What do we demand from our diet – weight loss or…?

When we sign up for things, like going on a diet to lose weight, we often have an attitude that says; “well I’m going to do xyz, so you better deliver.” With work, we sign a contract and fulfil our side of the deal by turning up and doing the job, so obviously our employer had better give us the goods in terms of wages, and possibly kudos or recognition that we are doing our job well.

We may be surprised to hear that it’s the same with dieting: we sign up to lose weight, perhaps our clothes don’t fit anymore, we feel like we need to look like someone we admire, or decide we don’t feel great about our body shape – whatever the reason, we sign up to it. We buy the weight loss meals, count our calories and get the keep-fit gear, fulfilling our part, so that diet had better deliver!

What exactly is it that we want to have delivered?

  • Do we want to look good?
  • Do we want to feel better about ourselves and improve our mental health?
  • Be the centre of attention because we lose weight?
  • Want our relationships to improve?
  • Have less bulk in our body?
  • Want to be more popular?
  • Want to succeed?

In signing up and to want these things, we have to have pictures of how life ‘should be’. But whose pictures are they in the first place? What is telling us we need the dieting to deliver something we don’t already have? If we don’t get it, what happens then? When all our pictures are smashed and lay in ruins at our feet, what do we do? We go into reaction and head for food – the ideal ‘go-to’ when life does not meet our demands and expectations.

Do we think we are entitled to have what we want and demand? Yes. Even if we crash and burn and hit the fridge or the pantry, we still think we should be entitled to do that. We think it’s our right. The abuse we do to our own body is fine because we have the right to do what we want with it. We are entitled because we are, for example, disappointed, let down or frustrated or any other combination of feelings, so we ‘deserve’ to make ourselves feel better, even if it’s only for the time it takes to eat a double chocolate cheesecake.

There we are, working hard and trying to get our demands met, without questioning what is going on. If we did look at the game we are playing, would we notice that all these ideas about the outcomes we desire are coming from outside of us and are fed to us as forcefully as geese being force fed in order to get pâté de foie gras as an end result, even though it kills the body of the goose?

We have demands from our pictures that our diet ‘should’ and ‘must’ deliver just as we want it to in order to retain those pictures we have accepted, yet our demands are based on lies and falsities that run through us. And let’s ask the question that needs to be asked:

Who cares what happens to our body? Are we not just like the goose? The demand we have for some kind of payback is all we want, regardless of the cost on the body.

What if we can never ever match up to the pictures we have? Are we like a toddler having a tantrum, refusing to play, or becoming a Mr or Ms Destructor ending up with our mouth in the food bag to the detriment of this incredible body we have?

Are not our demands a self-fulfilling prophecy of our own failure to care for our body with love and not abuse it, as we end up feeling we have a ‘right’ and are ‘entitled’ to when our pictures crash and burn?

Are we setting ourselves up to live repeating behaviours, over and over, of demands, entitlement and self-abuse? We think we are entitled to our rewards, regardless of the consequences.

What if we stopped such repetitious behaviours before we harmed ourselves?

What if our value was held to be so precious that we said no to self-abuse and yes to deeply caring for this body we live in?

What if we were able to let go of our demand and self-promoted entitlement that we can do as we please, such as go on as many diets as we like to lose weight and have destructive behaviours that are harmful when they don’t succeed? How would caring for and feeding our body transform our lives?

It might be hard to even consider what caring for the body is like when we have our mouth in the pantry and are so used to punishing ourselves for not fitting the picture. Being hard on ourselves is our response, but why? Who is telling us to be hard on ourselves and why do we go along with it? Has it become ‘normal’ to beat ourselves up for this cycle? When do we start to stop and question why? It may be difficult to see, but there is a way out of this pickle.

It is when we stop being critical of ourselves, so we have space to consider what we are doing. By asking ‘why’ we keep repeating things, it begins to diffuse the ingrained patterns and cycles of behaviour, where we have thought we can’t do anything about our choices.

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Questioning your choices

We are responsible for all the choices that we make therefore should we be questioning our choices?

What if we can do something about our choices? If we recognise we are where we are because of our own choices, and the demands we have placed on ourselves that have led to those choices, then the next choice can be different. We are in effect reviewing and renouncing our own demands. In this way there is no blame on ourselves, or anyone else. Questioning our choices is a huge step, for if we see through our desires, wants and pictures then there is more space to contemplate what is possible.

What is possible is living in a way that perhaps we have not considered before – being more loving to ourselves and recognising the incredible beauty we are that is within us all.

This audio brings a deeper understanding and realisation to the question: ‘are we who we think we are, or are we who we truly are?’

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How much of what I do is truly me?

Find out about the tension we all have and what we can do about it.

Filed under

DietsLosing weightWeightWeight-lossOvereating

  • Photography: Iris Pohl, Photographer and Videographer

    Iris Pohl is an expert in capturing images with a natural light style. Little to no time is needed for photoshop editing and the 'original' moment captured to represent your brand and remain in its authenticity.