There’s a hesitancy in people’s eyes when I talk about The Diet Rebellion. While the idea of not dieting and finding the love of food again is intriguing, there’s another part of them that’s terrified that if they stop dieting they’ll never stop eating. That without the rules they’ll lose any bit of control that they still hold.
Can you relate?
Jon Kabat Zin is a mindfulness teacher. He recorded a wonderful meditation that I think will help you understand what I’m talking about.
Imagine a lake. Have you got the picture in your head?
Is the water calm or is it rough?
Just like in life, sometimes it/we can be still and reflective. Other times the winds pick up and disturb the stillness causing waves.
If you drop down into that lake, at some point the stillness returns. Even if there’s white caps on the lake when you drop below the surface, it’s calm. And it’s usually not very far down either.
That’s the place within ourselves that my programs allows us to reach. The place where comments from Aunt Jane about your weight don’t get to you; the place where when someone says “are you sure you should be eating that” is a non-issue; the place where you can attend any event without worrying about “blowing it”; the place where any food is safe to have in your house because it won’t be calling to you from the cupboard.
By learning the skills of Intuitive Eating, Self-compassion and Health At Every Size, you choose what’s best for your life. You won’t be thrown into every headline that vilifies a new food or praises one for it’s healing powers. You won’t ever have to feel guilty or defeated about your food or your body again.
Over the years I’ve started to see a clear pattern of the phases in which people pass through going from Diet Culture to Mastering Life As A Rebel.
Each stage builds on the next and is incorporated as we move forward. A Realized Rebel will continue to Rebel against Diet Culture and Reconcile old beliefs and behaviours.
How long does each stage last? It depends on how deeply rooted diet & wellness culture are for you. It will also depend on quickly you learn how to practice self-compassion.
Where you are now will determine what you need first.
Phase 1: Rebellion
If you’re new to these concepts, you’ll likely be in the Rebellion phase. In this phase you’ve started to become seriously disillusioned by conventional diet and wellness advice. You know that dieting isn’t the answer, but you’re not sure what is. All you know is that you’re tired of feeling defeated and that you don’t want to raise your kids to feel this way.
It’s in this phase that you may see the pendulum swing from all of the rules, to none of the rules. It’s like your parents left you home alone and you’re going to try all of things while throwing the party of your life. That’s okay. You’re finding YOUR way. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying.
I’m not sure if this fits or if it’s too much…This stage may not supported by others in your life who haven’t yet looked behind the curtain. They may not understand. It can feel vulnerable and you may keep it as your little secret until you get enough footing to share. Just like a teenage who may act like the ‘good little girl’ in front of parents and teachers, but privately is drinking coolers, wearing crop tops and listening to heavy metal. Until you feel like you can let our true colours shine, you’ll need a community who gets it so that you can practice living this new way, speaking this new language and living into it’s principles.
I created Rebel Boot Camp to help people in this phase. It’s where you can deepen your understanding of these new concepts and decide if it’s something that you’d like to pursue further, or not. You can start to get a sense of what freedom awaits.
Phase 2: Reconciliation
The next phase of breaking free from diet culture is the reconciliation stage.
At this stage, you’ve embraced the Anti-diet movement concepts and have started to accept them. Where you’re likely struggling is with how to integrate them into your daily life.
The Rebellion is starting to get old and not jive with your true intentions. You’re ready to set health goals but don’t know how to do that without falling back into diet and wellness culture. You need a new plan. You need a way of living that blends the best of both worlds. Where you can look after your health without sacrificing your sanity or your satisfaction and it has to be sustainable.
It’s here we may see confusion:
- Do I want to eat this salad or just think that I should?
- Am I not wanting this dessert or is that diet talk sneaking in?
- How do I know the difference?
This is the phase of building trust and confidence. It’s about tuning out the noise, and tuning into your own frequency to hear your voice, your likes, your wants and your needs. This stage is about learning not only what your voice sounds like, but how to respond to that voice respectfully as well.
Living Life As A Rebel is group program designed for this phase. A few times a year a wonderful group comes together to support each other in navigating this new landscape. This program is about setting health goals that are sensible, satisfying and sustainable.
Phase 3: Realization
At this phase you’re fairly proficient at using the new skills and concepts. It’s starting to feel more natural and this new mindset is coming with greater ease.
Since you’re not as vulnerable to external influences, this is where food, fitness and fashion start to become fun again. You can be more playful in how you approach these once triggering/difficult topics.
You’re feeling fluent in this new language and ready to start experimenting with your diet more. You’re more comfortable exploring movement and may be ready to expand your comfort zone.
A realized rebel can still get triggered. They can go through a rebellion and then reconcile with more ease and grace.
Mastering Life As A Rebel is a meeting place for Realized Rebels. Just like when we’ve learned a new language we need to practice speaking it. These Rebels meet monthly to continue their Rebel education, to connect with others who ‘get it’ and to practice speaking this new language.