Let's agree to take a gentle, nonjudgmental stance right now. I'm going to ask you to look at something that may be painful. My intent is not to shame you. It is to help build your awareness, and to take steps toward peace.
So here's what I want you to do – write down every diet you've ever been on. It doesn't have to be just commercial diet programs (e.g. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig), but also attempts to cut back on portions or reduce calories.
Now write down all of the "tools" you purchased or used along the way. This includes things like food scales, food journals, books, menu plans, calorie calculators, phone apps, kitchen equipment, special food products, etc.
These tools also include the scale with which you measure not only your body weight but also your self worth.
Let's keep going. Now list all of the exercise equipment you've ever purchased. This would consist of special clothing items, gym memberships, personal trainers, treadmills, bikes, ab rollers, and so on.
Pause. Take a deep breath. Look at your list. Observe your feelings without judgment. There is no shame in any of this. You are not alone.
Contemplate the amount of time, money, and emotional energy you've spent on all of this. Are you pleased with the outcome? (Probably not or you wouldn't have kept buying more stuff). Acknowledge this, accept it. The acknowledgement allows you to make a different choice now.
My recommendation is that you get rid of (donate, throw away, whatever works for you) any of these tools that you aren't using on at least a monthly basis. Be honest with yourself. I don't care how much it cost or if you "might" use it in the future. We are practicing letting go and moving forward.
Don't panic. By letting go of these items you aren't giving up on yourself. In fact, you're believing in yourself. You are symbolically letting go of the diet mentality and the false promises attached to it.
What to do instead with food and exercise? Eat satisfying foods when you are hungry, stop when you are comfortably full. Get movement in throughout the day – stretch, take walk breaks, go outdoors whenever possible. Find ways to play. Your body will appreciate this gentle approach.
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