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How to Ditch 'The 'Perfect Diet' Mentality For Good

Ladies, are you ready to get set free from 'the perfect diet' mentality'?

It was 1998, and I was searching for a way to feel better in my own body and find a 'path' to follow. I felt I needed a diet to follow because I honestly needed something to control my health as well as have a mission, something to believe in. Truthfully, I was not informed, connected to myself and quite frankly feeling a bit lost.

I had found out I was pregnant for the first time and all of a sudden my diet, what I put into my body mattered. I also had a lot of symptoms of IBS, which at the time, I didn't realize was what I was struggling with.

So I set out on a path to find 'the perfect diet'.

I began to read everything I could get my hands on at the time. I have to be honest and disclaim, going on a 'diet' when you are newly pregnant is not the wisest plan. But that was where I was at during that period of my life.

My first diet attempt was the 'Fit For Life' diet. Again, NOT a smart choice for a ravenous, active, newly pregnant momma already very lean.

It was a disaster for my blood sugar, energy and moods. I couldn't stick with it, so I quit with my tail between my legs and began the quest for the next 'diet' to try. Desperate for some plan that would provide me with some sense of completeness and control over my health.

Little did I know, I'd never find that from a diet.

Next I tried becoming a vegetarian (while I was still pregnant mind you). Not only did I try it, I became a zealot and preached the merits of vegetarianism to anyone who would tolerate my message of extremism.

After almost 2 years of vegetarianism and raising my son that way, I began to realize it was too strict. Because I was a little embarrassed to admit it, I figured out a way to explain why I added back in some chicken and fish but still maintain my pseudo-veggie head religious ways.

By the time I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I threw all my uptight diet rules out the window for a bit. Bingeing on Ben & Jerry's daily, craving meat so ravenously I became quite the converted recommitted omnivore.

I gained 50 plus pounds with his pregnancy, and back to the diet drawing board I went. I tried a few random diets here and there, the Zone diet, juicing, South Beach. None of them really landed for me.

After a miscarriage, and not feeling like myself and holding on to 20 extra pounds still, I decided to try another diet in the late summer of 2004. This time, I chose 'The Fat Flush' thanks to a recommendation from a friend.

It was HARD AF, but I stuck to it for as long as I could and the results were nothing short of miraculous. I lost 10 lbs, my skin cleared up (eczema on my hand), I had energy and so much more. I could fit into my old jeans again and had a clarity and sense of belonging to myself again.

BUT, I didn't want to continue with the strict rules. Even the phase 3, lifestyle phase (less strict than the initial phase) was too rigid for me to sustain perfectly. I guess I thought if I couldn't do it perfectly it wouldn't work, or I would lose momentum.

This is when the battle to find balance began. Deep down, I knew there had to be a realistic path but my religious, rules-based upbringing caused me to feel so much internal conflict over this whole diet aspect of my life.

It was like living with a devil on your one shoulder constantly pointing out everything wrong about every bite of food you put in your mouth. Not to mention, internally judging everyone else at the same time too. Heck, sometimes even preaching at them when I felt out of control and not able to maintain the very thing I preached.

While I could go on and on and continue to tell you about the additional diets I tried on my search to 'find myself' through food; let me pause and ask if you can relate. Can you relate?

Thankfully, I've since learned that the perfect diet doesn't exist. Rather, the perfect diet is an illusion that promises the potential to have a better relationship with one's self worth and image. I had been dissatisfied with my body and my relationship to myself. This dissatisfaction is what led me to attempt to control myself from the outside in, rather than the inside out.

Many years later, I've come to realize that in order to truly honor my health, I don't have to eat a perfect diet (whatever that even is) to be healthy. Rather I can make food choices that honor my health and even my taste buds while also making me feel good. And to do so, it's more about consistency over time than perfection.

Progress over perfection, is what counts and is actually sustainable. Would you agree?

So to take this a smidge further if you may still be stuck on the 'perfect diet mentality' fence... so I can help you get off, since sitting on a fence is likely quite uncomfortable. Here's something (a bit of a rant actually) I shared on Facebook that seemed to land really well for many others also searching to make peach with food and in so doing honor their own health.

We can't 'fix' the root cause of our health with boxes and systems, diets and rules.

We have to stop looking for things outside of ourselves to fix what only we can through learning what works for us and getting connected to our personal needs, which requires some self trust and if we aren't there yet we can get support from someone who can help us learn how ... this is so much more liberating than just 'doing what we are told'... EFF that ;)

It's both easier and 'harder' but more fulfilling and self sustaining than trying so hard to fit into a mold we can never fit into.

Did I mention I am a bit of a rebel?

I've since rejected the idea that 'the perfect diet' even exists and in so doing have learned to tap into my own intuition and trust it when it comes to what I eat.

Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot from my trial and error years of trying on all sorts of different diets. I learned a lot about how my body works. I learned about food quality. I learned about ethical sourcing. I learned about the role of all the macro-nutrients. I even learned about when to eat to help my metabolism and so much more.


Through ditching the need to follow any one diet plan, I've also learned to honor my own hunger and trust my bodies signals because they are different than what any diet book or guru could ever possibly predict. [Not to mention, my physiological needs for nourishment shift ALL. THE. TIME.]

This has helped me to rebuild trust in myself around food. Instead of the constant fear of sabotaging or messing up my diet if I didn't follow it perfectly.

This has allowed me to make peace with food and not see food as bad or good. That alone is liberating beyond what I can express.

It sure has been a process for me to find my way to being a liberated intuitive eater. One full of ups and downs versus linear. After all a process is really just a continuing development that involves many changes along the way. Eating intuitively has taught me to trust the process and myself, and in with that tune deeply into my own inner wisdom and create a better relationship with myself as a whole person; mind, body, soul and spirit.

And to me, nothing is more powerful than a woman who has tapped into her complete self. Lord knows the world needs more liberated FREE women, not afraid to trust their inner strength.

I love it when I can help my clients make these connections for themselves and watch how incredibly empowering and truly life altering it is for them. When you are given permission to ditch the perfect diet, and really honor your feelings, practice gratitude and tap into your hunger/satisfaction (like my client Trina), you'll feel more inclined to sustainable lasting habit change.

Trina stopped being so uptight about food rules and started being more open-minded  she had no idea it would improve her communication and relationship with her husband (which in turn led to more sex - how cool is that?!!!). It goes to show, you are a whole person and your mindset impacts your health, actions and relationships. It's all connected!

If you are still with me and this has stirred up your own feelings of dissatisfaction with the diet mentality or it's still an area of struggle in your life that you want freedom from, feel free to share in the comments below and let's keep this conversation going.

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