3 Stages of the Fuck It Diet: Stage 1

There are three stages of eating recovery, as far as I’m concerned.

Stage 1: Learn to Eat Again

Stage 2: Learn to Love Your Body

Stage 3: Enjoy & Learn to Live

Stage 1 begins when you realize you never want to diet again, and scared as you are, you know it is the right decision, so you begin.

Stage 1 is where you start to eat food you were afraid of, and even though it may continue to scare you, you keep going.

Stage 1 is when you can’t get enough food, and feel like you are eating more than “you should”.

Stage 1 is where you try to accept your body as it is. You try. You still find it hard, you still wonder if you ever will, but you try.

You are starting out bravely, but filled with anxiety over letting go of control.

Stage 1 is where you worry you will gain “too much weight.”

Stage 1 is where you worry you are a bottomless pit and will never stop eating.

Stage 1 is anxiety ridden. It is terrifying. It is completely exciting, liberating, cathartic, and can be horribly paralyzing at times, too.

Stage 1 takes experimentation, patience, bravery, conviction, and support. Stage 1 takes constant reminding, and reading up on, and talking one’s self out of turning around.

Stage 1 can last a really long time. Approximately anywhere from 3 months to 2 years.

Stage 1 is the period when you gain weight and have to keep eating anyway.

Stage 1 is the period when you still have fears related to the foods you are eating, and are still continually calming yourself down.

Stage 1 is where you have anxiety over having anxiety over food. Anxiety causing anxiety (“shouldn’t I be normal yet?!” No. It takes time.)

Stage 1 is where, through good old-fashioned eating, you start to slowly learn that none of the things you were scared of can ruin you. Stage 1 is where anxiety lingers, and then eventually drops off.

Stage 1 is over when anxiety around eating is over.

But it is not the end of the journey.

Subscribe to get the posts on Stage 2 & Stage 3 through email-only, next Thursday.

Perfect Health Doesn’t Exist

I wrote something like this before, but here we go again….

There are two main reasons people diet and get obsessed with food.

#1. They want to be smaller

#2. They want to be healthier

#1 one is easier to diagnose and fairly straight-forward to convince people out of, even though emotionally, it can be incredibly difficult to heal.

#1′s biggest challenge? Short story: Accept not needing to be skinny, and release your control of your weight.

BUT, the second one is really hard to convince people out of. Isn’t health a noble goal? Isn’t it good to try and eat healthfully? Isn’t it good to cut out bad foods? Isn’t it worthwhile to try and improve our bodies? How can we justify eating unhealthy foods? How can we justify letting go of the desire for good health?

Yea. Health is a noble goal. And yes, we all deserve good health. And, yes, the time you have spent seeking health is justified. It makes sense. It all stems from a place of self-love- which is great.

But you know if you are the person who took it too far, who mixed a little too much fear into your self-love. Who now is obsessed with purity and desperate for health. Someone who is miserable searching for health. And unhealthy anyway.

Here is the thing: We can’t always know what will lead us to health. Our bodies are smarter than we think, and more complex than a computer or an algebraic equation. Most of the time, our attempts at perfect health backfire and make us worse. They slow us down, they ignore intuition, they raise our stress hormones, they make us miserable and more sick. You know if this is you.

So, what is the hardest part about healing #2?

#2′s biggest challenge is letting go of the Holy Grail of Perfect Health.

Let go of needing to be incredibly healthy.

It sounds crazy. It sounds irresponsible. But I promise, as someone who used to seek perfect health to no avail, it is freeing.

Perfect Health is a moving target anyway. Our bodies are always in flux, always cycling, always changing. And what’s more…for some of us, perfect health doesn’t even exist.

 

I am not telling you to “DECIDE TO BECOME UNHEALTHY”. No. I am just encouraging you, paradoxically, for your health and your sanity, to let GO.

Let GO of your desperation to become incredibly healthy. Because only then can you actually seek balanced health, in a way that doesn’t stem from fear and self-obsession.

Even when I started the Fuck It Diet, in the back of my head was the little voice Letting go might be the way to perfect health… 

Guess what? It’s not. Because for me, and most humans in this toxic age, perfect health doesn’t exist. Good health exists. Better health exists. Happiness exists. Good food and good meals exist. Eating without any stress exists. Laughter and joy exists. Good sleep exists. Eating what your body wants exists. Lower stress exists.

My life is better, my health is better, my metabolism, appetite, ease, and happiness: all better. But perfect health isn’t a part of that equation, because perfect health doesn’t exist.

Better health and happiness is probably waiting for you. But first: Let Go.

Annnnd…. Fuck It.

