Now that it's summer, everyone's talking about detoxes. Juice cleanses. Detox that winter weight. Just more quick fixes to draw people in with hopes and dreams of being a happy and healthy slim person in only 10 days!
Why do we fall for these tricks? Are our bodies really that toxic? Our livers do a pretty good job of detoxifying, and there are plenty of natural ways to detoxify without turning to a supplement that is just a well-marketed, glorified laxative.
What we really need is to detox from all these unrealistic diets that make us crazy and lead us straight into the next binge.
Detox your Mind
We need to detox our minds from the bullying, negative self-talk we believe. That inner mean girl of ours tells us "You're fat. You're ugly. You can't wear a bikini looking like that. Why are you eating carbs? Don't you know they'll make you fat." Ugh. We really do talk to ourselves like that.
We've been told so many lies about health and nutrition.
- "A moment on your lips is forever on your hips."
- "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
- "Don't eat too much fat...it will make you fat."
- "Carbs will make you fat."
We're taught that we need to control everything to be healthy. By eating less, counting your calories, and getting in your daily hour on the treadmill, you'll be healthy, skinny, and most definitely happy. Right?
How many of us fall for those lies? We distract ourselves and spend our energy chasing an unrealistic body, and then we beat ourselves up for overeating (most likely because you're undereating the rest of the day).
It's totally okay to eat MORE and give up calorie counting. Your metabolism actually needs enough food to keep running. Undereating or controlling every calorie just makes you crazy around food and leads to overeating later on. Binging is sometimes your body's way of telling you that I NEED MORE FOOD. If you're only eating 1200 calories (like your health magazine told you to), then of course, you're going to overeat later on the tastiest food in the kitchen.
We should be upset about what media is telling us. It's not okay for young girls to grow up thinking that if they want to be happy and successful in life, they have to be thin, pretty, and have a perfect body. We all have imperfections, and that's what allows us to live a wholehearted life (thanks Brene Brown for those words).
The good news is we have the power to change our thoughts. When we change our thoughts, we can literally rewire our brains. This is pretty amazing, if you ask me. Our thoughts affect our behaviors, moods, actions, and if you're listening to that inner mean girl all day long, of course, you're not going to be able to change our relationship with food and start eating foods you're scared of or stop binging.
It starts with tremendous self-compassion. This means if you eat more ice cream than you wanted to, tell yourself it's okay. Give yourself a break. Take a bath. Treat yourself like a queen. If you skip a workout, it means letting it go and moving on with your day. Not making up for it the next day or restricting your food intake.
Changing your thoughts and finding self-compassion is a journey. Here are a few things you may want to try to detox from negative thoughts and diets.
10 Ways to Detox from Diets
- Purge your bookshelf of diet books and magazines. Get rid of them!
- Fill your closet with clothes that fit you well now, that flatter you, and that you feel good in. Donate those clothes you haven't worn in years, or at least move your "skinny" clothes out of sight.
- Eat when you're hungry. Don't wait until noon to eat lunch if you're hungry at 11.
- Start to enjoy food. It's totally okay to enjoy eating. Food is delicious! Figure out what foods you actually like and don't like.
- Write down all the food rules you're holding onto - no carbs, low-fat foods, no eating after 6 pm. Begin to challenge them by trying one at a time. Give yourself permission to eat what you truly want.
- Become aware of your inner mean girl thoughts. Catch yourself when you hear those thoughts, and reframe them into a positive one.
- Breathe. Deep, deep breaths.Meditate.
- Move your body in your favorite way. Yoga, dance, running, or whatever makes you feel alive and feel good.
- Let go. Learn to let go of things that happen. Be okay with imperfections. I know, I know. Easier said than done, but maybe you could use "Let go" as a simple mantra to repeat to yourself throughout the day.
- Use positive thoughts or intentions. I like the one: "I can trust my body." When you quit diets, you have to learn to trust your body again.