End Dieting: The Mindset Shift It TakesJan 25, 2022
If you want to end dieting you have to shift your mindset
In today's blog I will guide you through the important factors to end dieting and make the mindset shift it takes.
Here is your roadmap to this blog:
In an earlier blog I spoke about the term paradigm. It is:
- an internal map
- the way we see ourselves
- the way we see our lives
- the way we process things that happen to us
- the way we do things.
A paradigm shift is when these maps are altered and changed — or maybe even thrown out.
Your Mindset and your WHY
The biggest shift you will have to make — beyond what foods you are eating – is your mindset. Successfully following a low carb or keto eating program is an entire paradigm shift, not a diet.
- It is seeing yourself as a healthy individual, making good and healthy food choices.
- It is seeing yourself not having to follow conventional dieting rules such as
- weighing your food
- measuring your food
- tracking your food
- It is seeing yourself as having your own wisdom to make these choices.
- It is not seeing a new diet, it is seeing a new diet as unnecessary as long as you choose to eat healthy foods in healthy portions.
- It is choosing to look at your food choices as opportunities not restrictions.
- It is seeing yourself as an intelligent person who can understand the science behind why you are choosing what to eat.
- It is seeing yourself as worthy to live this new lifestyle.
- It is seeing this as an opportunity to nurture yourself instead of neglecting your needs.
You have to have a strong enough WHY to see you through this.
Perhaps, long term, you will be doing this for your health. You will lose weight, of course, but this is a whole new way of eating for you, and you must be able to sustain it. That is where your WHY comes in.
It's so important to find your WHY because it will strengthen your commitment to work your way through this mindset shift. You have to be strong even though doing low carb or keto does not have to be difficult (actually it will become easier and easier, I promise). You have to stay strong because health is a lifetime commitment.
There is no WHY that is too vain or too little. Do you want to fit into a certain dress by New Year's Eve? Good enough — for now. Constantly re-evaluate your WHYS because what works on December 1st might not be important to you January 1st.
The progression of MY WHY
My first WHY: I did not want to get diabetes
My line in the sand, and my WHY, was that I did not want to get diabetes. Several years ago my doctor at the time said, "There is no such thing as pre-diabetes. You have it or you don't." Apparently, by that definition and by those standards, I had it, although I had gone through years fooling myself into thinking I had not gotten there yet — that I could fix it in yet another three months between blood tests.
A friend recommended that I read Why we get fat and what to do about it by Gary Taubes, and for the very first time in my life I understood that the calories-in-calories-out theory of weight loss is seriously flawed.
For the first time I understood the connection between food and insulin, fat storage and weight loss. No wonder I never lost weight on Weight Watchers with all those 100-calorie packs of cookies and crackers! No wonder I never lost weight while strictly following Paleo with its unlimited fruits and root vegetables!
No wonder I never lost weight with hypnosis, mindful eating programs and intuitive eating sessions (all touting that everything would be perfectly under control if I just learned moderation)!
No wonder I was an A+ dieter all my life, but a D- weight loser. I almost cried when I realized it was the food and the insulin – not MY shortcomings. The diets failed ME — I did not fail the diets.
I finally realized I needed to get healthy first and the weight loss would come.
My WHY was always to get healthy by losing weight. It never occurred to me that I needed to get healthy first and then the weight loss would come naturally!
In my case, especially, the health would come by lowering insulin levels and healing my insulin resistance. I had never heard the expression "insulin resistance" but now it meant everything to me.
Prior to reading Why we get fat and what to do about it, I did not know that it is ALL about the insulin and that healing the insulin resistance would be the answer to losing weight.
Of course there was some vanity mixed in with why I wanted to lose weight — but I was a professional belly dancer — so I was comfortable in my own skin and thought I was attractive and wore clothes well, and didn’t give a second thought — even at 100 pounds overweight — about walking past people in a bathing suit!
Once I learned about insulin resistance I checked fasting insulin numbers going back more than 10 years. At one point my fasting insulin was 46.5 (normal is 5 or less) and I had one triglyceride reading of over 400 (normal is under 100).
My doctor at that time advised eating less pastry. He sort of said it in a joking tone so I can’t blame myself that I never took any of these numbers seriously.
My fasting blood glucose was always around 110, and that is the only number that old-fashioned conventional doctors are trained to look at when they pronounce that you do or do not have diabetes. I was ignorant myself of the meaning of any other numbers.
Bringing my numbers into a healthy range was my why at the time I started Keto. I accomplished this and moved on to another why.
My second WHY: I wanted to learn as much as I could about Keto
As I internally began to get healthier, feel better, and yes — look better — I wanted to learn more about this way of eating.
