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How to ditch the diet for more love and respect

how to ditch the diet for more love and respect, ditch the diet and face the feelings, inner energy,
There is only one expert in your body. YOU. 

A nutritionist can tell you how many calories a portion may have – but only you know how much energy you have after eating! A food that may be “good for you” might cause you bloating and discomfort. You are the one that is aware of the effects.

If you choose to ditch the diet, you decide to enjoy all food that your body thrives with. Not because someone else tells you what is right for you: but because you love and respect your body enough to listen to how it responds.

What is a “diet”?

Take your pick of online dictionaries to look up: 

“A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons”
“The kind and amount of food prescribed for a person for a special reason”

But who does the prescribing of what course of food you will restrict yourself to? The person that created the diet prescribes.  How well does THAT PERSON know your body? When you are on a diet, you have handed over the control and power to another person.

If you don’t have control and power to decide, are you responsible for the outcome?

How much love and respect for yourself are you building up as you unconsciously hand over the control to an external source?

Whether you are following a particular diet or counting calories, the restrictions are always external measurements. Never internal. They don’t indicate how well you feel, whether you easily digest that portion of food, and whether the amount is truly right for you at the moment you eat it.

In most cases, a diet is always time-bound. We’re looking for that “end date” — as soon as I finish this diet I’ll be able to go back to eating whatever I want.

But what happens when we finish the diet is that we go back to the same choices we were making before. We haven’t learned the skills of healthy eating. And we haven’t honestly dealt with the cause, only some of the symptoms.

Which one of these diets have you tried?

It doesn’t matter how far back we go; we find a culture of diets and external rules and restrictions. Some of these are amusing, if not down-right frightening.

The fad diets of the ’70s

Who would have guessed that some of the diets that we see around today were around in the ’70s?

  • The Master Cleanse – also known as the Lemonade Diet
  • Cookie diet (I want to know what this was!)
  • Total Starvation (seriously? I will not look this one up!)
  • Diet pills
  • The grapefruit diet (seems to show up every decade)
  • The Sexy Pineapple diet (yum! And it’s sexy! And we know what pineapple does for us.)
  • Israeli Army diet (which has nothing to do with the Israeli army!)
  • Last Chance Diet
  • 7-day Milk Diet (I’m guessing that the milk industry was behind this!)
  • The Sugar diet (wow! When they considered sugar to be an appetite suppressant)
  • And my personal favourite – the Wine & Egg diet. Seriously. Wine. Eggs. Coffee. What more does a girl require?

And then we get to the fads of the ’80s

  • The Cabbage Soup diet
  • Cottage Cheese diet
  • Beverly Hills diet
  • Elizabeth Taylor diet
  • Hello Jenny Craig!
  • Fit for Life diet
  • Liquid diets (protein shakes)

What do we see happening in the ’90s?

  • Low-fat foods diet
  • Ornish diet (whoever he was)
  • Atkins diet
  • South Beach diet (wonder how that was different to the Beverly Hills diet?)
  • Blood types diet
  • Natural hygiene diet (basically prolonged fasting, different from intermittent fasting and at least not the starvation diet!)
  • Fen-Phen pills
  • The Zone diet
  • The Sugar Busters diet (at least they weren’t using sugar any more as an appetite suppressant)
  • Liquid diets
  • Nice to see you back again Cabbage Soup diet

I don’t think I need to continue – you are probably starting to see the trends!

Everyone has a solution. Restrict this. Eat that. Pay me, and I’ll tell you how to lose 20-pounds before summer so that you can look great at that family gathering.

Do you have one diet for summer and ditch it for the holidays?

We spend all this time, money and energy to lose weight and look good for moments during the year. Often, we try to impress people that we can’t stand, but somehow give their opinion of our size and weight importance.

Do you really care what Uncle Frank thinks of how you look in that dress?

We put all this stress and strain on ourselves with the restrictions.

But how about facing the triggers of why we eat.

How triggered were you during COVID lockdown and “stay-at-home”?  What steps did you take to address the emotions? Or did you simply eat them and stuff them down?

Restricting the food does not address the underlying emotional issues of why you are eating more than what your body requires.

So, summer arrives or a special holiday and we work ourselves into an emotional mess of how to handle those days when you simply forget the diet.

  • Is it a cheat day?
  • Perhaps you’re making a plan for how to stick to your diet with all of the family and work gatherings that you have.
  • Just say no to all those invitations, because you didn’t want to see them anyway?
  • Perhaps you should just take your food and make everyone else feel bad while you eat healthily and they gorge themselves.
  • Or why not just partake of a liquid diet from the liquor cabinet – it probably has fewer calories.

And when it’s over, you beat yourself up, because you should have just ditched the diet and indeed taken care of yourself!

Rather than try to keep up to some external standard of good food / bad food – why not start to take the opportunity to get in touch with yourself and make your own rules about how to live your life and rewrite your relationship with food?

Ditch the diet so that you can feel good about yourself.

Could you handle no diet – no restrictions and no rules? How would it feel to be entirely responsible for your health and wellbeing? Could you be guided by internal cues, rather than external rules?

The Ditch-the-Diet Program will teach you to examine and analyze in many ways, including:

  • How does this food make me feel?
  • Does it give me energy or make you sluggish?
  • Do I feel light after eating it, or was it too heavy?
  • Does it make me bloated or gassy? How does my digestive system respond to it?
  • Can I think better after eating this or do you get brain fog?
  • How am I sleeping at night? Do my eating habits impact my sleep patterns?

But ditching the diet is more than just internal mindfulness about how your body digests and responds to the food. There is also the aspect of being present with:

  • Why am I eating?
  • Do I enjoy eating here, like this? The setting and environment? The people I am with? The presentation of the food?
  • Your thoughts and emotions – not just about the food, but the whole eating experience.

Ditch the diet out of respect for your body

I encourage you to consider the possibility of reclaiming your power over your relationship with food.

In the short term, this is harder than any diet! But, the rewards, in the long run, are priceless!

Ditching the diet allows you to ditch all the external control factors:

  • Counting calories
  • Excluding one food group
  • External numbers such as size or weight
  • Labelling of food as “good” or “bad.”

This allows you to adopt a new relationship with your body.

Exercise your power: ditch the diet.

Notice both your internal and external environment before you eat. What are the factors and motivation for eating and to stop eating?

  • Why am I eating?
    • Because I’m hungry
    • It’s time to eat (external)
    • I’m tired and need energy (do you need to eat or do something else to get your energy levels up?)
    • I’m bored or upset (does eating resolve the core issue, or simply stuff it away?)
    • Peer pressure and social (external)
  • How am I eating?
    • Relaxed
    • Tense
    • In a hurry or on the run
    • Pressured
  • What am I eating?
    • Is this what I want?
      • Do I enjoy it?
      • Does it taste good?
      • How does it make me feel as I digest it?
    • Does my body need it?
      • Am I hungry?
      • Is this what my stomach wants?
  • How much am I eating?
    • Who decides?
      • My eyes?
      • Perhaps my tongue and taste buds – pleasure sensors?
      • Or my stomach and digestive tract?
  • When do I stop?
    • Have I had enough?
    • When I ran out of time?
    • Because I got interrupted?

How you do anything is how you do everything.

They say that if you fix your relationship with money, most other things in life will fall into place for you. I would say that the same is true for your relationship with food.

If you can get honest with yourself about your relationship with food, and how you are using food to swallow your emotions, or numb pain, or pad some feelings — then you will be mindful of all the other areas of life where you are making similar choices.

Ditching the diet may be the best decision you EVER made – because you start to get real! Rather than having someone else call the shots for you, you take back your power.

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Authenticity: what is truly important to you?

authenticity, goals, dreams, values, identifying your values, setting your goals, identifying your purpose, passion,

One of the reasons that we find ourselves unhappy is our lack of authenticity. This sadness usually happens because we are unaware of being out of alignment.

For example, one of our values might be family and relationships. Nonetheless, our definition of success might be solely focused on our career and professional development. To be successful, we sacrifice our family and relationships, living up to our goals and dreams. Nonetheless, we feel that we are living a meaningless life.

Of course, this only happens because we are unaware of the disconnect between our values and our goals or purpose. To live a truly authentic life means to have certainty that our plans and goals align with what we want and need, truly aligning with our values and priorities.

#1 – Authenticity: What are your values?

At the start of this year, I redid the exercise of examining my values. What is essential to demonstrate in my way of being this year? I wrote about this is “Secrets of the heart: revealing my values”.  In “Values & Priorities: why identify them?” I have a quick look at how to identify your values.

Of course, the values that you hold at this stage of your life are quite possibly not the values you were taught that you “should” have. Some of those might still be your values. Nonetheless, you could be surprised to discover they aren’t what others imposed on you.

Possible values

If you took a list of 50 or 100 possible values, and you whittled them down to 5 values on which you could align and base your life and every decision you made, what would those core values be?

Those might be something like: “helping others,” “being creative,” “living a healthy lifestyle”, “financial security,” keeps promises, thriving, fearless, vigorous, motivated, productive…

Want to dive in and identify your values?

Thank you for choosing to work on identifying your values - Identifying Values

First & Last Name

#2 – Your authenticity: how do you define success?

