Diets Don’t Work, Wellness Does.

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I hate sugarcoating things so I’m back with a big, bold statement, DIETS DON’T WORK! If you don’t want to believe anything else that I have to say just please trust me on this.

Why? I have experience.

Oh all the (home) gyms, supplements, binges, anger, calorie restrictions, self-hate and the despair. My only saving grace from gaining too much weight is that I’m a very energetic person by nature but I have a complicated relationship with food. I was using food as a coping mechanism to deal with my issues. I wasn’t hungry but I would just sit there and eat anyway. I knew what I was doing wasn’t healthy for my body or mind. I remember a specific time in my life when the struggles were evident and I was feeling at a loss with myself. My heart was heart broken into a million and one pieces, my home was filled with negativity and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Being active was my salvation because it made me feel better even if my eating habits were a cause of distress. I was spending a lot of time outdoors walking or going for bike rides. I would create daily physical challenges for myself so that I would have something to look forward to. It was my escape from what I was going through and it helped build my confidence. This wasn’t the only solution but it definitely helped a lot.

As far as I can remember I’ve kept a journal on and off for more than half my life. There is something very therapeutic about getting your words out in front of you. I really think it helps in your expression and communication with yourself and others. You don’t have to commit to it but give it a try at least once. The whole point is to open yourself to a new experience and maybe learn something.

So back to the topic at hand, why diet’s don’t work?

They create a vicious cycle whereby the dieter is constantly at odds with him or herself. Relying on someone or something to dictate how you should live is a surefire way to failure. The reality is that you know yourself better than anyone even if you think you don’t. Diets only perpetuate your feelings of inadequacy because they don’t teach you anything of value. They simply say follow this to get to this and that’s it. Plus they are not sustainable for the long haul hence why so many people give up altogether. Over and over again.

Diets are restrictive and we all know what happens when you deprive yourself. It just comes back to bite you. Not only this but they are responsible for creating eating disorders which open the door to more problems. There is no one-size-fits-all approach as we are all unique and have different needs. I see it all as a path to getting to know yourself in a world with continuous challenges.

As if all of this doesn’t sound bad enough diets can also become very expensive. How’s that for adding insult to injury? The health and wellness industry makes billions and billions each year from magic pills, gimmicky workouts, custom meal plans and so forth. The real issue stems from a lack of education and awareness. We all the know the problem exists but what to do? We all have a personal responsibility to take care of our well-being. The choice is really up to you to make this a priority in your life. There has to be a belief a better way exists and then action is taken to make it happen. It’s all really a game of cause and effect.

I hope I don’t sound preachy because even after all that I’ve said I still have my struggles. Although I try my best to work through them somehow. I like to place a high regard for my sanity and happiness. I know what I like and what I don’t. There are things I value in life that won’t be compromised. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I believe that I am important but so are others.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

We are all comprised of many different pieces that create the finished product. Our thoughts and emotions co-exist in a fine balance that hangs on a thread. Sometimes they are in a battle and other times they live harmoniously. Emotions are a beautiful thing because they allow us to feel but they also cloud our reason. This principle holds true in all parts of life especially when it comes to our relationship with food, exercise and ultimately ourselves. The mind is an extremely powerful muscle that we don’t always take into account when we need to make things happen. We are led by what others tell us in hope of discovering a shortcut to success. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s not to say that you can’t consider what someone may tell you. But the final outcome has to be something that you’ve decided for yourself. Meaning you understand you have tons of options but you choose your happiness as much as possible.

I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you with too much information. Let’s just call this…

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