Love a challenge—and ready to learn how to stop dieting for good? Same! We’re tired of feeling guilty for everything eat. So, we kicked off the new year with dietitian and food relationship coach Wendie Taylor. Her new course, Habits Before Hustle, is where we’re at. Here are the top two things we’ve learned so far, and how you can join in.
Why learning how to stop dieting is a great thing for you, your life, and your hormones
If you’re thinking about how to stop dieting or are tired of trying to lose weight, you’re probably really sick and tired of how what to eat—or what not to eat—can easily take over your life. Saying no to going out with friends because you’re not sure you want to eat is a feeling that’s lonely. (But also way more common than you’d imagine.) The bad part is: even though it’s common, saying no to hanging out with friends or to new experiences because of food isn’t healthy. Social circles are incredibly important to our health. In fact, people with tight friendships and social networks suffer from a lot fewer health problems than those who are isolated. Just being with your friends and strengthening that bond can lower your risk of obesity and anxiety. Plus, because it reduces your stress, it’s also really vital to keeping your hormones balanced too.
But there are also other ways stopping dieting improves your hormones, too. Restricting calories (yes, even to 1,200!) can do a number on your progesterone levels. It can lead to estrogen dominance. Create a perpetual stress response in your body. Make your periods crazy. Change your hunger hormones and make weight loss even harder. (Dr. Orlena talks hormones and weight loss here.) And even reduce your thyroid function, so your metabolism slows and energy levels nose dive. Along with being something to enjoy, food is also fuel to us. Our hormones need enough of that fuel—and from all macronutrients. (That means fats, protein, and carbs.) Chronically denying your body fuel to make it look a certain way only prevents you from really achieving total health.
Boundaries are one important key in how to stop dieting
How are you at setting boundaries? In one survey, more than 50% of women reported that they would identify themselves as a people-pleaser. (Not sure if you are or not? Check out these 10 signs you’re a people-pleaser by psychotherapist Amy Morin.) The problem with aiming to please everyone is that you’re probably not at all focused on what’s best for you or what you want. That leads to saying yes to all kinds of commitments that drain our energy, stress us out, and leave us wanting to binge on whatever’s close by. Or, since we feel like we don’t have much control, we try to over-control what we eat or how much. These reactions put us right back in the cycle of dieting, which is where we no longer want to be.
Learning how to set boundaries is tough, but it’s 100% possible to do. On day 3 of Habits B4 Hustle, Wendie focuses on how to set loving boundaries. The best part is: with her suggestions, you don’t even have to look at someone and say “no” right away. (Unless you want to! But we know the idea of that can make us people-pleasers hyperventilate.) Instead, you can acknowledge the request or invite. Then, she guides you in how to graciously postpone having to give an answer. That way, you can think about what works for you—or if it does at all.
Not associating your looks and weight with your worth is super important too
Hey, it’s not vain to care about your appearance. It’s actually perfectly natural to try to look great most of the time. But there’s a difference between trimming too-long nails, brushing your hair, and taking an extra second to dress a little nicer and equating your entire self-worth to how you look in any given moment. First of all, none of can look our best all the time. If we can forgive that we haven’t trimmed those split ends in like, forever, then it’s time that you gave yourself a break about your weight too.
Society ingrains in us that if we lose weight or are thin, then we’re successful at looking good. Is that true? No. Beauty isn’t equated to shape or size in the least. But many of us hold onto those long-held societal beliefs. They become the beliefs that we use to value not necessarily others, but ourselves. And when that happens, our whole day and self-esteem sinks or swims depending on what the scale says.
But you don’t re-set your friends’ value when they gain or lose a few pounds. So why yourself? In Habits B4 Hustle, Wendie talks about how to take that same loving compassion you have for others and turn it right back on yourself. Because without that step, it’s hard to ever let go of attaching your self-worth to the scale.
Interested in Habits B4 Hustle?
If you want a community of like-minded women and to get coaching on how to stop dieting and start loving your body a little more, you can connect with Wendie at wendietaylor.com and take a look at her courses, calendar, and coaching.