Only once you know what your values are, is it possible to define “success?” Values allow you to measure when you are in alignment. Are your goals significant and essential? Only then will you know what success could look and feel like for you.

Is the life that you are currently living on the path to your definition of success? Or are you on someone else’s path? Are you chasing someone else’s dream?

You might be feeling that the actions you are taking are merely “going through the motions”. You are acting grudgingly and half-heartedly.  Part of you thinks this is a royal waste of your time because it’s not really what you want to do!

When you know who you are, what you value, and what your definition of success is, it’s much easier to think about question #3.

#3 – What is the purpose of your life?

When you are living your authentic life, there is also alignment with your purpose.

Put another way: What is your vision or mission?  What are your passions? When is your life ideal?  For some people – it’s a vocation, not a purpose or passion.

Maybe it’s not a “life vision” – maybe it’s a shorter term than that. The next five years. The following three years.

What is your roadmap of reality?  Where are you headed over the next few years? When you are living according to your strength – when your best self is shining through – what are you doing? And Why?

Do you have a purpose or passions that guide you – an instant checkpoint for evaluating your choices and actions – if you will.

Are you daring to dream? Do you dare to have a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal? Does what I am doing align with my values? Does it serve my purpose or bring me closer to leading my ideal life?

As you look at your purpose, allow yourself to consider:

Do the relationships I have and the people that I am choosing to surround myself with help and support me on this path to living my purpose according to my strengths & weaknesses?

When we know our purpose or our passions, what our ideal life would look like – inner respect becomes easier to attain. Our actions become fruitful because they have clarity of purpose!

When you have clarity of purpose, it’s easier to let go of the things that you cannot control. Letting go allows you to focus your time and efforts on the things that will make a difference, within your control.

#4 – Authenticity:

Are you true to yourself?

When you look at the big picture:

  • who you are,
  • what your values are,
  • your definition of success for your life, and
  • your purpose or passions

Are you living with authenticity? Or have you become so focused on the external – chasing the achievements & appearances – that you lost touch with the inner you?

Bringing about change: living with authenticity

If you are not feeling good – don’t look to the past.

You can waste a lot of time studying past decisions and try to come up with a reason as to what is wrong. Nonetheless, you can’t fix or change the past. It only answers the question of why you are today where you are.

The past may have lessons on paths to be avoided – but it won’t hold the answer of where you want to go from here.

Your strength and power lie in today, the present.

  • Where, in your life, today, are you out of alignment with that greater, inner you?
  • In what areas are you failing to live authentically?
  • Where are you lying to yourself or others about who you are?

What is that self-image that you have hidden behind a mask?

A poet, an artist, a writer, a politician, an activist, a helper, a gardener, a runner.

  • When you have clarity of who you are;
  • And you have clarity of what your values are;
  • When you have identified your purpose and passions;
  • Then speaking up for yourself and living authentically – standing your ground courageously on what you hold dear;
  • That becomes easier:
  • Because you know what you stand for;
  • You know what you believe in;
  • You know what it means to you.

And as you find this voice, as you live authentically, you will start to love your life once more.

You can choose how you get your lessons – with a sledgehammer or a feather.  Ask yourself whether you are willing to learn.

Are you willing to face the choices?  Once you accept the alternatives, realise you also agree with the consequences and results of those choices. Then, you choose & commit to moving forward on that new path of authenticity.

“If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.”

Your power lies within your respect for yourself. When you are true to yourself – you will respect that.
Others are compelled to respect that as well.

Have you discovered what is truly important to you? If not, what are you waiting for? When will you start to live authentically?

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Finding your voice: loving your authentic life

finding your voice, loving your authentic life, the power of authenticity

For me, the year 2018 was all about finding my voice and becoming me authentically. I discovered areas I focused on people-pleasing. I was busy living up to expectations, rather than speaking my truth.

It came on the heels of burnout. I recognised that recovery required a new set of standards and values by which to lead my life!

Have you stopped loving your life?

Maybe some of the following words or phrases resonate with you:

  • Disengaged
  • Unfulfilled
  • Unhappy
  • Stuck
  • Inauthentic
  • Going through the motions
  • Living up to old dreams
  • Yesteryear
  • Living up to other people’s expectations
  • I forgot what the question was while pursuing the answer
  • Life just got in the way and took over

And then, one day, you wake up, finding you lost all respect for yourself and others and you ceased loving.

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him or around him, and so loses respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

The Power of Authenticity

There is an extraordinary power that is held in YOU being You. When I suggest you need help finding your voice, I am not referring to a writer or a speaker. Instead, I want you to find the power of the small, still voice – somewhere deep inside – that dares to stand up for you.

