It's Monday the biggest diet day of the week.

It’s impossible for me to stress or feel anything other than JOY while in nature, especially when at the BEACH in my favorite yoga pose!

It’s impossible for me to stress or feel anything other than JOY while in nature, especially when at the BEACH in my favorite yoga pose!

JOY /joi/

noun: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness

Why do some people always seem to be in state of inner joy + high vibe living while others constantly struggle w disappointment after disappointment?

I mean, weve all been on both sides, right? But how do we find more legit joy? Now I’m not talking about the Tony Robbins fake it till you make it kinda joy. I mean real deal IN YOUR HEART AND BODY JOY!

I can tell you what is the opposite of joy…..going on a diet.

It’s Monday… the dreaded day most people start their diet. Yeah I just used dreaded day and diet in a sentence with less than 8 words.

Did you know that 45M, that’s 45 MILLION Americans go on a diet every year according to the Washington Post 2018 stats. Yikes. Let’s break down the math shall we? If there are 52 weeks in a year then there is approximately 52 Monday’s a year. Fair enough?

That means that today, it’s possible that over 865,000 people started a diet today. Ugh!

ZERO joy.

This past weekend we drove down to St Augustine Beach to surprise my mother-in-law for her birthday(!) and if I think back to what I ate, I mean enjoyed mindfully without an ounce of guilt: homemade key lime pie (with real cream cheese and condensed milk), a million corn chips with salsa, brownie bites and chocolate chip meringues from Star Provisions, French fries, peanut butter and chocolate chip muffin those choices would have caused me to feel enormous food guilt and I’d be on the Monday “back to clean eating” diet bandwagon like the other 845,000 Americans who are dieting today. Right now.

I know what it feels like to jump from diet to trendy diet. I went DEEP down the clean eating rabbit hole on the path to optimal health. I had good intentions, really good one. But in the long run it caused serious food fear. I would only eat organic and “clean” foods. And if you can believe this I TOTALLY AVOIDED sugar for 3 years. Pyscho, right? I know. I was soooo into the detox thing. Part of my journey that I share with clients because there is no judgment or shame in my food game.

I went from one end of the food spectrum, totally out of control eating whatever I wanted, to the other side of extreme clean eating. If eating were a sport, I would’ve been a strong contender for first place. In my defense, I felt amazing the majority of the time. I don’t know if I can adequately explain it, but it was like I was putting the diet puzzle pieces together for ME and my body. And the biggest take away for my body walking away from my diet days eating a TON of plants after I discovered how badly my body needed high fiber veggies and fruits. Everything just works better when I eat a ton of plant-fiber. Not the crap from a bottle or container, no my discerning GI system wants the real-deal plant fiber. So I roll with it.

In general, dieting wasn’t sustainable because my food choices were so restrictive. Socializing, dining out and family events caused food anxiety. Traveling? That was a logistical nutrition nightmare. If I left the country my carry-on would be filled with the approved food I could eat. In a nutshell, my eating beliefs and behaviors had become unsustainable.

Colorful Ahi tuna poke bowl at  Sunset Grille  celebrating Linda’s birthday! Diet culture said “order the salad” but when I looked at the menu I was in the mood for the Poke bowl! I substituted the white rice for black beans since I don’t like the taste of white rice unless it is in sushi and it zaps my energy if I eat too much.

Colorful Ahi tuna poke bowl at Sunset Grille celebrating Linda’s birthday! Diet culture said “order the salad” but when I looked at the menu I was in the mood for the Poke bowl! I substituted the white rice for black beans since I don’t like the taste of white rice unless it is in sushi and it zaps my energy if I eat too much.

For the first year or so, eating this way DID really felt like it could be sustainable. But looking back now I would do exceptional on a detox then re-tox like a junkie. And that behavior could only be solved by doing another detox, right? So essentially I was caught up in an abusive restrictive/overeating cycle that I didn't know how to get out of. There was no peaceful middle ground. I was afraid of eating “bad” food but my behaviors were setting me up to crave it.

