Procrastination might be the most powerful first step to finding freedom around food and a sense of peace with your body.
Now, you’re probably thinking that I’m a little cray cray but hear me out.
Procrastination used the right way can actually help us find peace with our bodies and food.
Not the “I’ll put my life on hold until I’m skinny” or “I’ll eat until I feel sick because I’m planning on going on a diet anyway” kind, but the action(or rather, inaction) of putting your want to “fix” yourself through losing weight, on hold.
You see, just procrastinating your next diet will give you the chance to breathe, think, taste and experience what life is like without those synthetic meal replacement shakes or the maddening inner dialogue about what and when you “should” or “shouldn’t” eat. It is in this space that the option of trying things differently is born.
Many people think that the opposite of a diet is full blown binge mode, and as Geneen Roth puts it “Every diet has an equal and opposite binge”, but living “diet free” does not equal gorging yourself on cake and ice cream every minute of every day. It means taking your power back. It means facing the fact that the sense of control that we seek through trying to restrict our food is not there for us to find. It means opening yourself up to life as it is right now instead of grasping for a future “skinny bod” life.
For years after I stopped dieting I was in food and body limbo, not having a clue of what to do or what was going to happen. Much like an addict I had to postpone my urge to diet day by day, sometimes moment by moment.
I was still using food as to cope with life but I wasn’t trying to make up for it by going on another diet.
I imagine my body was pleasantly confused at the time after having endured 10+ years of daily alternating between feast and famine.
But it turns out, it’s in limbo that the magic happens.
The first year I convinced myself to stop dieting with the promise that I could go back to it anytime.
Somewhere around year two I realized dieting had become a sort of allergy, just thinking about it created a visceral reaction. I might have wanted to be able to go back but the thought of it sent me right into a stressful last supper kind of response fueled by anxiety about having to revisit diet hell.
Dieting can be like a drug habit you can’t seem to kick and being in procrastination mode can feel like a real son-of-a-you- know-what with the anxiety and “what-am-I-doing”s piling up. But it can also help you get to the point of no return. And while stepping over the line that you know you can’t cross back over is scary as heck, that is what most of us have to do to secure some kind of basic ground when it comes to food and body.
That doesn’t mean that you’ll never have another negative thought about your body or eat to push away emotions but it does mean that you’ve put a lock on the diet and “waiting-to-get-skinny” door.
Which is a HUGE feat. HUGE!
I encourage you to put your next “plan” on hold and start showing up for all of the precious moments that you would have missed had your mind been hijacked by compulsive calorie counting or thoughts about the size of your thighs.