I've spent the last couple of weeks on the road promoting my new book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinny Girl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting. Ive met so many readers whove reached out and shared their own diet hang-ups. Here are my four favorite lessons from my tour.
1. Everyone has food noise
My book is all about hushing that little voice in your head that tells you that youve been âbadâ if you ate a big piece of cheesecake. Almost everyone experiences this voice, and the concept has resonated with my readers. It will never go away completelyÂbut you can learn to quiet it down. I still have food noise, but Ive learned to listen to myself over that voice. You have to trust the fact that youre allowed to eat pasta, avocado, or dessert without damaging your diet.
Take-home lesson: Tempted by dessert? Allow yourself to make a healthy, portion-controlled option, like my banana-oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
2. Dieting is intimidating
So many readers have told me that while their bookshelves are filled with diet books, they still cant seem to slim down. They feel like theyve already failed by the end of the first chapter. Thanks to dozens of conflicting rules and calculations, these women cant figure out what is âsafeâ to eat. Realizing that they can have whatever they want in moderation is liberating. In my book I never make any specific promisesÂlike helping you drop a dress size in a monthÂbut I do teach you how to change your relationship with food for the long haul.
Take-home lesson: Make dieting less intimidating but setting small goals and rewarding yourself. Give up your soda habit for a week? Treat yourself to a manicure.
3. Food hang-ups can wreak havoc on relationships
So many readers have revealed how dieting and food-related obsessions have caused serious tension between them and their significant others. One woman told me how throughout her marriage she resisted going out to dinner with her husband because she couldnt enjoy herself while she was busy thinking about all the extra butter and fat hidden in many restaurant meals. Eating is a group activity, so her food issues were toxic to her relationship. Shes since started eating anything she wantsÂshe just keeps her portions in check. Ending her obsession with âbadâ foods has been more beneficial than marriage counseling.
Take-home lesson: Order two appetizers, one healthy and one that you really want.
4. Exercise noise is just as bad as food noise
The most ironic thing about promoting my diet book? I havent had any time to exercise or focus on my own health, and Ive realized that exercise noise can be just as dangerous as food noise. People also tend to tell themselves they've âbeen badâ when they haven't worked out. I have that voice too, but my book tour has made me realize that even a little bit of exercise is good enough. You do what you can, and you realize that perfection isnt practical.
Take-home lesson: I sneak in 10-minute walks between breaks or during phone callsÂit's easy and it doesn't require me to hit the gym.
Order Bethenny's new book, Naturally Thin, from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.