The Diet Identity Crisis
Did you know you can tie your identity up in dieting and not even realize that’s what you’ve done? You can create a diet identity crisis. Every time you announce to your friends and family you’re starting a new diet, you identify yourself a little more with dieting.
Your life revolves around the diet announcement. The seeking of approval that you’re going to lose weight, strive for that perfect number. What you don’t realize is that when you continue to make diet announcements every time you start a new diet, you’re quite possibly setting the stage for failure.
When others know you’re dieting, you can experience some negativity. You’ll have people questioning you about the foods that you eat. You can end up feeling resentful or guilty, both emotions which can cause problems for you when you’re trying to lose weight.
Despite how well meaning others are, when you announce a diet, most people see that as you depriving yourself. As a result, they’ll often put temptation in your way. “Oh come on. One bite won’t hurt.”
You might think that by announcing you’re starting a new diet, it’s a good thing to share it with others. Just remember, you could subconsciously be seeking approval.
Studies have shown that by not telling people you’re starting a diet, you can actually end up having more willpower than if when you tell people. Plus, when you want to make positive changes in your life, if you’re around people who don’t have the same mindset, sometimes they resent the changes you’re striving to make. They may even subconsciously work to get you to stay the same. Whether we like it or not, how people react to what we tell them can impact us and can influence us to change direction or even weaken our resolve to accomplish a goal.
Some people who become addicted to dieting can end up with their lives revolving around their diet announcements. This is what happens when wanting to lose weight crosses the line into something that consumes their life and as a result, overtakes their identity.
Dieting and wanting to announce the news every time you embark on a new one can be a form of trying to bolster your self-esteem. You need the approval of others. When dieting causes you to lose your identity, it means that there are no gray areas with food.
You see what you eat as good or bad or, therefore what you eat makes you good or bad. If you decide you’re going to start a new diet, don’t announce it to anyone who doesn’t have the power or the inclination to help you along the journey.
The only people who need to know if you’re on a diet (which I prefer to see as simply a change in eating lifestyle) are your doctor, your weight loss trainer, and dietician or nutritionist. These people can be a better support team for you than others might be.
Helping you achieve Major Wellness in your life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC