Dump Dieting; Start Living by Helen Hendry

I wonder how long your New Year’s resolutions lasted this year.

If you’ve got willpower of steel, you might just about still be going with them. But according to a GovPoll New Year’s resolutions survey in 2015, 35% of respondents wanted to lose weight, 31% resolved to eat more healthily, and 31% wanted to get fitter. 66% of them had given up these resolutions by the end of January.

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It’s not surprising that as a nation we set ourselves these goals. We are surrounded with messages in the media that we should be and look a certain way, and that if we don’t we’re not acceptable. I’m all for people wanting to make choices in their lives that leave them feeling physically and mentally healthier and happier, but restrictive weight loss diets and unrealistic exercise targets just aren’t the answer; they simply set us up nicely to be a massive failure, and line the pockets of the dieting and fitness industries.

If you’ve got enough willpower, you can keep it going for a few weeks… or even a few months if you’re super strong. But what happens when you come crashing down the other side because you’ve been depriving and restricting yourself and you finally give in to those cravings?

More often than not feelings of guilt, shame and failure. Which usually lead to more bingeing or overeating leaving you heavier than you were before you started the diet.

So, I suppose there are two options.

  1. You can continue in this toxic diet/binge cycle relationship safe in the knowledge that you’ll be on and off diets for the rest of your life. You’ll lose and gain those same 20lbs (and possibly more each time) for as long as you live. You’ll be at the mercy of someone else telling you what and when to eat, and you’ll lose any sense of empowerment over your body.

    If you are one of the very few people that have such tight reign over what you eat, and never fall off the wagon, it’s worth asking yourself what your quality of life is like? (Speaking from personal experience, I was one of them and although I was thin, I was pretty miserable).

    OR

  2. You can dump dieting, and tune in to the deeper desires and needs of your body. You can be the master of your body, and have the freedom to choose what works for you as a unique individual. You can learn to feel safe and relaxed around food, and be liberated from this relationship which has been preventing you from living your life fully. You can form a new relationship with yourself and your body.

If option 1 is your bag, then please be kind to yourself if and when you do slip up and remember that you are NOT a failure. You are a human being wanting what’s best for you in this moment, and it happens.

If you fancy having a go at option 2, come along to Dump Dieting; Start Living – a FREE introductory talk on Monday 1st February at the Albany in Deptford, 7 – 8.30pm. You can learn more about why diets don’t work in the long run, the role that stress plays in our weight struggles and the key to becoming comfortable in your own body. Booking and more information available here.

About Helen Hendry

Helen Hendry is a qualified Psychology of Eating Coach and Personal Trainer. Helen is passionate about supporting people to have a more positive relationship with food and their bodies through personalised movement and eating psychology coaching. For more information, check her website

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