Tag Archives: social pressure

Decision to Stop Dieting: Jumping Off That Cliff

For an emotional eater, giving up dieting can be terrifying. Suddenly there are no rules. You’re responsible for your own food choices, and you’re not sure you can be trusted. You may have struggled for years with lack of control around food. You may fear that Normal Eating can’t work for you, that you don’t have the ability to choose well. You may feel that the only possible way to control what you eat is through the external strictures of a diet.

The culture at large reinforces this fear. If you tell someone you’ve decided not to diet anymore, you’re likely to be told what a dangerous mistake you’re making, how natural appetites have no natural limits, and the only way to lose excess weight is through a diet. You’ve probably been told every day of your life that you’re not competent to choose your own food.

But it’s not true! Natural limits are part of our natural instincts. You just lose touch with your natural, internal controls when you become used to looking outside yourself for guidance. As you reconnect with yourself and learn to meet your needs in authentic ways, compulsion melts away and you are able to eat normally.

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How Other People Affect Your Eating

Most of us don’t live in isolation. The people closest to you usually know all about your struggles with weight and eating, and can have a profound effect on your Normal Eating journey.

When you’re coming from the diet world, you’re coming from a world in which it’s assumed that you don’t have the self-control or judgment to manage your eating on your own. At one time or another, you may even have recruited friends and family to help you stick to your diet and monitor what you eat.

But in Normal Eating, taking full responsibility for your eating choices is crucial. Normal Eating teaches you to trust yourself – teaches you that you can trust yourself. So when you stop dieting and make the shift to Normal Eating, the "helpful" interjections from family and friends to not eat this or that are no longer welcome – and in fact, interfere with your progress.

The people close to you can sidetrack your efforts in more subtle ways, as well. Whenever someone changes – even when the change is positive – there will be some resistance to the change from those close to the person.

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