Fattitudes: Attitudes that keep you fat. Do you have them?
These days, I refer to what I used to term “emotional eaters” as “habitual overeaters” because most of the people I work with are freakin’ powerhouse chicks who tell me that emotional eating sounds like a sad, lonely, maudlin woman drowning herself in a chocolate cake every night. They don’t identify with that phrase, yet they still eat more than their body needs on a regular basis and it’s often healthy food.
However, most of these women do have some specific beliefs, ( back in the day, I did too) about food that differ from those who do not habitually overeat. These are the people who are not compulsive eaters or restrictive eaters. They simply eat what they want, when they are hungry and stop when they are full or satisfied.
So why is that so hard for some of us?
I have seen some common threads, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes between both the normal eaters and the disordered eaters. Today I am going to share one of the most common and insidious attitudes:
The ALL or NOTHING Fattitude:
If you are the one who’s always either ON or OFF a diet and you are:
- Getting back on track tomorrow
- View the world in black and white, good or bad with no in-between
- Starting on Monday – dammit!
- Have two speeds – either full speed ahead or the dreaded, dead halt
- A perfectionist who believes if you don’t do something exactly as you intended, you may as well throw in the towel
- Losing weight for __________event
- Believe if you can hold your eating to a strict standard, you will get the results you want, and then can eat what you want
- Get totally pumped up about the idea of a new and magical diet and then completely deflated by your “failure” to stick with it long term
- Feeling shame about your inability to get this one area of your life under control
If any of these things sound like how you roll around food and dieting, you probably hold onto this major fattitude, and it’s likely you never considered it a problem.
So why does this attitude keep you spinning, yo-yorama-ing and contribute to you falling short of getting to and staying at your desired weight?
It takes you completely out of being aware of your body and its cues. And until you begin to tune into what your own body has to say, you will struggle with your weight.
Think of it this way:
You are the only person on the entire planet who knows what and when you should eat.
My clients, who struggle with weight and yoyo dieting, often say to me: “I’m an all or nothing gal.”
My reply is, “You don’t have to be. But if you believe you are, you will be.”
They have never challenged that belief. And quite frankly, for many people, that mentality leads to getting some serious shit done. That can be a valuable thing in a lot of situations. But not around food.
Our bodies are miraculously intelligent and they know what they need. Normal eaters are in tune with their bodies’ signals and their signals are quite clear, because they’ve tuned in to them for a long time and learned to trust them.
If you trust your body and its signals, you are not interested in either starving or bingeing, because you don’t like how you feel with either extreme.
You don’t say, “Oh, I freakin’ blew it. So party on, Duane. I’m gonna eat ‘til I feel like puking all weekend and start back on my diet on Monday.”
As a normal eater, you might occasionally eat too much. But your body will respond with, “Bleh. That was unnecessary, dudette.” And that means you’ll remember next time to split the blue cheeseburger with your husband and just have a few of the roasted potatoes.
And you don’t then say, “Fu&k it,” and keep eating since you’ve blown it already.
If you continue to judge yourself as either a failure or a success based on what you ate or didn’t eat that day, I can almost guarantee you won’t get this weight thing put behind you.
But no worries. There is a way out.
You are not weak. You simply have some thinking habits that aren’t serving you in this area of your life.
Are you ready to grow beyond this stuff?
Alrighty then, let’s roll:
This week, observe your thinking like an anthropologist would. A skilled anthropologist does not make judgments, rather they make observations. Carry a small notebook with you and write your thoughts as often as possible. Don’t try to change them, just observe them. Notice any patterns and how these thoughts make you feel.
Don’t overthink and try to perfect anything.
When you get up in the morning think back on everything you did the day before that you felt good about and give yourself a huge hug & kiss on the lips (ya, it’s physically impossible, but just imagine it).
This might sound like some kinda Mr. Rogers bullshit, but seriously sister, it’s a game shifter.
Also, start getting comfortable with these ideas:
- It’s okay to suck at something when you are first learning how to do it. Things that are hard at first become easier over time
- A great start in getting healthier is shifting away from one self sabotaging fatitude or habit at a time.
- These habits will take time to change and that’s okay. They didn’t show up over night.
- I don’t mind doing the work necessary for me to have a healthy relationship to food and my body because it’s very important to me.
- There is no reason I will accept any longer for not taking awesome care of myself.
- No one can take better care of me than me. And there is nothing selfish or bad about owning up to that idea.
- If other people can learn to become healthy around food, I can too.
- I’ve got this!
You can change. It may not be easy to change old patterns and beliefs, but you can totally change your life in this area, one thought at a time.
Try it this week and pop on back to the blog and share what you learned. I’m here for you.
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