PS. If this doesn’t apply to you… great! Not everything applies to everyone. I still encourage you to Fuck It when it comes to dieting, and enjoy your life. You can still drink all the Kale smoothies you want. I love Kale Smoothies.

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Need more help? Get my workbook or contact me for email coaching!

Q & A: Is Food Addiction Real?

“Do you think that food addiction (on a chemical level, like refined sugar and salt and such) is a genuine addiction that would have withdrawal symptoms, or do you think it’s purely psychological?  You say to listen to your body’s cravings, but I can’t imagine Peeps or Twizzlers being something my body would need – rather chemicals I’m becoming dependent on (by the way, both are delicious and I do not plan on giving them up).”

I do not think food addiction is real. And also, the opposite is almost more true: it is incredibly real. Because, as humans, we are “addicted” to food, as we should be. We are wired to be addicted to food. The biggest issue is believing that needing and wanting food is a problem.

YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WANT FOOD.

(tweet that!: Tweet: You are supposed to want food. -@thefuckitdiet)

The issue that gets in the way of normal eating, just like almost every single post I write will come back to is: restriction. We are WIRED to be addicted to food the more it is restricted. This is a survival mechanism.

There are two definitions of addiction, one involves the word “harmful substance”. And the other one is:

“an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something”

We have an unusually great interest in food. Because we need it to survive. And the more we restrict, the more we will be unusually or greatly interested in it.

So, ALLOW IT! Freely. Liberally. And guess what… once you do that, you will eat it… which is the whole point of allowing it! Eat it freely and liberally. People get so freaked out during that phase because they think: “Oh MAN. I have allowed it! But the whole point was so that I don’t eat it! But I’m eating so much! So it is not working!”. Stop and think… that mentality is not allowing it. You can’t allow it for the purpose of not eating it. THAT IS NOT ALLOWING IT! RIGHT?!

The whole point of allowing something is to actually eat it. The point of allowing something is not NOT eating it. Do you follow? When you think like that, you are still having a tiny little freaked out food police controlling you. And so you still have something to rebel against.

REMOVE ANYTHING TO REBEL AGAINST.

As for withdrawal symptoms? For the most part, NO! But you will have negative physical and psychological reactions if you remove necessary amounts of macronutrients OR dramatically restrict your food intake in any unnecessary way. Because we need food and your body is trying to protect you.

As for craving silly or fake-ish foods: When we are talking about cravings for peeps or twizzlers, we are now talking about a mostly psychological addiction to food that is perceived as scarce or restricted. But that is what happens when food is considered out of bounds: your brain gets involved. Your brain is wired to your eating/nourishment/satiation. So, no, eating peeps isn’t a huge body craving. It is a psychological craving. And you’d BETTER give into it! Because it is the only way to make friends with your hunger/desires, and prove to yourself that you are willing to listen to it.

You can’t remove how interconnected your psychology is from your appetite. They are intertwined. So accept it, and give in to your cravings, I promise that it can change your life.

Fuck it.

Don’t Do Portion Control

How many people say: “oh I just lost weight through good portion control”.

A lot of people.

Does it work?

Eh…. for some. And only for a time.

Here is the hard truth:

If you have disordered eating mentality, portion control is just another way of restricting and fearing and obsessing, and feeling like you are doing “the right thing”.

If you have disordered eating you are STARVING! Your brain and your body. You are craving surplus and nourishment. Portion control will NOT CURE you. There will 99% be a relapse into chaos. And rightly so!

The most important thing, is that you are listening to your body. You are going to be so hungry, and need so much food and self-love and pampering during the beginning (and ongoing): portion control is going to mess you up. Seriously.

Even regular joes, with no “history of disordered eating” have a swing back after “good portion control”. Because… why are they doing it in the first place?

Don’t “Do Portion Control”!!!! JUST EAT! Enjoy! Feed yourself. TRUST that you body knows how to regulate and that it will in time.

Then one day, when food is just food, you will find yourself stopping naturally and you’ll realize: Oh THAT is what portion control is supposed to be… natural. Easy…

Don’t force it.

“Portion control, like every good thing in life, has to come from within.”

CLICK TO TWEET THAT!

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Reach Out: It’s OK to Need Support

The truth is, we can’t do all of this alone.

It is ok for you to need to reach out: to a friend, to a family member, to this site, to another professional, to a higher power, to a psychologist, to me, to another reader, to anyone. It is ok. In fact it is brave.

We get it wrong on what strength means. In fact, that is what eating disorders are: mistaken strength and control.

With eating disorders, we think control and obsession and restriction is strength, but it is actually our highlighted weakness and fears.

Same thing with anything else in life. We think forging forward, staying quiet, pretending everything is ok, punishing ourselves, and trying to make it alone are signs of strength. They are not. They are signs of fear.

Vulnerability is strength.

