Why Diets don’t Work – and Neither does Tidying Up

I could never work out why diets don’t work for me – and neither does tidying up. Isn’t it funny how we try to be perfect? And how much we don’t like the way we are or the way we live and are constantly striving to be better?

I was overweight for years – unhappy with just about everything but numbing it with eating, eating, and more eating. I tried diets that didn’t work and went to weight watchers’ classes time after time but the weight always came back.

The problem was, dieting and losing weight in that way was a discipline, something I felt I HAD to do and therefore as soon as it became a struggle I would give up. It is only in recent years as I am accepting myself more that I have begun to feel my body and honour how it feels, choosing only to eat foods that support me. Amazingly, my body has returned to its true and natural weight – with virtually no effort at all, and without the need for dieting.

The same issue of self-acceptance arose with tidying up my workspace and my home. I’d have a big event coming up with visitors and tidy, tidy, tidy. Tidying up would look great but really that was just on the surface. There would be things stuffed into a drawer or cupboard out of sight, and eventually, like the weight going back on, the mess would creep back in.

I realised I was approaching dieting and tidying up in the same way… wanting the end result to be different by how it would look to others and reflect positively on me, but I wasn’t approaching dieting and tidying up as a loving gesture to help support myself.

In recent years I have begun to make better choices and I am learning there is another way for me to be.

I am learning to truly accept myself, for in truth I am a beautiful, tender woman who has much to express in the world, and in honouring that, I am naturally feeling to eat in ways that support my body in wellness: and as for tidying up, it is something I naturally want to do.

There is still a lot to clear and I am tackling small areas at a time, but as I clear more clutter, my vitality and energy increase… it is truly a reflection of how I am living my life.

I now choose to take time to put things away. It is not a case of tidying up to feel better or for my home to look better for others, but accepting myself first then the tidying up happens because I want to create a space that is nurturing and supportive for ME… the two go together. The same goes for how I now approach food – not eating to lose weight but eating in a way that naturally supports my body. In doing this, my body has lost the extra weight I was carrying and has returned to its natural shape and size. I now feel vital and healthy.

Thanks to the inspiring presentations of Serge Benhayon and the Universal Medicine Practitioners, whom I have known since 2005, my whole life has turned around. I am learning to be more accepting of myself, and to acknowledge how far I have come. I am learning to enjoy being me in every moment.

By Carmel Reid, BEng DMS CertEd MCMI, Frome Somerset

803 thoughts on “Why Diets don’t Work – and Neither does Tidying Up

  1. Diets don’t work because they are not based on love and anything that does not have a foundation based on love eventually crumbles.

    1. That is one super idea Greg! With that question in mind; which food will support my body, is such a lovely way to ask our bodies what it needs, and as we awaken our awareness of the body, we can honour and respect all it’s communications.

    2. Love it Greg, the supermarket would then be very simple, with a lot fewer products. It is fascinating how so often you can go shopping for one thing and end up with other things as well because of the temptation and often these ‘impulse’ buys are far from supportive for the body!

  2. We can not live based on rules; only we can listen listen to what we truly need to say, act on and engage with. Equally to making adjustments and change things around. Must all come from our living way – never from a rule or book or any guideline as such. True intelligence comes from our hearts.

  3. Yes going into ‘fix it’ mode is not addressing why it is occurring in the first place. We can apply this approach to so many things in life, to relationships, to eating, to study, to money etc. We are then caught in always trying to ‘keep up’ the way we want something to look, which as you mentioned Carmel is a constant effort that is exhausting. When we are honest the answer appears and how it looks takes care of itself, but we first have to let go of wanting it to look a certain way…

  4. If we ever feel we HAVE to do something it is coming from our mind and not from our body. Our body does not HAVE to do things, it just does what it does. True weight comes from living from our body and not our mind.

  5. Carmel I have read this before but I feel like I am really understanding it. I have made many changes with food and because my focus is on self love my weight now takes care of itself, it’s not about perfection or ideals, just being nurturing with myself. The tidying though still has its motivation mostly for others and though it’s gradually changing I can see that it’s still about discipline, and what it’s like on the surface. Lots to explore here, thanks for inspiring me.

  6. Super important this is and it shows us, and we deep down know that, that it is the root cause for every illness or disease that needs to be looked at.. If this means an ill habit of eating or a disease itself. It all requires our honesty and responsible approach to heal that which needs healing.

  7. I had one of those ‘light bulb’ moments when I read these words: “losing weight in that way was a discipline,” as they made so much sense of my years of dieting. I realised that I had made the dieting a discipline, a have to so I could feel better about myself, but I had never made the decision from a place of loving my body and wanting to truly nurture and nourish it. Since I have made the choice to do exactly that dieting has disappeared from my life, and I’m not missing it one iota!

