This past Sunday we gathered together in the serene Nulife Yoga Studio to talk about how to Eat Like A Normal Person.
Sitting next to the gently trickling waterfall, we talked about many things:
- Why people feel confused about dieting – is dieting good or bad?
- Why Intuitive Eating is great despite not claiming ‘weight loss’
- 3 Steps to eat intuitively
But there was something unique about this workshop…
I focused less on information and more on connection.
Meaning I would give a simple slide and tell a simple story. 2 mins tops.
Yet then …
We’d go into a yoga pose – supine twists, child’s pose, etc…
And the best and most important part …
We then broke into small groups and then shared as a large group.
This allowed people to really share their personal experiences with others and get to know other people’s stories as well.
See, the goal of this workshop wasn’t money.
It was to build community and to connect people.
And to share the message of weight loss enlightenment!
Eat Like A Normal Person?
We started off the workshop by looking into dieting.
Specifically, we talked about diet confusion.
Diet confusion is where you feel confused. You feel confused because you know DIETS are a bad word. Yet on the other hand, you see your friend losing weight on a diet.
So we dove into the research:
- Showed how diets DO work in the short-term
- Went to Weight Watchers website to see ONLY UP to 12 months!
- Showed long-term research – DIETS FAIL
This gave people clarity.
Diets work in the short run. That’s when you see people losing weight.
Yet diets fail in the long run.
So we got rid of any confusion.
But then someone asked “Does Intuitive Eating Work For Weight Loss?”
We had just finished up learning about the scientific benefits of Intuitive Eating…
That’s when someone noticed – Intuitive Eating doesn’t mention weight loss.
(Intuitive Eating doesn’t mention weight gain either)
This was a really important point to address.
This point – Intuitive Eat NOT being for weight loss – is what Weight Loss Enlightenment is about!!!
It’s about losing the obsession to lose weight!
Oftentimes this obsession to lose weight is the very thing preventing you from connecting to your body in a more meaningful way.
Other Intuitive Eating Questions
Other questions were brought up as well:
“What if I can’t feel my hunger?”
“I’m scared I’m going to keep eating bad foods.”
“Hard to accept diets don’t work”
Let’s address these two questions.
The first about hunger came from a woman who had been a weight watcher’s participant for years …
When she saw the research weight watcher’s used …
She realized they had a financial incentive for ‘repeat’ customers.
This gave her strength and motivation to give up dieting and try something that actually worked!
Just saying you want to stop dieting isn’t exactly easy.
A critical step is feeling your hunger.
And this lady said feeling her hunger was tough.
And so one exercise I gave to her was to:
Record how hungry and full she was before/after eating.
By journaling how hungry and full you are before/after eating, you still start to attune to your hunger levels.
Over time, you won’t need a journal.
(Note: not everybody loses connection with their hunger. But a fair amount of people do. After dieting for so long, it’s easy to lose connection to hunger)
“I’m scared I’m going to keep eating bad foods.”
This question comes up fairly frequently.
For most people, just this visual exercise really helps:
Imagine ONLY eating your forbidden food. For example, imagine ONLY eating ice cream for 3 days.
You would get sick of ice cream!!!
However, oftentimes the actual experience of letting yourself eat can be filled with restriction.
For example, you might say you’re going to eat ice cream. Yet then, you only have a bowl of ice cream even though you really want the whole pint!
So … you don’t eat all the ice cream you really want.
Unfortunately, this keeps ice cream as a forbidden food and forces you to stay subconsciously in deprivation.
This is where awareness of your thoughts/feelings really is important, as well as a firm foundation of rejecting diet mentality.
Hard to accept diets don’t work.
Another woman said she kept zoning off in certain areas of the presentation.
I actually didn’t notice this, until we had broken off into partners and this woman said she kept losing track of things.
I asked her “why?”
She said she thought something about dieting she wanted to avoid.
I knew this topic well …
It was the fear that ALL your efforts at dieting in the past had been for nothing.
The fear that you failed, at dieting, even when you couldn’t succeed!
This is where her deep fear was coming from …
Fear of self-condemnation.
Fear of her self, hating herself for dieting.
Even though back then she couldn’t have known dieting wasn’t useful.
She needed to forgive herself for dieting.
Really, she needed to lift the burden of weight loss she had put on herself.
She needed a weight loss enlightenment!