, “wish I hadn’t eaten that…” But it certainly isn’t consistent with mindful eating principles of being in the moment. Mindful eating doesn’t say “don’t ever eat candy.” Instead, it says is “eat your candy – and enjoy it!” Perhaps this drive-by eating is what leads us to over indulge. It takes more and more to satisfy because the act of eating is so unsatisfying. I like to rephrase the popular phrase about a person on his deathbed who wishes he would’ve worked more (instead of spending time with his family). I usually say, who wants to be on her deathbed stoically recounting all the chocolate truffles she resisted. Nonsense, right?
Slow down, breathe in, center yourself, enjoy your food.