What Gardening and pursuing a non-diet lifestyle have in common

What Gardening and pursuing a non-diet lifestyle have in common

Image Description: green seedlings in round pots, shot from above.
photo credit: unsplash Markus Spiske

Over on Instagram, and in my Runclub video last week I shared that I was preparing for the growing season by starting some seeds indoors. This week we got some sprouts! And I couldn’t help but think of some of the similarities between gardening and a non-diet lifestyle.

  1. Both are practices in Vulnerability.
    When you plan a seed, you put it in some soil, water it, and give it some sunlight. BUT you cannot know for sure it will sprout. Not every seed germinates. It actually felt pretty vulnerable to share that I was planting some seeds; what if they didn’t sprout?! Or didn’t grow well? What if I had nothing to show for it?

    Not dieting can also feel this way. You are making a choice to NOT focus on your weight when it comes to your food choices. This goes against the current cultural health priorities, and some people will struggle to accept or support your choice. You also cannot guarantee an outcome; will you lose weight, gain weight, stay the same?? (Also PS – dieting doesn’t guarantee you’ll lose weight either, in fact, you’re more likely to gain weight over time by dieting, but it doesn’t feel as scary because you’re following an outside set of rules which brings us to -)
  2. They both involve Trust
    You have to trust that those little seeds will do the work to become little sprouts and then grow into little plants, then big plants with something you can eat. You can do stuff to help them (water, sunlight, fertilizer/food, keeping pests away), but they’re gonna do what their gonna do. Also some things are out of your control – the weather, sunlight vs. rain. And to be honest, it can shift year to year too.

    Trust in non-diet ways of eating is two fold. Trust is essential to non-dieting. And trust is a skill that is built through follow through in the non-diet process. The more you work to trust yourself, the stronger your ability to make the right-for-you choices will be.
  3. They require Patience
    Oh boy, patience is not an easy one for me. I want it now! You know? Planting takes time, you put a seed in the ground and it is weeks or months before you harvest anything. And truly gardening is one of those skills that takes years to learn as well, nothing teaches as well as experience.

    Not-dieting takes a lot of patience too. So many of us want a quick fix for our eating and diet troubles, but it just isn’t possible. Not-dieting is also the only way to eat for life. I don’t know anyone who has restricted total energy (the commonality of all diets) forever successfully. But it takes time to learn to trust your body and it takes time to develop the strength and fortitude to not fall back on dieting by habit when you want to change something.

So what do you think? I hope I haven’t scared you off of trying a non-diet lifestyle. Vulnerability, Trust and Patience are handy skills for all of us to have, in different areas of our life.

Do you feel like something in this article spoke to you? Reach out for a 15 minute call today to discuss how we can work together, to support you in pursuing a non-diet lifestyle.