Why your new diet won't work
Ever wondered why you continually get stuck when you try a new diet?
Or why you time after time, give up, call it quits and go headfirst back into old habits?
I want to tell you something important, darling:
It's not your fault.
'm not just saying this to help you release your guilt around food, dieting, body image etc. That part IS super important. Probably the most important component to your "health". But I'm telling you this because it is a scientifically proven fact that one way of eating will not work for everyone, nor will it necessarily work for you forever.
This my dear, is Bio-Individuality
Bio-Individuality just means that what works for me, might not work for you based on your lifestyle, heritage, tastes, preferences, genetics, blood type, body type, gender, food allergies, existing conditions etc. etc. etc.
And, what works for me now, might not work for me in 6 months, a year, 10 years and so on.
Not to mention, what "works for me" isn't something you anyone else should ever try to live up to in their own life. What "works for me" is led by my own intuitive choices, now that I no longer view health through the narrow lens of dieting.
This is a tough concept to grapple with because we're all sold on this idea that one diet or one type of exercise or one pill is going to fix us! The diet, drug and food industries want it that way because it makes them money. If the secret ever got out, well then they'd go broke! So they do their absolute best at selling us on the idea that their product must work for you, and if it doesn't it's your fault.
It's not just the diet and drug industries who've begun using these sort of tactics. We need to be wary of any sort of "cause" or food movement who insist their way is the best for everyone. ie. Paleo, oil free, dairy free, gluten-free, soy free, fat free, low carb, and sometimes even movements with a noble cause- like veganism.
It took me a long time to let go of dieting
How could these food movements be steering anyone wrong? How could a cause I was so committed to be wrong for me in the long term?
For most of you who don't know me personally, I was vegan for about three years and vegetarian for about 5 years before that. I spent the majority of my teenage and young adulthood not consuming any animal products and trying to promote the vegan message. I don't regret any of it for a minute- I want you to know that. I think giving up meat and dairy has it's place, especially in a culture where we consume WAY too much of it. However, I got to the point where I was so out of touch with my own body and its needs. I cared more about the message I stood for than to listen to what my body was telling me; what my intuition was telling me.
For about the last year of being vegan I suffered with some pretty major health concerns as well as disordered eating habits.
I was sure it had to be something in my diet that my body didn't like. It didn't even occur to me until a close friend suggested it, that maybe it had less to do with something in my diet and more to do with something major lacking.
Deciding to drop the vegan label was possibly the most difficult decision I ever had to make in terms of defining my personal identity. I had let it define me; everyone knew me as the vegan in the crowd (which now that I think about it was actually more annoying and confining than anything). I wondered who I would be and what people would think of me if I suddenly stopped being that person.
And then I realized- I wasn't practicing what I was preaching to my clients and friends. I wasn't acknowledging the fact that my food choices were being made via a list of "do's and don't's" rather than by my own intuitive wants and needs.
Long story short, I'm no longer vegan. I'm not subscribing to any sort of label or diet. I'm just trying to eat as intuitively and as ethically as I can while also considering my situation in that moment. And I feel the most at home in my body now than I ever have.
So what does this mean for you on your health journey?
Well, that's up to you! I'd ask you to get real with yourself about whatever diet or exercise you're trying to make work. If it's really not working, ask yourself why you're so attached to the idea of operating with rules...
Ask yourself what you can do differently to start listening to your body while still working towards better health and wellness. And let go of guilt or stress around "failing" at a certain diet or exercise routine If it doesn't make you feel good in the long run (whether that be two weeks or two years), let it go. Try something different. Acknowledge that what your body, mind and spirit might need right now is something different than what you've been giving it.
All in all, be kind to yourself, drop the rules and you'll begin to see a shift in your health in so many little ways you never saw coming.