Learning How To Recognize True Hunger- Answer To An Email
Dear Diet Weary Friend,
Your reaction is completely normal. Of course you are struggling with recognizing true hunger!
For years you have been taught to ignore your body and eat according to some magic food rules. It is so interesting how ingrained this is in our society. And we listen because people value thinness so much that they throw common sense out the window in an effort to get thin.
But diets don’t get you thin- and I am glad you realize that. That is the first necessary step.
So now you are onto the second step: learning to eat in response to hunger.
If you have been a dieter, you are well aware of calorie counts. It is hard to “turn off” you internal calorie counter. And it is hard to view food in a neutral light- not bad, not good.
What you must remember is this: you will get better at this as time goes on. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Every time you have a small victory (you eat when you are hungry and you stop when you have had enough) you will get stronger and stronger.
You will get better and better at knowing if you stopped eating at the appropriate time for you.
It is actually a really interesting journey. It is enjoyable to learn about yourself in this way. Your food preferences and cravings and hunger are unique to you. They are part of you. And getting to know how your body expresses hunger, what kinds of food answer it best, etc., is honestly (I know this sounds weird) kind of fun.
I also understand that it is scary. Why? Because we want to be thin and we are “afraid” of our own inner voice- we think it will make us eat tons of food. But you have binged in the past, not in spite of dieting, but BECAUSE of dieting.
Dieting sets you up to have a backlash. I know you know the feeling- your email states it- you are “good” for weeks but then have an overwhelming urge to eat a bunch of candy or whatever.
Your body will never do that to you (crave a bunch of junk) if you don’t put it on a diet.
Your only job is to quiet your brain and listen to your body. You will not gain weight by eating when you are hungry.
As you learn to trust that you can take care of your hunger without a bunch of food rules, you will feel in control and capable of leaving food on your plate, getting picky about what you consume (“thin” people never eat something that they don’t like- for example, a stale old cookie from the pantry…) and being respectful of what your body is telling you.
You will learn that there is NO JOY in over eating, I promise.
Remember that this is a day by day kind of progress. But, unlike dieting, the progress is forward, not backward!
Be too smart to allow that diet mentality to trap you. It is a trap, funded with billions and billions of dollars from the diet industry.
I am so glad your friend shared my message with you. I am hoping to reach as many people as possible.
I know there is a lot of suffering in the world, and that worrying about food and weight loss may seem trivial to some.
But suffering from a diet mentality is a miserable condition! I know, I had one for decades. I am dedicated to help others free themselves too.
You must reinforce your new perspective everyday. I tweet at least once a day- if you find that a convenient way to get a little reinforcement, follow me! @megmeranus.
Also, I don’t want to pull a sales routine on you- but I do have a book available on my site and also a Kindle version. I simply try to cover my costs with it- and give people a place to get a whole lot of info at once.
It was great to hear from you. Take Care
(my response got so long, I think I will put it – just my response- on my blog.