One thing women all over the world have in common is the desire to be beautiful. We long to have someone treasure us. We want to believe we’re attractive. We dream of being someone’s princess. We like that “forsake all others” notion and want to be worth making that sacrifice for.
Unfortunately, there is something hell-bent on distorting it all. The DIEt Monster knows what we long for and he uses it to get us to turn on our own bodies. We starve ourselves, chronically diet, excessively exercise, undergo surgery, pluck this, shave that, push-up, suck in, color, polish, make-up… It’s no longer about “accentuating our positives” but rather about chasing that elusive image we have in our heads of the perfect woman. The problem? She doesn’t exist. She’s an airbrushed figment of mankind’s imagination. Striving to be her is like striving to be a unicorn. It’s a myth.
The DIEt Monster tells us we can’t be satisfied with our size. It tells us we can’t be trusted around food. It’s that voice in our head echoing every “expert”we’ve seen on TV or read about in books and magazines. He bombards our minds with those voices and before we know it we’re left with carrots and celery sticks to choose from…. and they must be organic too. He cycles fear through our mind that letting go of the diet books, diet apps, calorie counters, scales, weight-loss forums, and exercise regimes, will find us stuck in our bedroom, unable to fit through the door. He makes us question our worthiness of love if we gain weight. He praises us for losing weight, then turns around and mocks us saying it isn’t enough… pressing us to lose more.
I’ve got news for you (and me). For the DIEt Monster, it will never be enough… never. Even if we get to our goal weight with diets… if we don’t let go of the diet mentality… if we don’t kick the DIEt Monster out of our life… we’ll still be miserable. You see, happiness isn’t in a number on the scale or on a clothing label. Never has been, and no matter what the diets promise, it never will be.
Why do I keep harping on the diet mentality stuff? Because I believe it’s one of the first steps in moving on (First is admitting there’s a problem). Most “naturally thin” people aren’t that way because of genetics. I believe they don’t have a weight issue because they don’t consciously diet. They eat when they are hungry, and stop when they are full. They rarely eat for emotion sake and they never beat themselves up for what, when, or how much they eat. They simply don’t diet. The hard part for professional dieters is the letting go. We’ve bought into the lies of the DIEt Monster and letting them go is mighty hard. It’s a daily battle for a while. It’s a battle I’m in even as I type.
I woke up this morning craving fruit. I questioned whether this was me trying to start another diet, or perhaps feeling guilty for what I ate last night. I haven’t craved fruit in months and yet all I could think of was strawberries, blueberries, oranges…. etc. I didn’t want them because some diet said I should have them, I wanted them because my body was telling me fruit sounded good. I could imagine the juiciness and how it would taste. The DIEt Monster would have me believe that allowing donuts and pancakes and ((gasp))… coffee… would doom me to perpetual binging. Well, obviously this is simply not true. This morning I ate fruit. Just fruit. I ate it till I didn’t want anymore.
Now, I could suddenly think “I’m cured! My obsession is over!” While that is a tempting leap to make, I know that if I box myself in like that… and then I eat a bag of Sun Chips for lunch, I’ll be more likely to feel like a failure and I know I’ll question whether this process is such a good idea. I would be setting myself up to let that diet mentality back in. Instead, I’m choosing to look at this morning’s breakfast for what it was… breakfast – nothing more. Does it show progress, sure, I can admit that. However, I’m not putting pressure on myself to eat fruit tomorrow morning or a salad for lunch today. I’m simply saying, “I’ll eat what I want the next time I’m hungry”.
What I’m learning is that the DIEt Monster is a liar. While in the beginning it appeared he was right… that I would be totally out of control for as long as I “let go”… that is going by the wayside the more I truly let go of the diet mentality and stop judging myself for what I eat. I’m learning I can trust my body’s signals in this area. More importantly, I can trust the Creator of this body. I think the DIEt Monster is a bit angry I’ve kicked him out, but that’s ok with me because I don’t want him around anyway.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10:10 (AMP)