The Diet Cycle
In my book, BodyMAGIC! I discuss the diet cycle of despair but I have never illustrated it in this way before. I hope it gives you a greater understanding of why diets don’t and cannot work for an emotional eater.
It goes like this:
- Realise that we aren’t the weight or shape we would like to be. Clothes don’t fit. We don’t like what we see in the mirror. We can experience hatred, disapproval, disappointment, disgust, loathing, regret, sorrow, hurt, anger, panic, and worry.
- Wait for a new weight-loss idea to show up, sign up for a new plan, pill or potion or rejoin an old method (whether it was successful or not). Sometimes hopeful and often doubtful.
- Start off the plan with deep intention and a clear goal. Spend time learning about the plan. Research, self-invest time, energy and money. Here we can feel empowered, determined, focused and confident.
- A life event comes round where we decide that we can let it go. A disaster occurs. We have too much to drink. We overeat – a f**k it moment! Here we surrender and give-up, feeling rebellious, negligent and deserving.
- Later we feel shame, guilt, and regret. We feel like failure. Sometimes try to put it right by over-exercising, fasting. The body goes into famine response, metabolism slows.
- Weight increases, shame increases. Often another f**k it period often occurs where we indulge in comfort food. We feel powerless and the body, mind and soul are stressed, depressed and lifeless.
- Back to 1. The Diet Cycle repeats.
Look at all of these emotions!
I’m not suggesting that you feel all or even most of these.
These are the ones that I used to feel before I ditched the diets and focused on my emotions. I have no idea how many times I went around this circle. At my most painful, it was every single day.
This is no way to live! It’s torture.
And in the most painful of times, I’d go round in this diet cycle all in one day!
I’d start the day with good intentions but by the afternoon, for whatever reason, I’d be done with the ‘stupid’ diets and swing totally the opposite way – by bingeing or just overeating.
Later, of course, I’d feel awful. Vowing to ‘get back on the diet tomorrow’.
Wanna know why I was wasting my time?
Think about this…
Did a diet ever take account of your personal journey through life?
When did a diet plan ever suggest that your emotions were what needed healing?
Have you ever considered ditching the calorie counting and focusing on counting your blessings?
We are not machines.
We are loving, feeling human beings.
These feelings are what makes us unique – Every. Single. One. of us. But there is one thing that unites us:
All We Need Is LOVE!
But when we don’t get the love we long for, we often can’t cope and take comfort from food instead. It’s the same with any addiction – drugs, alcohol, porn, Netflix – it’s all numbing out.
Love can come in many forms and we deserve them all. Here’s just some:
approval, acceptance, forgiveness, understanding, encouragement, respect, honour
Perhaps you can add to this list!
Because we don’t get or feel the love we need to be happy, we are left with an energetic void that needs filling. And you know how to fill it, even unconsciously. It’s with food.
So it is the emotions that need healing, not the eating. The overeating or binge eating is just the reaction. This pattern, the diet cycle, cannot stop until you learn more about yourself and your emotions. And you can’t change your patterns for the better until you decide, on an emotional level, that you deserve better for your life.
In my book BodyMAGIC! – a Blissful End to Emotional Eating, I declare that there are two main principles on this journey:
Know Yourself and
Know Your Worth
I put together a little class about these principles.
You can access it HERE. It’s free.
Show yourself some love in this moment.
PS. You’ll even get to see my vain attempt at art! #allowingselftofeelvulnerable