What you’ll learn listening to this episode, Diet Brain:
- What is Diet Brain?
- The 4 mindf*cks of diet brain
- How to liberate yourself of diet brain
What is Diet Brain?
It’s a term that I created a few years back after my own 25 years career and having worked with hundreds of women that have a similar journey as me. We all try to solve our lack of confidence, perfectionist habits, people-pleasing behaviours, and all-or-nothing mindset with band-aids like weight loss.
Diet Brain is a term I coined to illustrate how diet culture has impacted women’s brains over time. It’s the most common adaptive mechanism present in women who have been dieting for a long time.
Diet Brain is a collection of a pattern of thinking that our human brain of women has created to survive diet culture, fatphobia and ultimately Patriarchy.
The 4 mindf*cks of Diet Brain
What I refer to as mindf*ck is actually scientifically known as thought errors in psychology. The error in thinking is the path in which our human brain adapts to diet culture. They are:
2. All or nothing
3. People pleasing
4. Mental filtering or Body Blaming
Here’s the good news sister…. you weren’t born this way. You adopted these thinking patterns to survive. More on this later… stay tuned!
Why is mindset centric to our teaching at Undiet Your Life?
Simply because our brain is the commanding officer of our human experience. Our brain command all of our behaviours, patterns, actions, reactions, habits and emotion.
For example, our ability to feed ourselves is driven by our brain. Our brain decides our dislike of our self-reflection. Our self-confidence is 100% created by our brain.
This is why mindset matter so much. There’s a reason why dieting didn’t work…. and surprise, it has nothing to do with you.
The food restriction, the attempt to shrink our Body to feel better, the attempt to have more willpower, all of it was like putting a band-aid on an infected wound without treating it with disinfectant first.
The mindset’s work is about getting to the root of what is causing all of the sufferings… our thought
The #1 goal of our human brain is to keep us alive
Our brain keeps us alive by interpreting our environment, assessing potential threats and send commands to the rest of your body. The way our brain sends commands is through our thoughts.
As we encounter events, our brain gives events interpretations based on past experiences, social constructs, learning, beliefs… via our thoughts. Our brain assesses our experiences as either safe or unsafe and creates a thought and consequently reactions to keep us safe or course correct if unsafe.
You see, humans do not do anything for no reason
Everything you do is done to keep you alive as long as possible. Binging, overeating, self-critical thinking, self-body hatred, disinterest in body movement… all of it are present in your life because your brain believes that these habits, actions will keep you safe.
For many of us, the big threat in diet culture is all the connected beliefs associated with it. Like thinner is better, fat is unhealthy, thin body is the gateway to happiness, some food is bad, fat people are lazy, fat people lack self-discipline…. I mean, I could go on and on for pages, but I’ll stop here.
Diet Culture itself is a system of oppression
Diet culture doesn’t mean being on a diet; it by far exceeds this. It’s an entire value system that worships thinness and equates to superiority, moral virtue and even today’s world “health.” It promotes weight loss as the tool to achieve this higher status and oppressed people who don’t match the standards.
So, of course, our brain believes that not being in a thin body is a threat to our survival and responds to it to keep us safe.
There’s also another system of oppression that contributes to women feeling unsafe in our society: Patriarchy.
Patriarchy, the social system in which men hold primary power. Patriarchy is consistently seeking control and power for the white cis-gendered men over another gender. Diet Culture is a sub-belief system originating from Patriarchy specially crafted to keep women obedient.
Socialization to diet culture
Women socialized to diet culture and patriarchal beliefs at a very young age. Our women’s brains are programmed to perform and keep us safe under these beliefs.
As a result, we chase the thin ideal unconsciously for most of our life. We become a perfectionist to achieve all the standards Patriarchy expects from us. The belief that you will be rejected from society because of your body’s size keeps you dieting and hating yourself.
Right now, most of your choices about health, food or your body are simply reactions formulated by your brain to keep you safe.
Another way to think of it is that most of our health, food, or body choices are fear-based choices.
The solution: Undieting Diet Brain
Earlier, I stated that we weren’t born this way… we weren’t born with a diet brain. Our brain simply adapted to our environment to survive.
This means that we can reverse our Diet Brain. We can unprogrammed our diet brain from the false beliefs of diet culture, fatphobia and Patriarchy.
Here’s the first step: making choices about our health, food and body from a place of love instead of fear. That’s one of the most simple and effective ways I have experienced with my clients to begin the journey of making more choices for ourselves from a place of love instead of fear.
That’s the starting point to Undiet Diet Brain.
That what we teach women to do, step by step in our Undiet Your Life Course. The ultimate goal of our coaching program is to Liberate ourselves from Diet Culture, Patriarchy and ultimately, our own self-critical thoughts.