Here are 21 Non-Diet Motivation Quotes together to help you shift your mindset away from the typical “Just Do It” weight loss motivation and into something new entirely.
I am calling these the ‘Non-Diet’ quotes because they promote the opposite mentality of traditional weight loss quotes.
The quotes in each image stand by themselves, so in the text that follows each one, I don’t explain what the quote means. Instead, I add a few comments to help you think more about the quote.
Often we are harsh with ourselves when we use “Just Do It” type of thinking. When you say “Just Do It” to yourself, can you hear the harshness of this phrase?
This type of thinking where you force yourself to do something you don’t want to do impacts us in many areas of life besides health.
- We don’t get an A on the test, and then beat ourselves up for not studying hard enough.
- We don’t live up to our high standards, and consider ourselves failures
- If we fall down or make a mistake, it’s both entirely our fault and our responsibility
Your whole life you may have yelled at yourself internally after making a mistake.
This is so ingrained that you may feel scared once you begin to drop such strict and rigid thinking.
Kindness and gentleness may feel strange, or ineffective.
Likewise for many millions of people, dieting has been their companion for years.
Friends have been made over dieting, and it’s become a part of you and your identity.
Giving dieting up (and the subtle forms of dieting like clean eating) is scary, but it’s worth it. All you have to do is take small repeated efforts in the right direction away from your traditional weight loss mumbo jumbo. It’s never too late to get going!
It is scary to stop judging yourself based on your eating performance. But again, it’s never too late to get started! Just one step at a time. Small repeated efforts to gradually change your mind is the key.
Often we have deeply ingrained beliefs about food which involve rules and performance. Instead of making small repeated efforts, we try all at once to be perfect or lose weight fast.
We follow rules that promise such results.
Follow those rules and supposedly you will be ‘healthy’. Eat too much or the wrong food and you are ‘bad’ for breaking the rule.
Everyone has a set of different rules. Some people are more strict, others are more lenient.
What matters is how you react to ‘breaking’ the rules. If you are too attached to your food rules, you will stress out when you think you failed.
For example, you may have a rule to have no more than 1500 calories per day. Yet if you go over 1500 calories, you may freak out and eat way more than you would have otherwise.
If you stop judging yourself on your performance, you may eat a bit too much, but you won’t freak out and punish yourself because you’re not rigidly following rules.
If you could talk to your stomach and ask it “what rules do you have?”, how do you think your stomach would respond?
Your stomach wouldn’t say anything! Right?
All these “Just Do It” rules around food are making us crazy!
These rules are always moralistic. Do this, don’t do that. You’re good if you, damned if you don’t.
We need to stop this black and white type of thinking.
Now as we discussed earlier, this is scary. It’s difficult to release control.
It feels weird when you first start to transition out of the typical “Just Do It” weight loss motivation quote nonsense.
You have to remember that dieting and intentional weight loss just doesn’t work if you feel light headed or dizzy.
I know celebrities like Adele are losing weight. But the diet approach usually doesn’t work long-term. For example, Oprah lost a lot of weight too and gained it all back.
What’s your experience with intentional weight loss? Does it work for you? Or does it lead to binge eating?
Or does trying to control your food inevitably lead to failure, and losing control around food?
What if you stopped trying to control your food in the first place?
What would help you shift and let go of trying to ‘be good’ around food?
What if guilt and shame were not ruling you?
Guilt and shame make people feel bad after they ‘break’ a “Just Do It” food rule.
But what if when you ‘broke’ a food rule, you didn’t let yourself feel guilty?
What usually happens is people feel bad, and then they ‘try harder’.
They learn a new set of weight loss rules, and try again.
Of course, again, they fail, feel guilty, and gain back the weight.
But what if there was no guilt in the first place? What if you would believe in yourself even if you ate a certain food?
How would removing guilt around food change your relationship to food?
Besides, isn’t guilt just a leftover childhood remnant that no longer serves you?
Maybe as a kid or young adult you learned to feel guilty around food because some doctor or parent modeled this type of behavior for you.
But is food really a good way to evaluate your true self?
Eating too much food is not a crime, so why feel guilty? The guilt is just from your past, and is not your authentic self.
Much of this journey is about unlearning.
That’s why it’s so scary.
You are returning to your natural body. You are letting go of the artificial rules that exist ‘within your mind’.
These rules and beliefs are things we typically learned growing up. Now they cover our true self.
In order to find your true self, you need to adventure into the unknown.
Letting go of the rules and conditioning is possible because you don’t need these rules in the first place.
Your body contains all the wisdom you need. Perhaps you need to unlearn some stuff first before you can really believe in yourself after failure.
It may be difficult to trust your body in the beginning.
Remember, you have learned and obeyed a certain set of rules around food for your entire life.
These rules and diets have promised big rewards like a thin body or happiness, but they have lied.
Seeing the truth makes it easier to let go of these “Just Do It” rules and come back to your body.
But still, there will be resistance. You’ll want to return to your old self.
But is your old self the message you are truly meant to exemplify?
