After my final Whole30 back in February 2016, I actually binged (again) on pizza, cookies, brownies, kettle corn, and a really gross chocolate cake that I knew wasn't good while I was eating it but felt the need to finish it all because, who knows.
It continued from Friday evening to all of Saturday and on to Sunday...
and then the usual Sunday evening, "Oh F, what just happened?" thoughts.
But that Monday was different.
Come Monday, I took some time to think hard and realized that perfect clean eating and 30 day clean eating challenges of no flour, sugar, and dairy were really setting me up for failure in normal life.
This was the first time after a binge that I did not use a weekend of poor eating as a reason to run back to Whole30. After that weekend long binge, I knew something had to change. I would have to go to uncharted territories to figure out my relationship with food because restricting food groups was actually now causing binges rather than solving them.
Which brings me to the 3 common mistakes women make on their journey with food:
Mistake 1- Thinking that a meal plan is going to solve their relationship with food. I have a saying in Imperfect Eating. "It's about the food, and also it's not really about the food." Yes, nutrition matters. Yes, all 3 macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbs) are needed. But we eat for so many reasons besides just energy.
Why did I eat all of the chocolate cake that didn't taste great? Because I thought I wouldn't get to eat chocolate again after this binge. Scarcity. Because I had an "Oh F it, things aren't perfect" mindset. Because I grew up in a family where money was scarce at times and not eating everything on your plate was deemed wasteful.
A strict meal plan never helped me unpack my hidden relationship with food.Hidden stories that I needed to rewrite. Not Whole30, not 21 Day Fix, not counting macros, not counting calories, none. of. them.
Mistake 2- Thinking that things are going to be solved in 30 days flat. Or any specific number of days. When I started Whole30, I was sold on the, "Let us fix your relationship with food in these 30 days." Great! Let me follow a strict plan for 30 days, I will discipline myself, and everything will be solved. I've seen posts on Instagram that claim if you stick with their program, you will be fixed in X number of days. But these are always magical flaky numbers. If you've been dieting for years or decades, it takes time to unpack your relationship with food and rebuild habits. Your journey might take a few steps forward and a few steps back. This is actually normal and doesn't mean that you've messed up. Think about a relationship with a significant other. Was it perfect all along the journey? I can tell you that my marriage has not been! There are steps forward, steps back, and a lot of learning along the way. It's the same with food. It won't be solved in 30 days, but doing something different will help you and put you in a better spot in your journey. Which brings me to the last mistake.
Mistake 3- Focusing solely on the scale and weight loss as success in a food journey. I know a lot of people who have been on a weight loss journey with Beach Body for like 6 years since 21 Day Fix came out. (Hi, that was me a few years ago!) Down a few pounds with strict adherence, up a few pounds because omg it's so time consuming and mentally exhausting to be strict. And then a new program would come out. Down a few pounds. Up a few pounds. Then program hopping- lemme try low-carb, keto, paleo, Bright Line Eating, intermittent fasting, macros, 2B mindset, etc. Nothing is inherently wrong with any of these ways of eating IF YOU ACTUALLY ENJOY EATING THOSE WAYS. But in my experience, women pick different ways of eating based solely on wanting to lose weight, and they get super obsessed with that way of eating and checking the scale to see if it is working. Listen- All of them work. All of them work to help you lose weight. But if your whole life in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s is spent obsessing over food and checking the scale, is that actually success?
Are diets helping you be a healthier person? Or are they training you to be a member of diet culture for the rest of your life? And usually, a $$$$ paying member. Keep focusing solely on weight loss instead of health, and you'll be paying for some sort of shake, special frozen food, food scale, body weight scale, special containers, juices, books, pills, testing strips, trips to specialty grocery stores, $9 jays of paleo mayonnaise (hehe that was me!) etc for. the. rest. of. your. life. if you keep subscribing to these weight loss hamster wheels.
"But Jaclyn, aren't you selling me something too? Aren't you a part of this?"
Add up all the money that you've spent on diets. Add up all the years you've spent trying to lose weight only to eat whatever food you weren't allowed to eat when the diet was done thus regaining the weight.
Listen, I would love to help you get off the diet/binge hamster wheel.
And I pride myself on only teaching women things that I would also teach to my students and NIECES. When you look at the diets you've done, do they scream a message you'd want for the young girls in your life?
Eating plants, protein, and learning to not demonize nor overdo it on processed foods is a message I want for the young females in my life.
Moving your body and saying kind words in the mirror is a message I want for the young females in my life.
I would never want my nieces getting on the scale every morning nor would I want them to fear eating some crackers or having cake at a party.
The Imperfect Eating Bootcamp has all my best stuff + live coaching calls where we'll do the real work.