**I was talking to a staff member here at Eat To Perform about how simple diet solutions are harming people and she said something super profound “and the biggest problem is that when you fail using something thought to be so SIMPLE that others have had success with is that you blame yourself, never the diet or the deficit no matter how bad or poorly thought out it is.”
I am sick and tired of this deficit bullshit, it’s not the real problem.
The real problem is that many of us have experienced some level of trauma along the way and food is comforting mostly because it’s accessible.
You haven’t solved dieting to say to someone that suffered through abuse as a child that they should just eat less or that they don’t realize how much they are eating in a day.
Or drinking for that matter, or drugs.
I understand why we do this, it’s the simple answer, just eat less. Problem solved. Well guess what, a lot of people have eaten less and when they get to the end of the road the REAL PROBLEMS they have are still there. In fact, a lot of this industry isn’t about fixing problems, it’s about changing them to other different problems.
Why aren’t we talking about mental health more? Here is why…..
Dieting in general contributes to poor mental health (google it, you will be a while), so if the only thing you are selling is eating less and moving more will, for some people that helps (in a way).
But most prefer the comfort of food, alcohol or drugs because they work a lot faster.
So your little meme about how no one is in the line for lifestyle interventions isn’t funny, it’s cruel.
The reason why dieting is failing to help people long term is because the value proposition most people are creating just sucks. That said…..
Some clients do want the suffering. So the people selling that are the enemy in my mind.
Selling suffering is not based on love. It’s the opposite, it's catering to that little part of all our brains that says “I have been bad, I need to suffer to be good again.”
No you don’t and anyone selling that to you, you should be running from.
But that’s all part of it right, for some of us the trauma does trigger some of those bad tapes if we aren’t aware. We run from one form of abuse to another to keep the cycle going.
If this is truly about health, mentally and physically we have to dig deeper and frankly, that’s the part that is stopping many people. It’s not the calories. It’s that they never really get to that place of love. That place where the real healing starts.
So you have to be ready but if you think you are ready here are some thoughts:
You don’t need a cult leader. There are way too many people buying into real bad ideas just because they want someone to tell them what to do. Don’t assume that anyone that wants that job has good intentions for you. Once again, this is the kind of behavior we need to try and avoid to truly heal, both our minds and bodies.
Don’t buy suffering forever. There are a lot of diets out there that teach you how to eat less and then you are on your own in social situations, when life gets tough or any myriad of things that come up. Food has to come back as an ally at a point and be part of your healing, mentally and physically. Even food in abundance on occasion.
Eating less is simply a reaction, in that way it’s like taking medication for a headache, you might need it right now but it’s best (and way more effective if you take it sparingly).
Moving is not optional. Exercise in general is not phenomenal for losing weight, I need you to know that as a scientific fact because that’s now why you will be moving. We move because it’s what makes us more of what we are supposed to be, it’s also super helpful for keeping weight managed when you aren’t dieting. Once again, well known scientific fact. If you try to diet without moving it will naturally limit both how much you can move in the future and how much you can eat. And isn’t that the goal? I don’t personally believe normal exists, I think we all create our normal but if you want some semblance of order in your life depriving yourself of food for the rest of it isn’t good. Moving helps with that piece.
Find peace with data. It’s common for people to say “we are all different so all solutions need to take that into account” there is some truth to that but not the way a lot of people think. If you eat low carb, intermittent fast or in a balanced diet like we teach those are all a version of the same thing, you are simply choosing your preferred method of less calories. Where the individualized part comes in is on the other side. What we can eat and what we can do is highly individualized but it’s all enhanced with food, meaning it gets better.
Look, I can’t tell you it's worth it for you because frankly for you it might not be but what I can tell you for sure is that the path to better starts with how we care for ourselves. Buying some eat less and move more nonsense is simply buying yet another abusive relationship that you can just add to the list.
AND YES ALL OF THIS WILL BE OVERWHELMING! (you have to know that at the start, you can’t climb a mountain starting with the idea that it’s just a walk in the park)
It will challenge you like all true change does. That’s how you heal, it’s not THE process it’s part of A process.
As part of my trauma as a young person I went to therapy and made a lot of progress.
When I became unfit and started working towards fitness I realized I didn’t have JUST a food and fitness problem. So I went back to therapy.
However you get there just know, calories aren’t your problem, they are how you avoid your problems whether it’s eating less or eating more. Neither of these directions should paralyze you to inaction.
So when someone says to you they have the answers for you run, run fast and far.
True insight brings more questions than it solves.
But I want you to know that you are not alone, life is fucking hard on a lot of levels and I am sick of people trying to suggest that it isn’t.
If the first sentence of anything is “It’s really simple, all you have to do is this…”
That’s wrong, that’s just the start of uncovering who you will become but if you keep buying that line you will stay in the dark. You have to embrace hard things. You have to embrace love and joy and all the things that you would do for yourself when those are present.
So while calories are a part of that it’s a VERY small part of a much bigger equation. If you fix the love and joy part that is the bigger problem.
If you start with love you have a shot. I have never seen someone hate themselves whole.
I truly wish you the best and I hope in some small way this article shows you that you are heard and that someone is trying to understand. I think I speak for everyone at Eat To Perform when I say that.
Even the programs that reverse don’t do a good job because they cave to the fear of their clients or they let AI (artificial intelligence) do the work.