7 Peace-Making Spring Cleaning Tips

With the arrival of spring, you may have the urge to do a little spring cleaning.

If one of your desires is to make peace with food and your body, here are seven spring cleaning tips that will help you on your journey.

  1. Toss out your dieting books. Beyond books on popular diet programs, like Paleo, Keto and Whole30, this includes any books on clean eating, detoxing, cleansing, eliminating, fasting, etc.
  2. Unsubscribe from magazines and newsletters and delete bookmarks for websites and blogs that feature weight-loss and dieting articles and promote the thin ideal.
  3. Unfollow, unlike or hide any social media pages and feeds that focus on the thin ideal, thinspiration, fitspiration, weight loss, diet culture, before-and-after stories, etc.
  4. Throw away your scale. It’s time to stop playing the numbers game and letting a piece of junk dictate how you feel about and treat yourself. It's time to take back your power.
  5. Remove any calorie/gram/point-counting apps from your phone and other devices.
  6. Donate your clothes that don’t fit well or make you feel fabulous.
  7. Ditch any weight-loss supplements, pills, powders and potions.

While these actions can feel a little daunting and scary at first, when my clients follow through with even just a few of them, they feel liberated, empowered and energized far more than they ever imagined. I bet the same will be true for you, too.

It's Not Your Fault

Over the years, I’ve heard many similar versions of the following story.

“I’ve tried every diet under the sun. Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, Whole 30, Paleo, Keto—you name it. And I’ve failed at every single one.

I’ll be good for a few days or weeks, sometimes months, and then I rebel or something happens and I can’t stick with it anymore. I fall off the wagon, eat whatever I’m not supposed to be eating, regain the weight I lost, often more, and feel guilty, ashamed, angry and disappointed.

I simply don’t have enough willpower and self-discipline. I can’t control myself. I need to try harder.”

Misdirected Blame
When we can’t adhere to a diet plan, we often go into self-blame and shame.

Rarely, do we blame the plan.

We don’t stop to consider that perhaps the plan has failed us.

We don’t point at the plan and ask: Is this flexible enough for my life? Does it honor my needs and preferences? Is it practical? Is it sustainable? Is it satisfying? Is it pleasurable? Is it kind?

Instead, we blame ourselves then go look for a new diet to feel better, to feel in control, to regain a sense of hope. It’s totally understandable. Diet culture has conditioned us to think and act this way.

In fact, the only winner in this vicious cycle is the $66 billion diet industry—an industry that has a 95 percent failure rate yet thrives on repeat customers.

The inability to stick with a diet is not your fault. Diets aren’t designed for long-term success.

Reclaim Your Power
The good news is, you can reclaim your power. You can exit the dieting cycle at any moment and return to the intuitive eater you came into this world as.

You can relearn how to listen to your innate body wisdom and trust it to guide you toward the most nourishing, pleasurable and sustainable choices for your unique being. 

It’s not a quick fix. It's a pathway to freedom.

The Cinnamon Roll Diet

Years ago, one of my best friends told me a story I’ve never forgotten. She shared how her stepmom would frequently buy one of those giant, gooey cinnamon rolls from T.J. Cinnamons and nibble on it throughout the day. It was her calorie allotment for the day, and thus the only thing she would eat the entire day. 

Once she licked the last bit of cream-cheese icing from her fingers, she’d pull on her leotard and legwarmers and get sweaty doing leg lifts in the living room with Jane Fonda.

This was her weight-management strategy.

Sounds crazy, right?

I bet, however, if you’re anything like her or me, you’ve done some seemingly crazy things to maintain or lose weight.

When we hate what we see in the mirror, many of us will go to extremes to shape-shift our figure, to achieve a perfect body, to change our reflection. 

Although our actions might seem crazy (most often in hindsight), they really aren’t. Creative, yes. Crazy, no. 

Every action we take is to fulfill a need. We are simply acting on our completely normal, fundamental human need to belong. Such behaviors are an attempt to take care of ourselves, to meet our innate desire to fit in, to be loved and accepted. 

Now This Is Crazy
Really, the craziest thing we do has nothing to do with cinnamon roll diets—it’s buying into the cultural messaging that convinces us that when we achieve a flatter stomach or thinner thighs, than we will be worthy, we will be enough, we will acceptable and safe from judgment, criticism and rejection by others—and ourselves.

Unfortunately, as you may know all too well, this belief often leads to years, decades even, of unnecessary struggle, shame, pain, missed opportunities and wasted time.

Insight Plus Action
It took me a long time to release my core belief that my worthiness was connected to the size of my body. By working on my inner world, I unearthed the insight I needed to truly understand what was driving my behaviors at the root level, and then I made a choice to take action on the insight.

I enlisted many teachers and healers to help me on my journey to unconditional self-love and self-acceptance. It was a long, hard climb requiring unwavering commitment and moment-to-moment awareness. I still occasionally hit a bump in the road, but damn, is it ever freeing to put down that 20-ton struggle. 

I don’t have any special powers. If I can do it, so can you. And if you need a hand, just reach for mine anytime.