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Why I Let Go of the Chronic Need to be PERFECT

Apr

24


Having the perfect diet, perfect weight, perfect house, perfect job, and perfect life is a MYTH!

Having the perfect diet, perfect weight, perfect house, perfect job, and perfect life is a MYTH!

WHAT IS NORMAL? What I’ve come to believe and know is that perfect is NOT normal. Well, unless you are Bradley Cooper then you are pretty close to perfect. 

But here’s the rub: perfect people are some of the most unhappy (and lonely) people on the planet!

Trying to be perfect is a constant struggle. That person you see on social media who seems to have the perfect life is NOT happy during their pursuit to be perfect.

Perfection is this unattainable, unsustainable goal that can turn into a toxic mindset and destination during a diet. Not only does it have a short shelf life, but also it can lead to negative mental chatter then falling off the diet wagon.  

Dieting is not normal – or sustainable. But in today’s world, dieting is the norm.  But it’s NOT normal. The problem is that dieting and restriction is a swift gateway to binge-y like behaviors and a confusing relationship with food, your hunger cues, body trust, and a whole lot more.

Dont believe me? Google Minnesota Starvation project or read about it HERE. It will change the way you look at dieting and how you think about it forever. Once you read about how deprivation leads to chronic disordered eating behaviors, you can’t unread it. It is outrageous that this type of information isn’t taught in school!

The first time I dieted was in high school, shamefully I had zero business doing it. And then 2 weeks later when I went off the diet (because they just don’t last) guess what happened?

I binged on brownies big time like a junkie.

Has that ever happened to you? Maybe you had a pretty normal relationship with food. Then tried a diet. It “worked” and then apparently WE failed the diet because we gained weight.

Wait, what? WE failed the diet?

Why is it not the other way around?

The reality is the DIET FAILED US because of the way they are structured. I want you to understand that DIETS FAIL US! I know that’s a radical statement to many of us who have never heard that but trust me, only 5% of dieters lose weight and keep it off long-term.

That means that 95% of the people who go on a diet will likely fail, gain the weight back and probably more.

I see you shaking your head. I know because I did it too. I studied nutrition at UGA to become a dietitian – I studied weight loss and weight management.

I used to TEACH people my diet and weight loss “secrets” and they were very successful…. until they went back to their old habits and gained the weight back, if not more.

And then we are programed as a society to believe that WE failed the diet. Somehow WE lacked the discipline and self-control. That’s just not/Hnat the case.

So back to high school and the brownies: I just assumed that I was out of control with sugar and sweets. I convinced myself that I was “addicted” to sugar and lacked self-discipline with sweet treats. When I tried Weight Watchers (or WW whatever they are “rebranding” themselves as) I would save all my points for diet ice cream. I was aaalllll about volume eating.

And now I can see that the restriction piece is what led to that type of eating behavior. Because I wasn’t allowed to have my favorite foods. I had no meal satisfaction eating diet foods and so I’d save all my points to eat MORE diet ice cream in an effort to try and feel satisfied.

But I did not/Hnat know that dieting and restricting my favorite foods would lead me down the road to disordered eating beliefs, patterns and thoughts. Because I thought I was the one who failed the diet.

But look at everyone else who is successful” I would think as I read women’s health magazines. I longed to be that woman with a smile on the “success stories” page. In fact I used to tear them out and collect them as motivation! I had a success stories book but motivation doesn’t help you cope with the restriction piece.

So I struggled with the on-a-diet off-a-diet mentality, fluctuating scale, up, down, up, down for over 2-0 years. It is enough to drive you into a mental hospital.

Which is why I am soooo passionate about helping women get off the diet and wellness bandwagon and anything else diet culture-ish to help you have a healthier relationship with food and your amazing body.

In fact I just recently connected with a new client who made me realize that the people I really REALLY want to help and serve are *NEW* mom’s who are aware of their disordered eating patterns and do NOT want to transfer them to their new child, especially when it’s their daughter (it still happens with sons too). When I realized that I could positively effect a multi-generational legacy, that deep recognition was so powerful to me that it made me cry.

If anything this precious TIME we’ve been granted during Covid has given us the time to help recognize the things that we are ready to divorce and replace:

  • dieting and buying into the wellness trend and start reconnecting to your body and truth.  

  • adopting beliefs of what your body is supposed to look like and instead appreciate + work with what you have (PS: there is ZERO shame in wanting to lose weight, but another diet with more food rules is not going to be sustainable (read Minnesota Starvation Experiment).