It’s finding that voice that dares to think your thoughts.
That dares to speak your mind.
That dares to make decisions for that are right for you – because they are right for you.
The voice that truly represents who you are – or perhaps, at this moment in time, who you wish to be.

I invite you to search for the best, authentic, true version of you.

  • The you that keeps your word – especially to yourself – that wakes up when the alarm goes off the first time. When you know the value of starting the day early, you keep the smallest promises to yourself. “I will get up at this time.” When you finally recognise that if you lied to yourself about something this insignificant, you couldn’t trust yourself for the more essential things in life.
  • I want you to find YOU – the you that keeps your word about how much exercise you want to do and how you want to feel in your body – because you care about you.
  • You keep your word about what you will do and get finished today because what you say to yourself matters.

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Because how you do anything is how you do everything.

Finding your voice is discovering the You that has investigated, for yourself:

  • What you really think
  • What you truly desire
  • And who you most deeply are: the deep inner you.

You are, in your own, unique way, really creative, truly compassionate and fiercely courageous.

They say that we come into this world as living souls of infinite potentiality to be discovered and released – when we dare to live life from the inside out.

A story is told of a man who sits brooding at his desk in the evening.
Earlier that day, he received his dismissal notice from a company that he had served for more than 20 years.
He’s busy despairing on the difficulty of getting a new job – at his age – the impossibilities of living on his income – the shock of finding himself dispensable in the world!
Washed up.
A little spider was walking across his desk at that moment, and he unconsciously brushed it off.
Immediately he found himself watching, in awe, as this tiny creature took this disaster – of being swept into the air and off its path, and spun a tiny strand to bear its weight and gracefully swung down to the floor.

If that spider – a tiny creature – can get into the flow of using all its talents and natural resources and deal so creatively and gracefully with a crisis – why can we not do the same?

Your innate power lies within:

Could you invest a little of your time discovering your inherent ability?  This power comes from knowing who you are and what your strengths are and the resources that you have at your disposal.

The power of a person that owns what they say – that can compassionately, and yet clearly, say what they mean. Can you permit yourself to be you – warts & all?

– Jay Acunzo
“If you just stopped trying to be a better version of everyone else, you might find way more success using your creativity to be the only one who does what you do.”

Finding your inner voice: WHO AM I?

When you are alone, taking off the labels of relationships, religion, profession, nationality, and all the rest of the tags that society or even you have placed on yourself – WHO are you?

-Lao Tzu, Chinese Taoist Philosopher.
“Mastering others is strength; Mastering yourself is true power.”

Know Thyself.”

Know thyself now. It does you little good to know the person you were ten years ago. Even the person you were last year is not going to help you out today. Who are you now?

Are you in touch with your feelings and needs?

We are human beings: who are you now? And I would even go further. We are human becomings: who are you becoming?

Most importantly, who do you want to become?  Understand “this is me here and now” even as I grow and change.

‘A caterpillar who seeks to know himself would never become a butterfly.’

I started off asking if you were stuck, unhappy, disengaged. One of the issues with forgetting who you are – really, truly, deeply – is that you can’t express who you are because you don’t know any more. You’ve become trapped in the definition of self that you made up some time ago.  Or worse yet, you failed to define “who am I?” and so someone else told you!

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Finding your voice and identity: 

As you get to know yourself, you find happiness: I like this, but I don’t like that. Then you can say I want to do this and I don’t want to do that.

When you know yourself – you feel less conflicted.  Your actions will align with your inner feelings & values.

When you know the answer to “who am I?”, it’s easier to make better choices for yourself.

  • Do I like this sweater?
  • What would I like to eat?
  • What do I want to invest the rest of my life building?

Knowing who you are, and finding your inner voice, allows you to slow down. Do you feel that you are busy living your life with other peoples’ choices?  Or, are you choosing what you would like to eat? Do you love your body? How does this influence your wardrobe? Who decided your lifestyle?

Know Thyself

What are your limits & boundaries?

Here are some great questions to ask yourself:

  • How good am I at X?
  • How well do I do what I do?
  • What are my strengths & weaknesses? What are the limits of my strengths? Strengths might be your abilities, skills & talents – but don’t forget your character strengths –
      • Loyalty
      • Respect for others
      • Love learning
      • Emotional intelligence
      • Empathy
      • Encouraging others or a great listener

Do you know your “superpowers”- because knowing these strengths also gives you self-confidence!

Knowing and acknowledging your weaknesses allows you to hold back from accepting responsibilities or roles that you are not cut out for.

And one of the best things about knowing yourself, of really understanding your likes and dislikes – is having the power to say “no” when you mean “no”.  How many times do you say yes – to social obligations, to invitations, to responsibilities & commitments, when you wanted to say “no” because you weren’t standing in your power?

Do you need guidance in finding your voice?


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