Asking for help is brave.

Admitting imperfection, needs, fears, struggles, crazy thoughts, dreams, frustrations, asking questions: these things are good. These things are strong. These things are brave.

Here Are Some Ways To Reach Out or Get Support:

CALL TO ACTION: Choose one of these things below today and take action.

Tell a friend or family member what you are going through. Reach out to someone close to you and let them know what is going on. They may not fully understand, but it is freeing to be honest about where your mind has been and the struggles you are working through.

Tell someone who you know has gone through this before. Reach out to anyone in your life who has openly battled with food craziness. Get their perspective. Tell them where you are struggling.

Get my workbookJump in and make a commitment to do exercises that will force you to go deep into your fears, hidden desires, and dreams. It will change your relationship with food, your body, and your life.

Find an accountability partner. Find someone, on this site, on another site, or anywhere else in your life- who you can talk to every week and confess how well you have done with your goals (eating and otherwise). I do this with business goals, but anyone could do this for mental or eating goals.

See a professional. If this is something you can handle on your own, see someone who can help you (a psychologist… not a nutritionist). Just make sure their beliefs for your recovery are in line with what you want out of life: freedom.

Contact MeI am always happy to hear your story for free, and often have time to quickly respond. I also offer email coaching to go more in depth.

Write a prayer to the universe, god, higher power, life, your body. It doesn’t matter what you believe in. Ask for help. Tell the world what you want for yourself. Say what you need help with. Describe the freedom you want to feel. Affirm what you believe is possible for your life and relationship with food. (I just found an old letter that I wrote in a journal to “Dear God” YEARS ago all about wanting to be free with food. But it is amazing how many of my dreams came true.)

Take Action. Choose one option above and do it TODAY

Then write your action step below in the comments!

Be kind to yourself.

Fuck it.

Q & A: Boredom Snacking and Emotional Eating

Here is a Q&A from a reader who reached out to me:

“There are times when I know I’m not hungry, but I just feel like putting something in my mouth.  I’ve tried gum, but it’s not nearly as satisfying as potato chips or chocolate or cookies.  I feel like this is also something that my body doesnt’ need, but when I make the conscious effort to NOT snack at my desk at work, I feel like I’m punishing myself and denying myself which makes me want it more and I eventually cave or get cranky.  Do you think that emotional eating is a verified need, or do you think that it’s a behavioral thing that would be healthier to try to change rather than snack so much?”

 

Answer:

The truth of the matter, is that sometimes people use food as an escape. Boredom Eating and Emotional Eating are real, and not horribly damaging by definition alone. The thing is, if you are bored at your desk, it is far better to figure out why you are bored. And if you are eating out of fear or sadness, we all know that the eating isn’t going to heal the actual feeling you will eventually need to deal with (by FEELING IT!). Needing to chew on something is a nervous habit. But again, it is genuinely possible to stop, because I did. And not by “trying to stop”, but years and years of forcing myself to be honest with myself about my life and my feelings and then Feeling my Feelings. Because feelings don’t kill you.

That is the “cure” for boredom snacking. That is the cure for escapism. Feeling all of our feelings, dealing with our life, figuring out why we are so bored and miserable and trying to make a change. Small changes, big changes, internal changes, external changes. Feel those feelings. That makes you strong, not weak. Brave not cowardly. It is not easy, especially at first, but it is rewarding.

But you probably knew that already, right?

Boredom and Emotional Eating are also, NOT bingeing, unless it is of course. There is a difference though. If there is an immense amount of guilt that follows your snacking, that can easily lead to bingeing. Because guilt associated with eating creates a denial mentality: “I shouldn’t beeeeee I will stop tomorrow maybeeeeee”.  So you go nuts and binge. Same with forcing yourself not to boredom snack if you want to. “I am not allowed to eat the snackkkssss I wanntttt. I feeeelll alll the feeellliinngggngngngngngsssss”

Ok, so this is my prescription: Eat your boredom or emotional foods. Eat them. Just do it. Who freaking cares. You will probably be less hungry later and that is how a healthy normal body regulates. But in addition to letting yourself eat out of boredom or sadness, commit to feeling your feelings too. During or After. Do both.

Let yourself eat, because eating is not inherently bad. And the less taboo snacking is, the less appealing it is. Genuinely. AND the less taboo it is, the more you are likely to stop boredom snacking once the snacking is boring as well. Because snacking is pretty boring too, in it’s own snack-y way.

Have a simple question? I will answer it for you for free.

Alsooooo, I have a new site that is being born that is the sister of this one. It is called Actress Therapy and it is geared towards actresses and body image- and it already has a Facebook page you can check out, and the website is being…. created.

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Also if you need a kick to jumpstart healing your relationship with food once and for ALLLL, get my book!

