Updated: Jul 6, 2020
We interrupt our regularly scheduled program of Batch Cooking tutorials for this important public service announcement:
Diets do not work.
The ketogenic diet does not work for you for the same reason the Whole30 betrayed you. For the same reason that Paleo eventually made you gain weight. For the same reason that intermittent fasting made you lose your energy. For the same reason that fruitarianism made you so bloated and achy that you gave up.
It is because you gave up.
Diets do not work because they carry the connotation of the temporal.
"I am on a diet"....but, when this #Whole30 is over, you bet your ass I am going out for margaritas and chips and salsa and cheese.
"I am on a diet"....until I remember that drinking butter for breakfast is super nasty and I am still for reals hungry.
"I am on a #diet"....so everyone better stay the hell out of my way until I am done drinking these shakes two times a day. No, really. I will bite you.
Close your eyes and think about the first time you decided to "diet". Odds are, 80% of you can remember that time vividly. What else was going on in your life? Who spoke unkindly to you? What favorite piece of childhood clothing didn't fit? What popular kid told you that you had Thunder Thighs? What gorgeous malnourished 90s model was on the cover of Cosmo while you read the glossy article on how to quickly drop 10 pounds with some new registered dietitian-approved diet?
You would have to be living in a Tiny House in backwoods Appalachia to be free from all of the diet dogma that is circulating the social media-sphere right now.
Sugar is bad.
Carbs are bad.
Animal products are bad.
Eating three meals a day or more is bad.
Mmmm. What? As if you are not already struggling with being a better wife, mother, ministry servant, businesswoman, caretaker, and friend. Now, if you are not on a trendy diet, you cannot be part of the dinner conversation. Or, like, the conversation at dinner time. Where no one is eating. And everyone is mad. And still overweight. And confused. And frustrated. And scared to admit it.
At the risk of divulging too much, allow me to present for you the following programs I have purchased in the past year "to help my clients" and "to inform myself" and to "Lord help me, lose 10 pounds...this has to be it!"
Custom #Keto Plan
If It Fits Your #Macros Custom Plan
The Healthy Mama Hive
#Paleo for Women Weight Loss Unlocked
Oh snap. Now listen, I also purchased plenty of legit course material that would further my hormone/ functional nutrition knowledge. These things do not make me feel bad about myself.
But. The above courses in bold make me feel bad about myself. Am I the only idiot who can't do keto for more than 8 days? What the hell do I do when I go over my fat macros by 3 pm? Why do other paleo devotees look like Tahitian beach nymphs while I am still 5 foot 11 with muscles?
Screw you, diets.
I said it. And I actually believe it. Do you?
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are not broken. You are not a victim. You are not simply a part of a whole. You are smarter than you think. Diet dogma has instilled in us the belief that we are all idiots.
Oh! #Gluten makes me inflamed and cranky? Revelation. Thanks, Good Housekeeping.
Keto makes me a svelte, hot, Themysciran? Why didn't I think of that?
Veganism will help me save the environment while saving me from my fat pants. Of course!
I almost hesitate to write this, but I have a thought:
What if your weight problems are your fault?
Hear me out before bringing out the handcrafted artisan pitchforks.
If your weight problems are the result of something you did, then you are not a victim. You, my dear, are the perp.
And that puts the ball in your court. You have the upper hand!
And when I say that your weight problems may be your fault, I only mean that willingly jumping on the New Hot Diet bandwagon year after year, even when the diets clearly are not working, means that you are subscribing to a faulty logic.
If it doesn't work the first time, try again.
If it doesn't work the 25th time, then you, my dear, have been hosed.
But that is ok!
If you are not a victim, then you are fully capable of changing course whenever you damn well please.
How does one extricate themselves from the slimy tentacles of the diet world?
You could just...do it.
Even though the false idols of diet books have been crowding out my shelf for the past 20 years, I am just going to let them go because they don't matter anymore.
Nutrition matters. That does not change.
Good food is good food.
Cutting out major food groups and macronutrients is kind of insane, though.
Spending all day saving points or fat grams or carb grams so you can ball out at dinner is kind of crazy. Alternately, eating whatever you want whenever you want without regard to the inherent wisdom God gave your body is crazy. Cheat days are crazy. Just the concept of having to cheat is crazy. Does that make anyone else uncomfortable?
Can we just #balance it out a little?
If you want apples, eat apples. If you want rice, eat rice. If you want to celebrate National Donut Day, get your fritter on. But- hey- don't eat three donuts! No, there are not rules. But common sense, thar be. Be common sensical.
The fun and encouraging and freeing thing about this mindset is that it really does put the metaphorical ball back in your court. You know what makes your body feel best. You know what foods make you feel energized, strong, sexy, and capable. We like healthy foods! Even little children will naturally gravitate toward #bananas and applesauce and #carrot sticks and hummus and #meat. But we all have that innate longing for comfort. That is ok. Hugging your kids and your spouse- this is a beautiful, comforting thing. You can't spend all day with your arms wrapped around your 12 year old though. Work has to be done. So you train and #discipline and help with homework and have them memorize #Scripture. Similarly, it's ok to sometimes eat pizza or ice cream or for the love, bananas- if you are listening to a body that is asking for these things. If you intuitively, slowly, mindfully, give your body what it needs, you prevent yourself from throwing your hands up in the air and taking a package of Oreos into the garage so you can binge in secret.
We have to retrain ourselves, just like we train a small child. Access to All of the Things is given to you. It's not wise to eat brownies for every meal, but when your body needs sugar and chocolate and an extra bump in energy and someone home baked a batch of warm, crispy-edged Triple Chocolate Brownies and brought them to your house in love for dessert, please give yourself permission to enjoy them. And to be thankful for them.
Brownies a few nights a week won't make you #fat. You can trust yourself around #food. You are not a child, or a goat, or a dog. You can choose to eat nourishing foods, and you can choose to eat "play foods". And you can choose to stop when you are full, knowing that you can have another brownie tomorrow if you want.
I would like to share with you how to put these principles into action. It can be a scary thing to think about, so our groups will be very small and very intentional, with daily activities and encouragement on returning to normal, intuitive, diet-free life from yours truly.
If you are interested in joining these secret underground groups who turn their back on conventional dieting and just want to legit be healthy, let me know. We are starting small, targeted support/ exploration/ information groups on "Intuitive Eating". Being an #FDN, I have some pretty cool training on how to incorporate all kinds of foods into your food rotation. I get that you can't do gluten. That's cool. We don't need no eczema 'round here. Dairy makes you look 7 months pregnant. You don't need it. But do you want it? Then let's work on that. Other than that, "all things are lawful (yet not all things are profitable)"- there goes Scripture, blowing ya mind again!
I'm excited to help facilitate as you learn more about yourself and kick dieting to the curb. As you learn to read your own hunger signals. As you learn what foods actually support your body and what foods inhibit health. As you add and stop subtracting. Abundance is a nice concept. So is nourishment. Restriction sucks. Let's do this together.
Yours in health,