Health & Fitness
What is UnDieting?
Join us for this exclusive pre-released episode as part of Podcast Wellness Week.
This episode is brought to you by Jenna Free of the How to Love Your Body podcast.
Intuitive Eating, UnDieting and Health At Every Size are concepts and ways of living that go against diet culture. The world we live in that’s obsessed with weight loss, thinness and so called “health”.
It can be misunderstood and seen as extreme because it does go against a lot of what we’re used to.
What do you mean don’t diet? Eat what I want? Don’t restrict? Accept my body? Stop pursuing weight loss?
These are all things our society values in a profoundly dysfunctional way but when we’re in it we don’t see it that way - we see willpower and discipline and health and being good!
So why is it dysfunctional?
We are told that weight = health but when you look at the research this is not true. But then why does my doctor always tell me to lose weight? - We live in a culture strife with false beliefs about weight and these are held onto in medical school, and passed down from one generation to the next. We did an interview with a medical student and she said there are new classes being introduced to provide more nuance about weight and health but there are still many professors (older doctors) who use words like COUCH POTATO in their medical lectures - yes, couch potato. She said many doctors were perplexed about why their patients don’t just lose weight? The data does not overtake the fear and bias we have around weight as a culture.
Pursuing weight loss is unnecessary but it also DOES NOT WORK! Not only are we taught that losing weight is good for our health, we’re also taught that it’s possible - all you need is a meal plan and some willpower and POOF you’re thin and live happily ever after. The truth is pursuing weight loss leaves you with a 2-5% chance of losing weight and keeping it off (with likely intensive effort while missing out on a lot of life and negatively affecting your mental health) and a 66% chance of ending up heavier than you started.
But without this knowledge we think these diets should work and WE are to blame for their failure. It’s the only product where it doesn't work, in fact usually backfires and the customer blames themselves.
We are not taught that our bodies are brilliant and we can just listen to them and that will result in positive health outcomes. We are told to not trust our bodies, that we can't be trusted around food and that our bodies will be unhealthy if we don't suppress our weight. Leading us AWAY from the innate knowledge that our bodies hold if we were to just trust our bodies.
J - So what does it look like to not pursue weight loss and trust our bodies?
At first: Yes, coming from dieting, food restriction and body hate, this doesn’t happen overnight. We can’t go straight from dieting to balance, it doesn’t work that way although we’d all love it if it did. Many people do not take on the work of intuitive eating, UnDieting and body acceptance because it is HARD At the beginning and it doesn’t happen instantly but it’s so worth it.
At first many people will experience higher levels of hunger, it might feel like all that you want is the things you didn't allow yourself when you were dieting. And this is what people are afraid they’ll do forever but it’s just a phase. Your body needs to be re-fed! Yes, even if you are not thin, even if you feel like you need to lose weight, if you’ve been restricting, your body is hungry and it will do what it needs to do in order to correct itself.
But then comes a time when food becomes less interesting and the goal is that food just becomes food. It’s an enjoyable part of your life but just a small part of your life - not everything.
Another part of this work is changing the way you think - in fact it's the most important element. If you still think you really SHOULDN'T be eating that and you’re just trying to do this work to try to sneakily lose weight.
But this journey results in what we call wellness without the obsession.
Moving your body in ways you enjoy.
Eating a wide variety of food that makes you feel good while also being able to go to a restaurant, order what you want, enjoy it and move on.
Eat dessert without guilt, pass on dessert when you don’t feel like it.
Feel at peace in your body regardless of how it looks.
Be present in your life and feel good mentally.
This is what this work does for us.
And we are so passionate about sharing it with others.
In order to get started we invite you to tune into our other podcast episodes, download our free workbook at bit.ly/wwworkbook and register to join us for a private online screening of our documentary called Behind the Before and After coming out early 2021 bit.ly/btbagiveaway
Please rate and review this podcast if it has given you any insights into this work.
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