I tell you this with love: if you are asleep at the wheel, you have got to freakin’ stop.
If you get to the end of a meal, or a day, or a week, or a year, and think wow, I guess I must have eaten a ton but I didn’t even notice, then seriously, you need to do something.
You’ve got to find a way to wake up and listen to yourself.
And no, I don’t mean, “Wake up! You’ve got to eat ‘reasonable’ portion sizes,” or, “Wake up! you’ve got to go back to Weight Watchers.”
You’ve probably already done that anyway.
Maybe even multiple times.
I mean that you’ve got to find a way not to go blank.
You have to find a way to be awake in your life, to know when you are furtively eating a candy bar in your kitchen or at your desk or in your car. Sticking the food in so quickly, or with a mind so blank, that you don't even realize that it happens.
You have to find a way to open the lines of communication between you and yourself.
On a daily, hourly, moment-to-moment basis.
This is hard.
Man-oh-man, it is hard.
It is so hard, so terrible, so tough that many of us would rather micro-manage our portion sizes, or go back to Weight Watchers or Atkins or fill-in-the-blank, rather than do it. And you can do that.
But if you don’t want to do the “diet” thing, then you cannot be asleep at the wheel.
You have to find a way of listening to yourself.
Morning pages or food journaling are two good ways to start. Martha Beck and Julia Cameron and Geneen Roth also talk about how to stay with yourself in some of my favorite books, which you can check out here.
Or you can get help. I know that I needed help—I really couldn’t do it alone at first—and coaches were incredibly useful. If you’d like some help from me, I work with people individually or in groups.
But no matter how you do it, you have to do it.
You have to.
Seriously, the only requirement of eating without dieting is that you have to be able to listen to yourself.
How is this going for you? Scary, hard, impossible? Let me know in the comments, and we can brainstorm ways to help you with this.