Welcome to How to Love Your Body - On today’s episode we are going to be talking about why balance isn’t the answer. It seems to be a common misconception you can stop dieting and just be balanced - what a healthy and sensible answer to our food issues! This actually is just another way to control.
When you think balance you may think - never eat too much or little. Instead of restricting the dessert, allow yourself to have a little. Eat but make sure you “watch what you eat.” It may not be extreme restriction because you are allowing but it still is all about limitation - and limitation - and forcing yourself into a perfectly balanced place will still cause bingeing. Obsession. And we can bet there isn’t that feeling of freedom around food. Trying to force yourself into balance isn’t food freedom - it’s dieting. Diet culture is getting sneakier - they sell a “gentle” diet and call it balance.
If humans could just limit what they ate and find “balance” - that means diets would work - but scientifically we know diets don’t work.
Pursuing balance is actually counterproductive. It is still a form of restriction - causing you to retaliate against the rules, keeping in that screw it attitude when you mess up.
We know - you may be saying, but I want to feel balanced with food. I want to be able to allow all food and give myself unconditional permission to eat and I also want to care about my health - I want to eat nutrient dense food I want to eat the rich pasta dish and the salad. I want to eat veggies with some of my meals and eat the dessert.. Isn’t that balance? How do I achieve this?
Balance is a great place to land and that’s where we feel we live and many clients we have worked with have ended up.
NOTE: Balance is not something that is now perfectly in the middle. It’s not a forced place where you are never too full or never too hungry - it’s not the center. There’s an ebb and flow to balance in the UnDiet world - It’s a sway - on any given day you may eat more, you may eat less, you may eat anything in between. Balance is, yes, eating the pizza and the salad but it is also eating just the pizza on certain days because that’s what sounds the best to you and your body and then on other days it might be eating just the salad if that’s what feels the best to you - there is no diet mentality attached and all decisions are made from a place of how your body feels - certain days COULD look like “traditional balance” where you have some of everything without swaying too far from the middle but it could also look like swaying far to the left or right of the middle - that is IE / UnDieting and balance / that is how you live a sustainable life because there’s lots of room to sway.
But when you pursue balance, it’s forced, it’s fake, it’s a diet - it’s still rules, there’s still shoulds.
It seems counterintuitive but you need to forget about balance in order to naturally find balance. Meaning - if you are totally fine with eating as much chocolate as you want, anytime, any amount - there are no rules, shoulds or anything to retaliate against and your body has permission to find balance within that freedom, leaving you FREE and balanced.
This doesn’t mean you always only have a couple bites but it means that it’s just a food that fits into your life with ease and flow.
True lifelong balance can only come with giving yourself complete freedom and go from there. And of course this won’t happen on day 1 but it does come.
Here are some ways you can work on finding balance as an UnDieter.
-Spot all or nothing thinking around food - this is not about living in the world of extremes anymore. See where you can spot yourself thinking - I can have it all - OR - I can have nothing. I either have to be good OR bad. I have to restrict it all OR eat it all. There is no in between. Spotting this type of thinking is the first step to creating more balance in your life - awareness is how you can begin to shift the way you think about food and how you make choices about food.
-Use the word AND - this is something that will allow you to “have it all” - you don’t have to opt for the “healthy” or “unhealthy” - if you really want
- Instead of having the burger and fries or the green kale salad you can have the burger AND the salad
- ALLOWING any foods at all
-No judgement zone - Days are going to be different - the signals will be different - hunger will be different - and that is 100% acceptable - no matter what happens in a day - no judgement - it’s learning, it’s experimenting.
-Honor and expect the ebb and flow - Know that balance does not mean right smack dab in the center - KNOW and expect there will be an ebb and flow and know that is normal - and everyone’s ebb and flow will be different. Whatever your ebb and flow is what is. No forcing. No changing. No fixing - it’s right where it’s meant to be
Let go of the idea of balance and let your body find it itself
This is the only way to have balance within a life of freedom
It’s not up to you and when you CHOOSE to be balanced, it comes with this work.
Just like your weight - we don’t get to choose and magically have the body size we want, our bodies find it’s happy place on it’s own.
Mindset of Allowing - being completely okay with eating and eating enough. Eating any kinds of food and then within that framework you can listen to your body.
This is a key requirement to balance (even though it seems like the opposite would be true)
You may have heard that we have a documentary coming out in early 2021 called Behind the Before and After - We’re super excited about this so we decided to have an online community prescreening so we can all watch it together and you can also be entered into a giveaway where you can get 6 months of free UnDiet Support. To get on the list - go to bit.ly/btbagiveaway
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See you next week!