When you think about the quality of your life when you follow external rules instead of listening to your own inner wisdom, is it worth it?
If the external rules have you calorie counting, do you really want to be calorie counting all along the way to your deathbed?
Can you turn around and take care of your body a different way?
What if you used rules to manage your food just because you can manage your food?
Often people turn to controlling their food because the rest of their life is falling apart.
For example, you can’t control your boss, your co-workers, or your significant other …
But you can exert and iron grip over food and “Just Do It” (until you snap inevitably and lose control).
When you start to give up the “Just Do It” mentality around food …
You realize that this has been your approach to Life (and it might not be working all that well!).
The hard part is letting go of what you have done nearly every day. Letting go of the familiar.
But you know that feeling when you feel like quitting your diet or food management rules?
That feeling is trying to get you to take small efforts to move in the other right direction, towards what is known as intuitive eating.
What if it was time to stop lying to yourself?
How would you respond if you stopped pretending that the next celebrity diet would get you the results?
And what if you stopped pretending your restrictive eating was in alignment with your own standards, even though you were not getting healthier?
Or, what if you stopped beating the crap out of yourself for every little mistake?
Can you see your own bullshit, and not judge yourself for your bullshit?
You can realize your past actions have misled you without being hard on yourself.
It’s never too late to begin taking small repeated efforts to let go of your past behaviors.
How would you treat the most worthy being in the universe?
If God was at your dinner table, how would you speak to her, him, or it?
Would you yell? Be impatient? Ridicule? Doubt? Feel like quitting?
It’s time we all started treating ourselves like Gods, like divine beings.
And no nonsense either … there is nobody more worthy of your love than giving love to yourself.
Being able to give love to yourself is the foundation of well-being.
Isn’t this funny?
We’re talking about self-love, but when the diet fails we hate ourselves.
But the diet is to blame! The rules are to blame!
If you got into a car with a broken wheel, and then the wheel didn’t work and made you crash, would you get mad at the car?
You wouldn’t get mad at the car! In fact, you would never drive that broken car again!
But diets are different for whatever reason. We fail at the diet and blame ourselves. And then we go on with another diet.
That’s like blaming the broken car for crashing. But the broken car was going to crash anyways!
It’s pretty silly that we keep blaming ourselves for losing control over food.
Aren’t the pass or fail rules the real culprits?
Would you see a surgeon with a 5% success rate?
So why do we diet and try to lose weight when it’s only a 5% success rate, and when you ‘fail’ then you gain weight and feel guilty?
Let’s stop the nonsense!
It can be hard to see clearly.
If you are a bigger person, you often are judged because of your size.
When you are judged and slighted because of your size, it becomes easier to think ‘you are your body’.
And it’s true, part of you is your body.
But is thinking to yourself, “I am fat”, really that accurate?
Surely, you are more than your fat. You might be a parent, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a friend, a poet, an artist, a lover, a creator.
If you say you are fat, you must also say, “I am fat, and I am also an artist.” Or whatever else you are.
To think of it another way, think about how you view your fingernails.
Your fingernails come and go, without any upset mind or emotions. What would it be like if you saw your body this way?
One way we stay trapped in judgment towards our bodies and minds is because we eat food that’s considered either “good” or “bad”.
Vegetables are good, brownies are bad.
If you eat a brownie, you are bad. If you eat a vegetable, you are good.
Can you see this is the same type of thinking that most people have towards weight loss, but towards food too?
We need to let go of judgments around food and stop thinking of food in terms of black and white, good or bad.
As you let go of judgment towards your body, food and life …
You start to cultivate the opposite mindset, which is a growth mindset.
The growth mindset sees failure as an opportunity.
Here’s a common question I’ll ask my clients when they admit to a binge (and after I validate their feelings to make sure they know I’m not judging them) …
“What did the binge teach you?”
What can you do differently next time?
Instead of thinking that you’re a miserable failure, can you see this setback as only temporary?
Now make no mistake, you’ll repeat this same mistake unless you learn!
So think gently, what can you do differently next time?
This is how you let go of judgment and perfectionist thinking.
Are you confused yet?
Is it ok to be confused?
Let it be ok to be confused.
Don’t try to search for the right answer immediately.
There will always be someone telling you what the right answer is. Venus Williams will tell you one thing about how she only eats 1 candy every month. Another diet will tell you another thing.
They take away your confusion and give you certainty. But they are giving you their certainty, and not your own.
And that’s why you are confused and uncertain. Because external advice contradicts itself.
Therefore, you need to learn to think compassionately for yourself by making small repeated efforts in a gentle way.
And the first step towards compassionate thinking is realizing it’s ok to be confused, or uncertain. There’s nothing wrong with you.
Coming back to Growth Mindset …..
Can you allow for there to be confusion and uncertainty while you try something new?
Try intuitive eating. Go with an open mind.
Let yourself be confused and uncertain.
Let yourself make mistakes.
From this attitude of allowance and openness, can you then adjust?
Can you forgive yourself for not being perfect and realize that mistakes are part of the learning process?
All you have to do is learn, and try again next time a little more intelligently.