How to stop dieting

How to Quit Dieting Without Gaining Weight

Part of the reason that I became a food and eating psychology coach was because I was fed up with feeling like I had to be a certain shape to get on in life, and spinning around the revolving doors of weight loss clubs in an attempt to achieve it.

The repetitive body shaming dialogue in my head and roller-coaster of emotions resulting from chasing a number on the scales was frankly, exhausting. Being constantly pre-occupied with your body size and what you are going to eat takes up a huge amount of head space.

For me, the answer was to educate myself. My study of eating psychology was akin to opening Pandoras Box, a myriad of relatable insights that I couldn’t help but feel I really should have known already.

Therein lies the issue. So many women, regardless of their level of intelligence, are blindsided by societal opinions of what they should look like and are sucked into a life of scrutinising their bodies and dieting.

For me, enough was enough.

Theses days, I enjoy a completely relaxed relationship with food, by which I mean, I always give consideration to nutrition, but I never obsess about fat, sugar or calories. I also have a good relationship with my body. I am proud of how strong and resilient it is and I no longer berate it for not looking a certain way or not fitting into a pair of skinny jeans.

When I think about the key learnings that helped me to finally leave dieting behind and create a better relationship with food and my body, it boils down to a combination of these things:

  • Building a sense of self-compassion. Deciding to approach my body with love rather than disdain allowed me to truly care for it.
  • Learning how to eat in a way that balances my blood sugars. Combining the macro nutrients in regular meals and snacks is truly satisfying. I don’t need to do anything else to manage my weight or nourish my cells.
  • Gaining the knowledge that restricting food or depriving myself of food groups increases the desire to eat and decreases self-esteem.
  • Learning how to experience sadness, anxiety, boredom and all my other difficult feelings without the need to judge, escape from them or suppress them with food or alcohol.

There is no doubt that it’s a journey, and one I had to work at. A lot of the beliefs about body shape and eating habits are so entrenched that it takes a while to learn and develop new ones.

It also takes strength to push back against the notion that being a certain dress size defines your value in life and to snub the industries and groups who are profiting and benefiting from your unhappiness.

That said, it is absolutely possible to divorce dieting and begin a happy relationship with yourself.

Over the coming weeks, I’m going to explore each of the things that I believe it takes in more detail through my blog and social posts to support any of you who might be struggling with similar challenges. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments so I can shape my offerings around your experiences….

2 thoughts on “How to Quit Dieting Without Gaining Weight

  1. Sally

    Hi Josie. I feel pretty ashamed because I get your emails and generally ignore them because I don’t want to have to think about anything food related.
    Yes I’ve always had a “thing” about my body, food consumption, image etc (and I’m now 76!) so it’s been a long time. I don’t particularly like cooking, food shopping consists of what’s easiest. Family grown and flown (although visit frequently), husband deceased so really no need to cook. I would like to have a better relationship with my body and food but after years of battling I find the easiest thing to do is just go for what is the least hassle. Lockdown has been horrendous as boredom has of course added to the problem.
    In all other areas of my life I’m easy going, positive, yes even happy, but every now and then I think “you are not being kind to the body that has kept you going for all these years, is that fair!”
    I found your comments about self love inspiring enough for me to write to you.
    P. S. Still a frequent visitor to Breathing Space!

    Reply
    1. Josie Buck Post author

      Hey there Sally!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, it is lovely to hear from you and to read your story. I am so glad you opened the email 🙂 Maybe you could add a little body kindness affirmation to your daily ritual. Sending you lots of love xx

      Reply

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