The first diet memory I can dig up happened when I was around 6 years old, although I’m sure the subconscious diet messaging was hanging around long before that.
And since then? I vividly remember being concerned about the way my track shorts fit my growing 9-year-old legs, the name of the girl at school who told me I should try an ice-cube diet at 12, and my parent’s lemon juice and cayenne pepper diet a few years later.
And while I remember the 15 or so different diets I’ve tried and failed since then, what I remember most of all is the feeling of guilt for each of those failures.
‘CAUSE WE ARE LI-VING IN A DIET CULTURE WORLD…
I, like all of us, grew up steeped in diet culture, surrounded by Weight Watchers ads and jokes about Fat Monica on Friends. I dieted young after watching those around me diet, or talk about dieting, frequently. And I whole-heatedly bought into the abs-in-six-weeks promises & and detox myths I was being sold.
In short, I learned early that food was hard and bodies were meant to struggle against. That nourishing yourself had to be a fight and that when the plan inevitably failed, it was most definitely my own fault.
And man, I was so wrong.
INTRODUCING: THE DIET INDUSTRY
There is little doubt about it: the belief that food is meant to be hard hits deep for most of us. That’s unsurprising, I suppose, since the Diet Industry has been overcomplicating it for us for years with the hopes that it leaves desperate enough to buy its temporary-at-best solutions.
The Diet Industry is a more than $60 billion dollar per year industry with a 95% failure rate. And what’s worse: that failure rate is planned, because it keeps us coming back for more. If the diets worked, the system would put itself out of business pretty quickly, wouldn’t it?
That failure, we’re told, is ours to hold.
On this journey, I have learned two important things the diet industry will never admit: that fault? It isn’t close to yours. And the only nutrition plan that will ever truly work is the one built specifically for you.
DIETS FAIL YOU, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
Looking back, forcing my body and my life into someone else’s pre-made set of overly strict rules wasn’t sustainable… and it certainly wasn’t any fun.
And while building our nutrition plan ourselves might sound overwhelming at first, I have good news, friend: it doesn’t have to be big and it doesn’t have to be complicated, it just needs to be yours.
I am grateful now, looking back, that diet culture led me to try everything I could. To the point where I had to give up pre-fabricated plans altogether because, frankly, there were none left to try. Only then, when I was desperate enough to venture out on my own, did I find out how to make peace with food & nourish my body with long-term strategies that make it look, feel and perform in a way that brings me joy.
NO, WHAT WORKED FOR ME PROBABLY WON’T WORK FOR YOU
And no, this isn’t a “this is what worked for me so it’ll work for you” kind of message. It’s simply a with the right information and the right support we can figure out what DOES work for you, kind of message.
The nutrition protocols we choose and – maybe more importantly – the strategies we use to implement them need to be personalised if we’re ever going to really make this stuff stick.
& personalising nutrition means considering things like:
1. Your goals. What is truly important to you, to who you are down to your core, and why? Sure, you want better nutrition, but what is that better nutrition going to let you do? Those are the goals at the core of this work and the ones we need to strategize for.
2. Your body & preferences. Here is another diet industry secret: there are very few hard rules when it comes to nutrition. Sure, there might be guidelines we need to work with, but those can be adapted, pretty flexibly, to what works best for your body. There is no one thing you need to eat to get the job done.
3. Your lifestyle. This is the most exciting one of all; it’s where the action happens and so much creativity lives. The ways that we can implement your protocols are so, so broad. And we’ll do so much better making sure that they flow WITH your life, not against it. To really see the results of our work here, we need strategies that move with through life’s real ups and very real downs.
YOU DESERVE YOUR GOALS… AND WAY MORE EASE, TOO.
Look – I’m not going to sit here to tell you it will all be a walk in the park. Will implementing your personalised nutrition plan always be super easy? No. Will it sometimes feel like work? Certainly. But does that work need to feel as guilt-riddled and miserable as it has so far? Absolutely not.
You don’t need to suffer through another crash diet to get what you want, friend. Food doesn’t have to be so complicated. And you can reach your goals in ways that let you breathe deep, find some ease & make time for more fun in it, too.
What do you need to make your nutrition yours?
PS: If you connected with this post today, I created The Rebel Method – our 8-week group mentorship program – with you in mind. The Rebel Method is designed to give you the simple nutrition information you need and help you get creative in the way it can be applied to you. That way we can use the energy once spent worrying about what to eat next doing the things we love, instead. You can find more about it right here.