Quick fixes, false promises, tempting before and after pictures and stories of how people lose dress sizes quicker than they lose their keys, are everywhere this time of year. In fact, most of the year, but particularly now trying to cash in on the traditional New Year's market.
Every day I walk past a banner hanging on my kids' school railings. It's advertising a major meal replacement company. It has before and after pictures and the quote "I lost 4 1/2 stone in 12 weeks" on it. I bet using that heading too, got you to click on this blog. Big amounts of weight, in small periods of time - preferably the quicker the better, work every time.
It gets your attention doesn't it? It grabs that desire in you to be slimmer. That craving for utopia, where it's all taken away quickly and painlessly, leaving you looking and feeling fabulous. However, every time I walk past that banner and that headline, I want to write, in big black marker pen "and then gained it all back again" underneath!! It's enticing, it's playing on your insecurities and desires to be slimmer, then drops you like a hot potato when you start creeping back to the same old habits that you did before you stopped eating real food, and start "treating" yourself because you've been "good" for so long. I'm sure you know the score here. I'm speaking to people who have been there and done this a million times over. It makes me cross, because it's not offering you a REAL solution. It's offering you a temporary sense of euphoria and control due to the weight you're losing simply because you're pretty much starving yourself.
There is absolutely no care for YOU in these methods. It is simply about money. Quick results they can use for marketing to entice more people in. Last year, I had consultants from this very same company contact me, desperate. Stuck having to pay their bills, promoting a method they had come to hate as they knew it wasn't sustainable. Stuck themselves in a desperate dieting hell, needing my help to get out of. Stuck not knowing what to do and turning to me for help, while still selling shakes knowing the results would not last.
But, hey I'm not here to judge. I'm here to help. I'm here to pick up the pieces of these awful regimes and put them back together in a different way. A way that doesn't involve counting, weighing, cutting out food or restricting food groups. It doesn't involve sticking to rules, following regimes or having lists of allowed or not allowed foods. Hell, what I do doesn't even let you call foods good or bad, let alone have a list of foods for each!
Let me tell you this: if you have tried these methods time and time again and STILL have gained weight back. There are far deeper issues you need to address or this will NEVER go away. Your life will be spent swinging between seriously under-eating and massively over-eating. Back and forth, back and forth, occupying your every thought, affecting your whole life, up and down that never ending emotional roller coaster. When you get to your nineties and look back on your life, that is what you will see. That is all you will see. That is what your life will be about. Is that how you want to view your life?
Simply starting another diet WILL NOT WORK because food is not the problem. Fears, perceptions of life, of food, beliefs about eating rituals, diets, your worth and how you fit into the world. Feelings about pain, suffering and where your life has ended up. Emptiness, who you are, what you're missing out on, how you were taught to see and think about food, what words were used, meals were served, experiences you saw, felt and heard - THIS is where the problem really lies. Excuse my language, but drinking shakes is going to do JACK SHIT to help you!
So don't listen to those posters, false promises and quick fixes. Face the real fears of changing your life and living without it all. Of finally being free and happy with food and weight. It's a great place to be and one where you can spend your time and energy on the things that really matter to you.