You have your options: try the latest, trendy diet and the next one doesn’t deliver what it promises (or worse, is unsustainable) and then when you are tired of bouncing back and forth from deprivation to overeating/binging and feeling bad about yourself .  Guilty for the way you’re eating. Feeling out of control with food and like a total loser. That’s what my clients tell me, they feel like a loser.

YOU are not the problem.  Diets and this wellness movement are.

When you are ready to find true food peace, when you are ready to reconnect to your own body’s inner wisdom, I ve gotcha covered!

We focus on the antithesis of dieting = mindful + intuitive eating.

Why I did not/HNAT learn about this concept in high school before I flirted with my first diet is a shame is the thought I had to reframe.

At least I now know what I do not want.

I do HNAT want to struggle with food.

I do HNAT want to fight with my body.

I do HNAT want to be a slave to diet/wellness rules.

I do HNAT want to associate celebrating or enjoying my favorite foods with guilt

I’ve realized that compassion and mindfulness go a long way.  Ive realized that my intuition has always been waiting for me to reconnect to it.  And now it is stronger than ever before.

I see so many women suffering through diets and food rules. Major confusion trying to “biohack” their body and hormones.

Look, I get it. I’ve done the deprivation “intermittent” fasting before it had a trendy name. I get it! The promise of weight loss is pervasive and sexier than being kind to yourself and learning how to listen to your inner GPS.  

But when you are ready, and you know that there is a different way to go about food and your relationship with your body – then you will be willing to embrace the internal wisdom you were born with. And you will become the guru of YOUR body. 

No one should be telling you when, what, how, or how much, to eat.  

YOU are designed to be the guru of your body.

YOU are more wise than you give yourself credit for.

Let me help you reconnect to your IBW {Inner Body Wisdom} so that you start to re-learn how to nourish your body, listen to your belly cues, and stop toxic eating behaviors.

If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that we have to get our health in gear. But it doesn’t have to be perfect. We’re the ones responsible for eating well and making our personal health a PRIORITY.

Your immune system is ONE CELL WALL away from your gut, and if it’s constantly inflamed from stuffing yourself with junk, ugh. You don’t need me to tell you how that’s going to play out.

If you’re ready to stop the abusive food and body behaviors that feel uncomfortable – please join me for the 30-Day Mindful Eating Challenge. I created this challenge because I wish there was a simple, approachable program like this when I decided to delete diet behaviors for good but didn’t know how to do it. The DIY approach was just too overwhelming.

We start MONDAY, April 27th and I’ve created this challenge specifically for THE PRESENT MOMENT WE FIND OURSELVES IN.

Really REALLY hope to see you in the challenge… contact me with A.N.Y. questions you have.

Social distanced hugs,

Jennifer

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This feels like the most vital blog post I’ve ever written.

Like many of you, I’m feeling a very heavy heart and deep emotions about the national status and inequality we suffer from.

I have not/Hnat addressed racism on my blog or with you, but like so many others, I have had to process my feelings and now it’s time to speak to my community. Actually after learning about the history of racism, I’m ashamed I didn’t bring this topic up sooner.

Many of my are here for mindful + intuitive eating wisdom. But the truth of the matter is that we can not/Hnat do the anti-diet work without also doing the anti-racism work too.

They are in fact deeply and intimately related.

Diet culture is firmly rooted in racism.

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First thing’s first: we need fat in our diets.

Thankfully long gone is the fat-fearing diet days of the past with low-fat and fat-free products! Fats are essential for long-term energy, cell growth and communication, organ protection, insulation for your body, nutrient absorption, and hormone production.

So yes, your body definitely requires good fats.

There are numerous diets out there that are either at one extreme of the “fat spectrum” or the other. For example

Getting back to basics: FAT

Hey y’all! My name is Harley Cobb and I’m a rising junior at the University of Georgia, majoring in Dietetics. I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC (the Queen City!) where I also became a 200-Hour RYS certified yoga instructor last summer.

This summer, I will be Jennifer’s “sidekick” in all things mindful and intuitive eating with Nutrition Atlanta!

Meet my new summer intern, Harley!

Perfection is this unsustainable goal that can be toxic during a diet. It does not last long and can lead to negative mental chatter and falling off the diet wagon.

Dieting is not normal – or sustainable. But in todays world you would think that dieting is totally normal. The problem is that dieting and restriction is a swift gateway to binge-y like behaviors.

Dont believe me? Google Minnesota Starvation project or….

Why I Let Go of the Chronic Need to be PERFECT