The crazy thing is, when you are neck deep in these type of eating patterns, you don’t have the ability to recognize how toxic it is because you truly believe that you are taking better care of your body than 95% of the population. You do what Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex does. You’re strict with your food choices during the week and then let your guard down on the weekends. Sound familiar?

Which is great until it’s not because the weekends eventually become totally destructive and Monday’s can feel like punishment. Complete judgment day.

And don’t forget the about the dialog in your head that can get so incredibly abusive. And shaming. And toxic. Rebecca George (#meangirls) language. Your only recourse is to “get back on track” on Monday in an effort to wipe the slate clean. Eventually food rules and the restrictive/overeating pattern become so unsustainable that eventually you wake up and realize there has to be a better way to exist. You can’t imagine another month, year, decade of this type of behavior.

For the chronic dieter, hitting repeat on this pattern over and over disconnects from your innate belly wisdom that cues you what, when, how, and how much to eat. You have an intelligence system in your body that is beyond measure. No diet or meal plan can do what your innate wisdom can. The best way to reconnect to that internal food guidance system is through mindful + intuitive eating.

Remember you WERE connected to it and can reconnect to it again to discover true food peace.

In fact, that is one of the reasons I created my 30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge. To reconnect you to your belly wisdom while reframing your beliefs about and around food. 

Piccolo Latte with coconut milk at the  Kookaburra Coffee Shop  in St Augustine Beach… they are serious about their coffee and serve with sparkling water to cleanse the palate!

Piccolo Latte with coconut milk at the Kookaburra Coffee Shop in St Augustine Beach… they are serious about their coffee and serve with sparkling water to cleanse the palate!

Now we know dieting can set you up for disordered eating behaviors and a very disordered relationship with food. Had I known that back in high school when I had this misconception that I needed to diet, I would have never EVER dieted. According to Jennifer Harringer Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Pepperdine University who studies the development of weight stigma and disordered eating in children and adolescents, noted “there is strong evidence that dieting at any age, especially in early childhood, can increase the risk of anorexia, bulimia and bing eating later on.”

In fact, over the last 60 years numerous studies have shown that among people who lose weight, more than 90% of them gain it back over the long run. That being said, because the proven way to delete diet/wellness culture beliefs, behaviors, patterns, and thoughts is mindful and intuitive eating - I would propose that people who lost weight and gained it back would significantly decrease if they did it utilizing more mindful and intuitive eating skills.

Wanting to lose weight is NOT a bad thing, it’s the way in which you go about it. NO different than wanting to make money. You can work and hustle hard, or rob a bank. There are risks and rewards for each choice but one is more sustainable than the other.

If you are ready to up level your relationship w food, let me help you reconnect to your internal wisdom so you can learn how to nourish + energize your body based on what feels good for YOU! You cant delete food fear with more diet behaviors or following diet plans. It only causes more confusion. 

If you want to end your food confusion, food fear, + body struggle, why not fast track your progress? You have to dig deep & ask yourself if you are ready (I mean really ready) because my program is NOT for everyone. It’s for the peeps who are tired of FOOD taking up so much mental space and negatively impacting their relationship with their body. They are really ready to go and live their best life instead of wasting so much time thinking or obsessing about food all the time.

Been there. Let me help you get a jumpstart on cultivating mindful + intuitive eating skills to reconnect to your inner wisdom during the 30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge (we start next MONDAY!)

Honestly, I was NOT at the level of health I am today. I had to take small steps with some big ones. I had to be open to look at my current eating behaviors without judgment (that was a challenge), undo the unconscious eating patterns I struggled with and then reframe my beliefs around food. It took time, but I always know I can go back to intentional restrictive or overeating patterns or any other diet behavior at any time I want. No way. I love myself too much!

Mindfully yours,

Jennifer

HERE’S WHO THIS PROGRAM IS NOT FOR:

If you have never dieted, never struggled with diet culture {aka “wellness” culture}, have a great relationship with food and your body, you eat because you are hungry and stop when you are content - then this program isn’t for you.