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Hello Performers!

I am starting a new movement- this one is more specifically geared for actresses and performers.

As of now it is just in baby stages, but I plan on growing the community big. Having workshops in NYC. Taking over. Empowering all women, in media and watching media…. Changing the World. Ya know.

As of now it is just a Facebook Community called “Actress Therapy”. But I will give it it’s own site eventually (linked with this one of course, they are siblings).

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There is much more to come.

Actress Therapy on Facebook.

So excited to have you guys come along.

Will I Ever Stop Constantly Thinking About Food?

Here is a question I received from a reader:

Q: I feel that I still am thinking about food too much. Will this stop at some point? … I don’t have any problem with gaining a little bit of weight, but I just don’t know if I can trust that I won’t continue bingeing. Before I lost weight I was eating chocolate everyday (also overeating), why would that stop now?

A: In my experience, the biggest and nearly only reason for bingeing is restriction, both physical and mental.

If the fixation is eating as much as possible whenever possible- take heart. Once you reintroduce food, a free-for-all is to be expectedThat is your body’s way of getting you back to normal and out of starvation. It is a survival response. Our brains are wired to fixate on food, and are bodies are wired to crave it. This may go on for a while. Until you genuinely know and prove to yourself over time that this isn’t just a fun blip in a lifetime of diets, your body will fixate on eating. That is ok. And for better or worse, eating is your way out. But you have to go through it before you get out of it, and you can’t force it. Slowly but surely you will find yourself caring less about foods you used to obsess over. Slowly.

If your fixation is still on calories and purity, that is your brain holding onto a modicum of control. It is so scary to let go of something that seemed so important before. It is so scary to give up control and not trust or know whether or not you will ever stop eating. You will. You will NOT continue eating for the rest of your life. You are not a bottomless pit, though the fact that you may feel like one right now is ok.

Bingeing is a response to restriction. Once you genuinely have been eating all the foods you want for a good amount of time, the fixation on them and on eating them subsides. I promise.

As far as your overeating before your obsession and so fearing you will after, that is a good question. But you have to know that overeating and bingeing are different. There is a big difference between bingeing on chocolate, and eating a lot of chocolate for comfort. If there is no restriction involved, a binge is highly unlikely, and if you find yourself overeating chocolate once in a while, it is absolutely fine and normal and human. There is nothing to be scared or guilty about and life can continue as usual. “I ate a lot of chocolate, oh well, now I’m not hungry for a little while, maybe I should take down the trash.”

AND if you were genuinely consistently and uncomfortably overeating chocolate before you decided to restrict and lose weight, I would bet you almost anything it was under some sort of denial mentality. Was chocolate restricted? Did you worry about getting fat or eating too much? Did the more you ate chocolate, the more you think you shouldn’t be eating chocolate? I bet a lot that there was still a sense of restriction. That can cause a fixation and a hoarding/bingey mentality.

I promise you, chocolate is just not THAT exciting once you have full reign. Once you can eat chocolate for breakfast lunch and dinner and snacks and desert, there is no pull. It is unremarkable. Sure it is still good at specific times and can really hit the spot. But once you know you never need to stop, magically, you begin to stop.

I promise this is true. These days, I forget to go grocery shopping and forget to eat dinner before I leave the house. Of course, that is it’s own problem, and now it is highly probably that some good old fashioned grocery shopping and food planning and vegetable roasting may do me some good, but my days of fixating over food are GONE!

Fuck It.

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Want to dive deeper? Check out my Badass Eating Workbook!

Be the Change (and also F*** IT)

This is a call to action.

You know that famous Gandhi quote? Be the change you want to see in the world? Well I have heard that so many times that it has almost lost it’s meaning. yea Yea Yea YEA ok, yes. Ok be the change. I get it. La La La.

But, truly, if what we are seeking is a world where the media showcases people of all sizes, where eating disorders to not running rampant, where we are judged less by our bodies and more for our actions and minds, we really do have to be the ones to start.

If you want to stop being judged by other people, the first step is to stop doing it to yourself and others.

If you want the media to start vouching for bodies of all sizes, you have to, too.

If you want to be able to go to a gym to feel good and not feel judged and constricted, go with the intention of self- love and demand nothing less than respect for where you are now.

If you want a world where people don’t talk about and idealize “dropping 15 lbs for bikini season”, give it no energy. In fact: put out content and intentions  and conversations that support a different focus, something that supports your desire for the world.

Do things. Speak Up. Love yourself, Support others. Eat Ice Cream or __________(insert food). Go for walks with Music. Smile. Breathe.

Fuck It.

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In the comments, list one thing you could do or change that will put the idea of this blog post into action!

And, get the  Workbook!

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