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What If I told you your self worth (and happiness) isn’t contingent on how many calories you did (or didn’t) consume today?
What if I told you you could wake up each morning and NOT immediately spiral into the whole “I feel so fat” thing as you pinch the skin on your stomach?
What if I told you you could walk past a mirror without feeling gross and judging every lump and bump you found staring back at you?
What if I told you one day you could go try that swanky new restaurant with your colleagues and feel “okay” ordering whatever you want – whether that’s a cheesy slice of pizza or a spinach salad with strawberries?
What if I told you you could trust yourself to show up to parties and turn down every delicious-smelling appetizer without worrying about binging on a whole box of sugary cereal when you get home?
What if I told you you could ACTUALLY STOP thinking about food (and your body) every second of every day?
Hi, I’m Anne-Sophie Reinhardt, anti-diet coach, body confidence expert and Grey’s Anatomy fanatic (which may or may not be relevant) and after almost 14 years of yo-yo dieting, binging and purging and disordered eating, the one thing I know for sure is it IS possible.
You are NOT what you eat
You are NOT the way your body looks in the mirror
You are NOT the number on the scale (or inside your A-Line skirt)
You are NOT an angel when you down a green smoothie (or a fat pig when you indulge in a slice of meat lovers)
And food does NOT have to rule your life
How do I know?
Because every single day, I help women stop stressing over calories, give up the whole binging, dieting and overexercising thing and wave their white flag in the battle against their bodies so they can embrace their most sexy, energetic, fierce selves and (finally) live the life they’ve always wanted to live. 🙂
“Because in all honesty: A life centered around food, dieting, points, macros and waiting to get thin isn’t really a life at all.”
But listen: I only know the struggle because I’ve lived it. I actually started my first diet at 9 or 10. Looking around me, I saw soooo many women trapped in diet prison. By that I mean: They dieted, gained the weight back, tried a new diet, gained the way back, tried another diet, gained it all back and instead of blaming the system, they continued to blame themselves for just not measuring up. They felt more ashamed and more hopeless every time a diet failed them.
Yet, they never gave up hope that one day that magical diet would come along that would fix their lives and make them happy and fulfilled.
And so, I joined them.
Don’t get me wrong, along the way I lost weight (sometimes), but I also lost friends, dreams and my sense of what was real and what wasn’t. I gave up everything – dancing, friendships, even playing guitar – for working out and eating.
Basically, I stopped living for me and started living for weight loss and exercise. (Sound familiar? 😉 )
Since then, I’ve suffered – and recovered – from a severe eating disorder. It took me getting extremely sick to realize I couldn’t keep letting food control my life. And it was only after years of coaching, therapy and running my own recovery blog and podcast Fighting Anorexia that I was able to learn how to escape diet prison.
Today I know that escaping diet prison isn’t even really about the diet. It’s about NOT letting lady magazines, diet books and the women around me tell what to eat and how worthy I was – and tuning into my own body instead.
It’s about leaning in and exploring what’s REALLY causing me to numb out on chocolate/cake/insert other sweet and sugary c-word here. It’s about learning more constructive ways to “cope” with my feelings besides cookies (or banning cookies from the house altogether). It’s about digging into what I’m really hungry for (which is almost never actually food – but yeah, sometimes it is 😉 ) and building a life based on THOSE hungers, instead.
It’s about rewriting all the “rules” I made up about what I put in my mouth and what that means about who I am.
I tell you this because I want you to know I get it, intimately.
“I’ve been there, waking up in the middle of the night, freaking out and feeling ashamed that my binge sesh earlier that night would show up on the scale the next morning.”
Waking up in a sweat because I shoved a plate of pasta in my face in a dream and thought it was real. And starting each and every day with the intention to try out a new diet and finally “be strong” (aka stick to that insane 1200 calorie meal plan)…only to fail halfway through the afternoon.
I know what it feels like to live with the shame, the fear and anxiety day in and day out. (And it isn’t fun.)
But I also know what it’s like to turn it all around.
Today, I do a lot more than worry about food. I spend loads of time with my family and friends. I regularly take leisurely (and sometimes not-so) strolls in nature and read in the sunshine, completely forgetting about food for hours (I know!). I watch lots of American TV. And I even eat ice cream. A lot of it. And I don’t feel even a twinge of guilt.
So, here’s the deal, lovely: You don’t have a willpower problem. You’re not weak, or lazy or a total failure because you can’t shed those pounds.
Or because you deny yourself.
Or because you consistently lose it when you’re around doughnuts/cookies/pizza.
The problem isn’t you at all. The problem is the way society has made you view yourself.
And that’s why I do what I do. Because I am so done watching women base their sense of self on what they eat, how often they pick up the dumbbells or the number on the scale.
I am so done with women hating their gorgeous bodies because they don’t measure up to the insane beauty standards set by the lady magazines.
And I am so done with women waiting to get thin to live.
It’s time for women to heal, for real.
It’s time to escape diet prison. And I’d love to show you the way.