Over the past 5 years I’ve worked with hundreds of women in classes, on my detox programs, in workshops and in 1-on-1 coaching. Almost all of these women have wanted to improve their relationship with food, with their bodies. They have all wanted to know what is the secret tool that would allow them to look and feel how they wanted.
They’ve wanted to lose weight, to be more toned, to stop overeating, to overcome cravings, and always, the belief has been that when they are able to achieve these goals, they will be happy and their life will be amazing. I’ve definitely felt this way in my life before too.
The other thing that we all have had in common is that we’d tried many different diets- sometimes successfully for a short period of time, but usually a complete failure (us, of course, and never the diet!) and we have remained stuck in the same place, still relying on food to fill the void, still trying to control our feelings around food in any way we can.
So this leaves me to ask: why is it that we so commonly fail at diets, and what makes us turn to food for comfort in the first place?
The thing I’ve noticed is that when we focus on feeding our bodies- but not our souls- then it’s really difficult to break out of emotional eating patterns, to stop feeling guilty around food, and it’s almost impossible to feel happy in our skin.
These issues with food are nothing to do with over-eating due to lack of willpower or making the wrong choices all the time. It goes much, much deeper.
The missing key to successfully navigating food and our diet is often not talked about, it is rarely mentioned in dieting books and it’s simply not factored into how we treat ourselves, so we continue beating ourselves up, thinking that there must be something innately wrong, that we are broken, all because we can’t control our emotions around food.
Honey, I want you to know that you are not broken, and actually, there are some simple, gentle and easy shifts that you can take which will also feel good to do (and which won’t involve you feeling deprived).
Instead of a Band-Aid solution and trying yet another diet, what needs to actually happen is healing. All of our issues around food- the over-eating, the starving, the bingeing, the guilt- there is a root cause for these actions that when healed, can mean living a life where you are slim, confident and where your relationship with food and your body is totally transformed for good.
This healing is not about having more willpower or trying to control your cravings.
It is about fixing the disconnect that exists in our inner world and outer world. The reason that most of us over-eat is because we have an emotional hunger that we need to nourish.
If you’re anything like me, then you have a busy and stressful life. You’re a mum, you’re a wife, you’re a friend, a daughter. Your life is FULL- full with commitments and schedules, and deadlines- yet you feel empty. There is so much pressure- to perform at work, to be a super-mum for our families, to be the sexiest and most supportive wife.
Among all these pressures we spend so much time trying to live up to the expectations that we have lost sight of who we are- our authentic selves. We’ve forgotten who we are deep down.
We have lost our power and have no idea anymore of what we want out of life. Rather than trying to engage in willpower, we need to find our inner power and strength- and let our food choices support who it is we truly want to be in this world.
This requires an element of surrender and letting go. This might be tough for many of us, because we are used to being in control of everything. We have needed to be in control so that we can maintain order in our lives. And when we have order in our lives then it can seem easier to keep on top of our cravings, but this is actually just a lie we tell ourselves.
In reality, this type of control only makes the disconnect and the need for willpower even stronger.
So I ask, what would it take for you to surrender, to let go?
Surrender is so different to what you do when you submit to a diet protocol. When you surrender you have to listen to your own thoughts and inner feelings about what’s needed to nourish your body and soul.
Surrender is about having your own free will, it means having to listen to your needs, what you truly need, and to make changes that are exciting and empowering and alive with possibilities.
I remember when I made the choice to start eating a raw food diet- it was different to following a strict diet protocol. It actually made me feel abundant with the options available to me, it was new and exciting and fun to explore and it also felt good physically when I ate that way.
I had to surrender- not having a diet plan to follow was overwhelming at first, but the more I learned and experimented and played the more enjoyable it became. I was able to tune in to what my body wanted and how my choices would make me feel. Because it was fun and interesting, it made it easy to stick to, AND, I actually got results. Not just in my body, but in my mind.
The healing around my food mindset happened when I felt empowered about my choices without needing self-control.
So the key is to surrender, to listen to what we really need so we can gain the knowledge, insights and experience needed to heal. It is these things that ful-FILL us which nourish our mind, body and soul.