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Stop Blaming Yourself! 5 Reasons Why Your Diet Doesn’t Work

By Kari Anderson

02E81002 - smI am increasingly disheartened for those who are unknowingly misguided into a life of repeated, humiliating attempts to lose weight, then take on the shame of “their failure.” What I want you to know is:

  1. You may have been given the wrong prescription. Many people who seek help with weight loss are struggling with emotional eating and about a third have Binge Eating Disorder (BED). A weight loss plan is the wrong prescription because it attempts to address one of the possible symptoms of emotional eating and BED rather than the root cause.
  2. You may have an eating problem instead of a weight problem. For many, food has become more than a pleasurable source of fuel and nourishment. Learning to manage your thoughts and emotions without turning to food is essential—and possible! By changing the way you think, feel, and behave around food, you can deal with the real problem and gain your freedom.
  3. Perfectionism may be your worst enemy. Many people who struggle with food tend to think in all or nothing terms and cycle between restrictive eating and overeating or bingeing. This leads to even greater physical and emotional harm. The goal is to find peace and balance in the relationship with food.
  4. Restriction wakes up cravings for more. Restriction can trigger an emotional and physical response, eventually leading to rebellion. A paradigm shift is necessary to feel safe around certain foods. Moving from scarcity and deprivation to abundance and freedom can end the insatiable cravings for more.
  5. Change is complicated. Change is an internal process; external rules and rewards rarely lead to sustainable change. If you have ever wondered why you can’t “just do it,” it’s not your fault. Your patterns may be strongly influenced by an unconscious protective belief system that requires validation and “self-parenting” in order for us to feel safe enough to change.

If you’ve been blaming yourself because diets haven’t worked, you’re not alone! Take a deep breath then approach yourself with a loving, kind attitude. Consider whether you are ready for a complete shift in your thinking, and if so, seek out a non-diet, weight-neutral program that teaches mindfulness (such as Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Binge Eating).

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About the author

Kari Anderson, DBH, LPC is a Phoenix-based eating disorder specialist and co-creator of the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program for Binge Eating. Dr. Anderson owns My Balanced Life, an integrative counseling practice in Phoenix, Arizona. Kari has been working in the eating disorders treatment industry for over twenty-two years. She began her career with The Rader Institute, joined the staff at Remuda Ranch for fourteen years and began a private group practice in 2009. Kari earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Mount St. Mary's College of Los Angeles in 1991 and her Doctor of Behavioral Health degree from Arizona State University in 2012. Her culminating research found a mindfulness-based treatment for Binge Eating Disorder using the Am I Hungry? mindful eating cycle to be effective in eliminating binge eating, decreasing psychological distress and improving health behaviors.

3 Comments

  1. Cheree says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for the enlightenment! I, too, was a binge eater, UNTIL I FOUND YOUR PROGRAM, [and STOPPED DIETING to SOLVE my ‘weight problem.’] I have been following your work, [and practicing your techniques] for over a year, now, and my weight has stabilized; [having found MY IDEAL BODY and WEIGHT has given me FREEDOM FROM JUDGMENT – for MYSELF AND OTHERS.] I AM NOW COMING FROM A PLACE OF PURE LOVE [residing in the HERE and NOW.] I LOVINGLY ACCEPT AND APPROVE of MYSELF; [JUST AS I AM. PERFECTLY IMPERFECT.] THE EMBODIMENT OF THE GLORY OF CREATION, IN THIS ABUNDANT, LIVING, UNIVERSE. YOU DO GOOD WORK, KARI! KEEP IT UP! PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE NEEDED! THANKS AGAIN!

  2. Cheree
    Thank you for the encouraging words, I am thrilled to hear that you have found freedom from the diet trap and are living joyfully in your “home” (body), finally peaceful. Kari

  3. […] Stop blaming yourself! 5 reasons why your diet doesn’t work. (Am I Hungry?) […]

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