During this time I signed up for personal keto coaching. My why at that point became to not give up during a busy summer and to stick with keto long enough to figure out the logistics of keto that worked for me.
Do I track or not track? Do I count total carbs or net carbs? Do I eat three meals a day or do I start intermittent fasting, etc.? I started a website and YouTube channel called "Keto My Way" that were about my journey (both now defunct, but they were my start!).
My third WHY: I wanted to learn to incorporate Keto into my family's and friends' lifestyles too
As I found answers for myself, my why became learning how I could incorporate Keto into my lifestyle permanently and make it work with my family. For instance, we spent every Sunday with the kids and that meant brunch, afternoon snacks during football season, Sunday dinner and helping pack the grandchildrens' lunches for the next day.
Also, my husband and I used to own a restaurant in New York so we really were all about the food — we did all the cooking for family events — whether at our home or my daughter’s home.
I worked very hard during this time not to stray from keto and my whys. After about 7 months my coach suggested that I consider becoming a coach myself.
My fourth WHY: Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk
I thought, if I am going to do this then my new why needs to be to really walk the walk and talk the talk.
I enrolled in a nutritional coaching program, completed it, and began coaching friends and family who were interested in keto.
I learned even more about the keto lifestyle and I became Granny Keto!
Even through a series of family crises, my WHY kept me on track with keto
During these months I had several crises that showed me that I had the strength to stick to my new why: Wanting to be healthy and being authentic so that I could feel honest about being a keto coach.
In the Fall of 2017, my new grandson had a bowel obstruction and was hospitalized. I took care of my three-year old granddaughter juggling taking care of her and also working.
It was a short period of time, but I could have crumbled under the stress — between going back and forth from the hospital, staying overnight with her and then dropping her off at daycare, then going to work, there were lots of meals out, or in the hospital. The distance was a triangle with one-hour distance between my daughter’s house-work-my house.
But I did it! This pales in comparison to the next set of crises.
In December I got a call from California that my sister had 12 hours to 3 days to live and I had better get out there (from Boston). This call came at 11 AM on a Sunday and I was on a 4 PM flight that day, packed and ready for about three days.
She came through the crisis but the outlook was not good. I stayed in California about two weeks, came home and then turned around and went back Christmas day and stayed until sometime in January.
During my first visit when she was in the hospital, I went back and forth from the hospital to her condo (my two brothers also came out at that time). All meals either at the hospital or at restaurants.
For the second visit, she was in hospice near her condo and I used that time to empty her condo to put it on the market — we sadly realized that she would never be returning.
It was a heartbreaking and stressful time. I went home on a Thursday and she died the following Monday. That Friday we had the funeral.
Three weeks later was my mother’s funeral.
I was finally getting my footing back when one morning (the first Friday in March) I hear my husband yell, "Get me to the hospital," and that was it — he was unconscious.
We got him to the hospital just in time as he had a ruptured "Triple A" (abdominal aortic aneurism).
Everything was aligned and they got him into surgery and somehow he survived a 7 cm shearing off of his abdominal artery. In two days he had 9 pints of his blood replaced (and our bodies only have 11½!) but he survived.
The doctor said there is no protocol for survival with this situation, but he survived. So as I sat there watching my husband on a ventilator, I realized that life is precious. If I have it at my fingertips to live a healthy life then just do it.
Crises turned into Strength
When I was in California, when both my sister and my mother died, and especially when I had my husband’s crisis, I would post on a Facebook page I belong to. I would receive comments and messages that, because someone saw my strength and determination and resilience to stay keto and not turn to food to comfort myself, it gave them the determination and courage to not give in to their old familiar habits.
Where there was adversity somehow I found strength — I knew that no amount of candy or cake or overeating of any kind would bring back my mother or sister or help my husband. I knew that to come through to the other side I needed to be strong and healthy and not lose myself in old eating habits and comfort food.
My fifth WHY: Take the plunge!
So now I had my next (and current) why — It was time to take the plunge — get a real website going, learn social media and ACTUALLY become a coach! AND HERE I AM!!!
You need a fluid WHY
In order to find success with keto you must find your WHY and you need to re-examine your why periodically — as it changes.
When you search for your why I suggest it not be a short-term goal (like losing 20 pounds for a wedding). The keto and low-carb ways of eating are long-term lifestyles — they should not be for a short-term weight loss goal.
It is imperative to understand that ketogenic eating, in particular, is an internal-healing process. It is not necessarily a weight loss program (it can be, but if you are looking for that as your ONLY why you may not have the interest to see it as the long-term process that it really is).
