By Lizzy Cangro: International Expert Nutritionist, Wellness Coach and Author
Can I share a secret with you?
Lean in closer, sister, because this is HUGE…
Are you ready?
The diet industry is working against you, in more ways than you think.
Not only are you wasting your time and money on products and programs with results that last just a couple of months (or worse; no results at all), they’re selling you the belief that you’re ‘not good enough’ as you are.
And in buying into this lie, you’re reinforcing a subconscious belief system (or what I like to call ‘subconscious BS’) of not being enough that’s keeping you trapped in hating your body.
Look; it’s not your fault. Until now, you probably weren’t even aware of it.
But reading this, you’re probably thinking, ‘how do I change that?’ I mean, who would ever want to keep reinforcing the belief that they’re not good enough, right?!
That’s why in this article, you’re about to discover the rebellious act of trusting your own body’s wisdom when it comes to your food choices so that you can rebel against the diet industry and finally feel good.
That day was just like any regular mild, slightly dreary summer Tuesday in Northern England. I was staying with my dad’s parents on the opposite side of the country and, like any other 14-year-old grandchild, enjoying my gran’s cooking for the week I was visiting.
However, that all changed at 9:05pm when my dad walked through the door. He had a solemn look on his face. Deep down that’s when I knew something was wrong. Indeed, that evening my whole life changed.
‘Sit down Bun’, dad said.
‘What’s going on?’ I interrupted.
‘I wanted to tell you in person. This morning grandad passed away from a heart attack.’ He whispered.
I felt like my own heart stopped at that moment.
My grandad had battled Parkinson’s disease, lung cancer, and now this?
In all the head rush, I couldn’t help wondering if I had anything to do with him dying.
About three days beforehand, I was staying with my other grandparents, my mum’s parents, and to help make my grandad feel better through his latest round of chemo, I made him his favorite: lemon drizzle cake.
I feared I could’ve somehow poisoned my grandad with this cake.
For the first time I did not trust myself with food.
When I got home from my grandparents, I began to look for advice on nutrition in every magazine I could find.
The more I looked, the more I didn’t trust myself with food. I thought I needed other people to tell me what to eat. This meant I adopted some terrible advice, leading to a 10-year battle with an eating disorder.
It was only until I was working a mid-week shift at my job in Starbucks at the age of 22 and felt a painful pull in my lower back that this started to change.
I feared what this pain in my lower back was, so went to my doctor. She referred me to the hospital to get a DEXA bone scan. The results were devastating. It revealed that, at 22 years old, I had developed osteoporosis (severe bone loss) in my lower back.
This is hardly surprising since from the age of 14 onwards, I had excluded dairy products from my diet and this is a vital source of bone-strengthening calcium. My osteoporosis was something that I was told I could never cure and that I needed to be careful when lifting as I was at an increased risk of fracturing my spine.
I’ve always been stubborn and rebellious, but on top of this I certainly did not identify as someone who had a condition normally associated with post-menopause. I therefore began to learn about nutrition from official sources of advice like the NHS and British Nutrition Foundation, determined to finally kick my anorexia to the curb.
In fact, within a couple of years of taking responsibility for my health, I had fully recovered from my eating disorder and decided to study for a Masters in Nutrition at King’s College London. This helped me further my nutrition knowledge and therefore trust in myself.
I began to learn to lift weights at the gym and stopped taking the calcium supplements prescribed by my doctor to help slow any further bone loss. Instead, I made myself balanced, varied meals that contained all the nutrients that my body needed.
As of my last bone scan, I had gone from having osteoporosis (the most severe type of bone loss) to osteopenia (a less severe version). My eyes welled up when I opened my scan results; I had finally learned to nourish my body and trust myself with food.
Let me ask you this; how much of your time, money, and quite frankly wellbeing, have you wasted on bad advice, fad diets, supplements and diet pills over the years?
I wouldn’t be surprised if you have invested hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in your lifetime. According to Yoni Freedhoff in his book, The Diet Fix, the weight loss industry has grown to be a $66 billion industry, yet at least 90% of diets fail.
The heartbreaking thing is, so many of us have given away our power to individuals and companies that don’t want us to love ourselves. If we loved ourselves, we wouldn’t need them anymore and therefore they wouldn’t make money from us.
If you trusted yourself to make healthy, balanced choices you wouldn’t need to buy into their BS.
The rebellious act
The key to releasing yourself from the shackles of the diet industry is learning to trust yourself with your food choices.
I’ve been there, sister; I know it’s scary to trust yourself with the decisions you make over food.
Yet; you were born with the intrinsic ability to nourish yourself correctly. Your body is so elegant and sophisticated in the way it functions, including letting us know when we are hungry, when we are full and when we need more of a certain nutrient. Ever craved chocolate when you’re on your period? Well, that’s your body signaling to you that it needs a feel-good pick-me-up of carbohydrates.
Another great example is the wonders of our liver in naturally detoxifying substances within our body. Whilst you’re recovering from a hangover, your liver is working super efficiently to deal with the alcohol you flooded your system with the night before.
For this reason, you do not need to do a cleanse. Trust me: they are a waste of time and money. They can also lead to nutrient deficiencies and, in the case of juice cleanses, cause unhealthy spikes in your blood sugar. Yes yes; the marketing is beautiful and packing may look nice on the shelf of your fridge, but that is the only nice thing I can say about cleanses.
Be rebellious and turn your back on this crap. Bin all your little bottles and instead learn to trust yourself; whether that’s eating carbs or having a small glass of wine with dinner. Not only will you feel better, you’ll be nourishing your bank balance!
Warning: learning to trust yourself with food requires time and practice. This is certainly not an overnight one-and-done thing, so be patient and kind to yourself throughout your journey.
Lizzy Cangro is an international expert nutritionist, wellness coach and author with a deep passion for helping other women finally get the body they’ve always wanted without dieting. Inspired by her own journey to love her body, she founded Nutrition by Lizzy in 2017, to help clients stop calorie counting, enjoy eating without guilt and confidently step into the body they love – and sustain it. Lizzy’s new book, Reclaim the Rebel, is a game-changing guide of tools and personal journeys to help you ditch the diets, silence your inner mean girl and confidently step into the body you love. Click here to get your copy today. Claim your complimentary goodies for your journey to having a body you love at www.nutritionbylizzy.com/goodies and connect with Lizzy on Instagram @nutritionbylizzy
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