Josie has been dieting for more than 20 years.
At the age of 11, she went on her first diet. She’s been riding the dieting roller coaster ever since.
Over the years, she’s tried dozens of plans and programs, some of them multiple times.
She can easily rattle off the number of calories, points and carbs in hundreds of different foods.
Again and again, she’s felt the euphoria that comes with weight loss—and the shame that accompanies rebound weight gain.
When friends, co-workers and celebrities have raved about their new diet, she’s always jumped on board believing “This might finally be the one!”
Lately, however, she just can’t muster up her usual enthusiasm.
She’ll start a new diet then abandon it after a week or two.
Her decades of yo-yo dieting have left her feeling frustrated, exhausted, depressed and hopeless—and like a huge failure.
Josie's ready to throw her hands up in the air.
She's finally hit diet bottom.
Hitting Diet Bottom
Although she’s unhappy with her weight, Josie can’t stand the thought of going on another diet.
She can’t stomach one more Last Supper, one more Monday of starting over, one more list of good and bad foods.
She’s burned out on tracking, counting, measuring and weighing.
She’s sick of letting her bathroom scale dictate her mood, her behavior and how her day unfolds.
So much of her life, she feels, has been wasted obsessing over every bite, feeling guilty about her choices and strategizing how she can make up for her food sins.
Josie’s tired of packing her own food to take to social gatherings and being preoccupied at parties by all the food she’s not allowed to eat but really, really wants.
She’s sad about how many events she’s skipped because she feared falling off the wagon or didn’t like how she looked.
After decades of being told what to eat, Josie doesn’t even know what she likes anymore.
She eats what she thinks she should, which often leaves her feeling unsatisfied and, understandably, scrounging for more food.
Her long list of food rules has sucked all the joy and pleasure out of eating.
The more she deprives herself, the more she finds herself eating in secret and bingeing on all her forbidden foods.
Many foods are banned from her house because she simply doesn’t trust herself with them.
She’s flat out dieted-out.
No matter how tempting the latest new diet may sound, she now knows all too well that it will not improve her relationship with food and her body—it will only make it worse.
Yet, she doesn’t know what to do. For most of her life, all she’s known is dieting.
If any of this sounds familiar, you’ve likely hit diet bottom, too.
Please know, you’re not alone.
I’ve heard hundreds of stories like Josie’s over the years.
And while you might feel like you’re stuck and at a dead end, you’re not.
Rejecting the diet mentality is the first step toward reclaiming your power from our toxic diet culture—an oppressive system that keeps you stuck in a vicious cycle and distracts you from more meaningful, fulfilling life pursuits.
The next step is learning how to listen to and trust your body again so you can eat intuitively—that is, according to your inner cues (e.g., hunger, fullness, pleasure, satisfaction) versus external rules.
By putting the same effort you put into dieting toward getting out of it, you can cultivate a more peaceful, trusting, intuitive and roller coaster-free relationship with food and your body.
As I’ve said before, I don't have any magical powers. Neither do my clients. If we can do it, so can you.