The more internal healing you have to do, the slower may be the weight loss — think of it as your body needing to pay attention to one thing at a time! As you can see, if my only why was "Lose 20 pounds to fit into a dress," that moment would have come and gone. It might be a good enough why to sustain you enough to lose that 20 pounds, but you will gain it back as soon as you go back to your old habits and ways.
It might take a while longer to wrap your mind around this paradigm shift and to remind yourself that you are worth it. You are worth the hard work and the health that it brings. Low carb and keto are wonderful ways of eating to bring your body and your mind into alignment with health.
What if you were transported to a different land where you could end dieting?
Your land might look like this:
- Never being hungry between meals.
- Never wanting or needing snacks.
- No heartburn or indigestion.
- Lower blood sugar and lower blood pressure.
OH WAIT! There is such a land. It is called KETO! And with some careful planning you can also find this in the land of healthy LOW CARB (whole and natural foods). Smart low carb and keto are not magic, but they are pretty close!
- Anticipate fewer children of inflammation: IBS, arthritis or heart disease.
- Imagine no out-of-control cravings and being satisfied with your meals.
- Envision never looking at the clock to see when the next food or snack is.
- Dream about being allowed things you have denied yourself: cream, butter, marbled steaks with the fat still on them, bacon, chicken with the skin on — no more dried out chicken breasts, cheese — full delicious cheese — not "processed cheese food"...
The land of Oz was uncomfortable for Dorothy, yet it was a land of blossoming growth. Dorothy left her known life behind and ventured into a new land — sometimes scary, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant — but always moving forward into new adventures and new transformations.
It is not going on another diet
It's not going on another diet. It is seeing diets as unnecessary.
- End dieting by finding the mindset shift it takes.
- You do this by making a new eating style into a new lifestyle.
- It is looking inward to your own strengths and abilities, and looking inward to see when you are hungry or full or happy with a food you are eating.
- It is not looking to a diet to tell you how much to eat, when to eat, what to eat or how to eat.
- It is not commercials prompting you to buy more cereals and snacks or candy and treats.
It is you quieting yourself and asking, "How does this food really make me feel? Is a bite of this food a step toward my goal of being healthy or is it a step away from health?"
Keto and healthy low carb allow you to quiet your mind and get to these questions and to get to the root of what is really driving you to eat what you eat and how much you eat and when you eat.
The shift also alters the way you feel about yourself and the things that you do.
Why do I call this a lifestyle?
Keto and Low Carb are more than food lists.
This has not only been my story, but it has been played out thousands of times with other people (as I see from social media and books where people write their journeys). Because keto and healthy low carb are lifestyles and not just diets, people begin to trust themselves and find their voices.
I will speak for myself
I will speak for myself — not for them or even you.
- Losing weight and getting healthy were side benefits.
- However, maybe because I got healthy and lost weight I feel better about myself.
- I have greater confidence — no, not just in how I look in a new dress, but confidence as in being confident.
- I am not afraid to try new things or speak up for myself.
- I have new confidence in my abilities and choices I make.
It is as if being keto (and then low carb) uncovered strength and courage (look at this website and putting myself "out there"). It uncovered — or built — determination and perseverance. I know I can do it. I know I can be strong. I know my voice is valid and authentic.
Calling on all your inner reserves to do keto and healthy low carb and make this paradigm shift will help you uncover the ability to tap into everything else. I am not alone in this and neither are you. Trust me.
How do you begin to make this paradigm shift?
The very first thing you need to do is to decide you are worth making changes in how you eat.
Decide on WHY you want to do this and the goals you need to reach to accomplish your WHY. For instance, when I started keto my WHY was to bring down my fasting insulin level. My GOAL was to eat no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates a day. So first list your WHY(s) and then list your GOALS that will get you to your WHY.
Once you know why you want to go ahead with this new way of eating, learn about the "bones" of keto (yes/no lists) and pick your favorite foods to make this a sustainable way of eating. Don't look at restrictions. Look at everything you can have. If you are following the healthy low carb journey, still familiarize yourself with the "bones" of keto (from yes/no lists) and then to that add natural and whole carbohydrates (like a sweet potato, not Cheerios!).
Make this a lifestyle of plenty and not a lifestyle of deprivation.
Dare I say, "Don't worry, be happy!"?
Kidding aside, decide right now, this minute, you will be happy because you are doing something for yourself that will bring lasting health. And remember: You are worth it!
END DIETING and work on the mindset shift it takes to do that.
Learn more about this with my book and course:
Book Breaking Free From Diet Prison: Common Sense Keto and Low Carb
Course Breaking Free From Diet Prison: The Roadmap to Low Carb and Keto Success