A common question I get as a Registered Dietitian is “how do I eat like a normal person?” So many women in bigger bodies want to find peace with food. They’ve tried every diet under the sun. Nothing works and they feel exhausted. If diets haven’t worked for you, too, you aren’t alone.
At this point, repeating the same old tricks of putting “bad” foods off limits, counting calories, and out-right starving yourself (ahem, looking at you, intermittent fasting) will not work. If you want to get out of this chronic on-again, off-again dieting mess diet culture put you in, you need a mindset overhaul in an entirely new direction. This post will tell you the process you need to unlearn diet culture by cultivating a whole new mindset in 3 simple steps.
step one: imagine your life without food guilt
Now that I have you here, I need to tell you something important: you gotta stop asking “how do I eat like a normal person?”
Asking yourself this question keeps you stuck by implying something is wrong with YOU, instead of dismantling the diet culture that got you questioning your body in the first place. Y’know, the culture that celebrates thin bodies above all? The one that taught you it was normal to battle chronic, judgmental self-talk and left you feeling guilty and fearful around food? That one.
You have ability within you to listen and trust your body, if only you can connect to it. Perpetuating food guilt requires precious energy you’ll need to learn to just that. Instead of beating yourself up, my coaching programs help you create a sense of trust with your body. The process starts by answering questions like these:
- what does your ideal relationship with food look like? describe it in detail.
- what are your top 3 values in life?
- why do you want food freedom?
- what experiences make you feel most alive?
By solidifying a clear vision and purpose for your food freedom journey, you can effectively taking steps to reach your goals from a place of safety and hope. The positive emotional experience you create by intentionally imagining your life without food guilt lets you start your journey feeling inspired and free.
step two: set achievable goals
Using your vision from step one, you’re ready to set S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely) goals to get started. When goal setting, I spend most of my time helping clients with the “achievable” part of this acronym. It is important to set goals that are small enough to achieve, but not so small you don’t feel challenged in the process.
As a coach, I help clients move way from binge and emotional eating in just 3 months. This incredibly hard to do on your own if you don’t understand how to create, and advance, your goals in a sequenced way that supports lasting change.
Further, if you are someone who struggles with ADHD, perfectionism, and/or anxiety – sticking with goals can feel challenging without some degree of support to focus on taking things one step at a time. Because these conditions impact your ability to focus, lack of progress can lead to a pattern of beating yourself up, or worse, never get started in the first place because you are so afraid of failure.
If you experience these common roadblocks to goal setting – investing in a coaching program familiar with uprooting diet mindset for women in bigger bodies will be an important tool to help you navigate the goal setting process so that it is more effective for you.
step three: learn intuitive eating skills
Many clients understand what they want out their relationship with food, they just don’t know how to get there. If you feel the same way, it is time to expand your toolkit by learning intuitive eating skills. At quick glance, there are 10 principles for you to master outlined by Registered Dietitians and co-authors Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch:
1. Reject the Diet Mentality
2. Honor Your Hunger
3. Make Peace with Food
4. Challenge the Food Police
5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
6. Feel Your Fullness
7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness
8. Respect Your Body
9. Movement—Feel the Difference
10. Honor Your Health—Gentle Nutrition
In my coaching programs, I walk clients through these principles step-by-step so they can select the right skill at the right time to meet their specific goals without wasting any more time. Take a look at the list above, which principe do you want to focus on right now? Use coaching tools like my free 3 step guide to eat without guilt to set goals and get started.
This post includes a few of the many skills I offer through my No Guilt Framework. Each individual will find different skills helpful at different times, and this post is just the start.
I offer group and private coaching programs that help you create a plan and practice these skills with the focus and consistency you need to FINALLY be okay with your body. Apply for coaching and I’ll meet with you to describe how you can go from feeling completely stuck in the diet cycle to feeling free and peaceful around food in 3 months, just like my clients do.