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I’m well into teaching my first group of ‘not another diet’ members, and it’s a fascinating experience. It’s of course, incredibly rewarding to be of genuine help to people as they work on changing their lives.
A benefit to me is the thinking teaching sparks. It’s a real feedback loop. I have to work hard to connect things that seem unrelated but are critical to achieving and keeping a healthy weight.
One is the widely misunderstood idea of self-care.
It’s been sold to us as an indulgence, something to buy, a treat outside the confines of your obligations. …
First of all, you are the product of evolution, not your own wishes.
Secondly, these foods you have a love/hate relationship with are designed to short-circuit your hunger. They create the kind of internal chaos evolution has no defense for.
There isn’t a way, short of a lobotomy to create a scenario where this food is in your line of sight and you won’t want it. I’m not saying there is zero agency in a decision to eat a donut, but nowhere as much as you think. …
Most popularly marketed ‘health’ products are disordered eating you have the privilege of paying for.
I don’t diet. Not ever. But, I do speak to people who do or are always trying to get their eating under control. More than the particulars of any one situation, what I invariably notice is a disordered approach to food.
Broadly, it’s toggling between cycles of eating too little and eating too much. It can show up like this:
Don’t worry, I’m not advocating anti-expertise nonsense. It’s more a matter of bringing in help sequentially and as-needed.
There’s an excellent reason why going directly to either for weight loss probably won’t work: their focus is narrow to their professions and therefore, their advice will be as well.
In simple terms: when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Or, the information can be stellar, but there is little congruity to your actual life and therefore, like all the good information you’ve read before, it doesn’t stick.
I learned this 12 years ago when I hired a nice and knowledgeable personal trainer as part of my own efforts to lose weight. I faithfully showed up for all six of my sessions to ‘work out’. The problem was that I didn’t particularly enjoy the gym, and more importantly, I hadn’t figure out what joyful movement meant to me or how I might make that a practice. …
There were the endless streams of effortless diets (that left me bewildered about what to eat), weight-loss clothing (yes, I did that), equipment that was so excellent I’d absolutely never put it down (I put it down), calorie-counting apps (I resented almost immediately), and fitness memberships I’d be thrilled to keep using (I faded like a bad date).
Every new approach felt like I had to become this other version of myself to lose weight. Each time, I jumped in with gusto because I genuinely wanted something to work.
Inevitably, it didn’t. I couldn’t stick with it because it was unpleasant, painful, or strange (now I clearly understand why). …
I’m never tempted by diets, even when the scale nudges up a bit. I know with absolute certainty dieting isn’t how lasting weight loss happens.
What diets complicate: eating healthfully.
What’s not complicated: eating healthfully and joyful movement.
What is complicated: navigating a world that can’t stop trying to feed you, socializing, personal relationships, our need to fit in, anxiety, the choices we make with our time, how we speak to ourselves, setting boundaries, managing aches and pains as we get more active, managing sedentary bodies, knowing what information to tune out, what we think we have to do to be active versus reality, using the right tools to stay on-track, building useful habits, learning sound science and how to apply it to your own life, and focusing on process over outcome (to get a good outcome). …
They were invented by commercial diets as a gimmick. The more acute the distance between you and some magical weight, the higher the likelihood you will agree to a plan with a 90% failure rate.
There, I said it. It feels so good to get that off my chest.
Five years ago I started writing about my weight loss journey because everything I knew about weight loss ran contrary to diet culture. Once you’ve tackled this issue sustainably, the holes, lies, and misinformation are glaring. Hence, the name ‘not another diet!’
The reason I never used goal weights was accidental. I had failed so miserably at every diet I tried, I wondered if losing weight was even possible for me, and if so, how much? At the time I was thinking maybe it would be ten or twenty, but I really didn’t know. …
We are now in the season of excess. For many of us, that means eating too much, staying up too late, and skipping the rituals we need to keep ourselves in good order.
Take the candy and stuff into a trash can away from the house (you know why), and while you are out, go for a walk. I’ve begun saying five things I’m grateful for first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I swear it’s improved the quality of my sleep.
You might feel like trying to lose weight over the holidays is just too impractical. …
I‘ve now completed the series. It’s been a deliberately slow process because it takes time to know what works and what’s true. A decade later, I think I’ve got it down.
Let me know what you think.
Does this resonate? What in this series has been the most helpful to you?