  8. Beautifully shared Carmel, and gorgeous to feel how empowering it is to embrace and bring self-acceptance into our lives. When we begin to truly care for ourselves with the love we deserve to live, we realise that who we are is absolutely worth appreciating and honouring. As such the choices we then begin to make came from a will to love, rather than a seeking to attain love or avoid the hurt we feel as a result of not accepting the love we are. Our bodies and the way we live are a direct reflection of the relationship we hold with ourselves through the choices we make.

  9. “Why Diets don’t Work – and Neither does Tidying Up” – yes Carmel, as i’m realising too over the years is that the best diet is the diet of acceptance; acceptance through the observance of actual quality inside whether that’s a physical body or cupboard.

  10. ‘but I wasn’t approaching dieting and tidying up as a loving gesture to help support myself.’ When we do this we stop being perfect and a whole lot of pressure we put on ourselves will fall away. Now and then I can slip into this ‘perfect thing’ but what I feel is that I am just avoiding being present in myself and feel what my body is sharing in that moment, it is never about the outside world but always about our inside first.

  11. I love how you have connected the two themes together of diets and tidying up, and how both are linked with self acceptance. Accepting ourselves in all our imperfections is the gift we give to ourselves, as this allows the space to truly nurture and adore ourselves.

  12. Whether the goal is to loose weight or to have a tidy house, the real magic of life lays with the quality of our movements.

  13. “Why Diets don’t Work – and Neither does Tidying Up” – when we tidy up or spring clean our unclean habits, things like emotions, ideals, beliefs, carrying of burdens, office toxicity or leaving specific relationships that are unsupportive of one’s own love.. then the body, shape, weight correspond accordingly. Recently I left a toxic set up and my body released its otherwise bulky retention with no food/diet being involved in the adjustment of the body.

  14. This is awesome Carmel, to configure your eating rhythm not for ‘looks’ but to come back to your true shape. And if we make this our goal, and see also that it isn’t just the numbers on the scales that matter but the quality of how we feel everyday, our skin, vitality, energy levels and so forth then it’s easy to see that restricting ourselves to a specific diet over a short period is a massive reduction of how we can care for our body.

  15. We use food for many reasons and for me I eat more than I need – I eat three big meals a day and panic at the thought of not eating. I’m not starving in any way so there is obviously another reason. I do tend to eat when I’m feeling something that is uncomfortable, because I still pick up ‘stuff’ from other people, I have not yet learned to observe and not absorb, and that depletes my energy. I eat handsful of nuts, which are healthy but not in the quantities I eat them, and they tend to dull my awareness. The more I listen to my body the more I can feel and the quantity of nuts can be bigger and bigger but the feelings still break through, so really it becomes a form of unnecessary self abuse. And when I feel low my house is untidy because I can’t be bothered. When I bother it makes me feel better so there’s a bit of a cycle in this.

  16. When we live with a foundation of self-acceptance we naturally develop a relationship with food that is based the appreciation of who we are, something that is true for where we are in our evolution, no more, no less, just what is needed to support us in our expression of life.

  17. Me and my husband are now hot on each other tidying up as we go along, we both have noticed how it impacts the other if we are untidy and leave things about. We accept we are not perfect and it does not happen all the time but we have both noticed there is a spacious, harmonious order around our home when we stick to it.

    1. Yes, a positive feedback loop can be quite easy to sustain as you can feel the difference each time between tidy and not tidy.

  18. I have been looking at this myself recently and you are correct Carmel, we actually can’t talk ourselves into anything. There is no mind over matter. Being more loving and supportive of ourselves then supports needed changes without any effort. Things just change because we are ready.

  19. I was thinking about cigarette smoking and how I just one day decided to stop 40 years ago – it took me over a year and several attempts but I eventually made it and my body and my wallet have celebrated ever since. It really is important to work on our self love because then we can naturally feel what our body needs.

  20. Diets work just often enough that people keep trying and then feel like failures because they are not in the small group of people who can keep their weight down.

  21. Freedom from what and how we relate to food and clutter comes only when we are divinely connected. So could it be we are all lost and looking for the same thing and only when we re-connect to the light of our Soul do we become honest and start to make Loving changes to what so easily distracts us, then we can evolve?

  22. Great blog Carmel, I love the way you have married the two – diets and tidying up – as both are temporary fixes of perceived problem areas and that do not really address the underlying issues of the lack of self-worth and self-love that, as you point out, need to be addressed so that a different more sustainable approach to life itself can be established as one based on love.

  23. This is the second time I have heard this recently, in that with accepting one’s self something significant then changed for them. I think there is a lesson for me here. Thank you for sharing.

  24. When we create a space that is truly supportive, I find this naturally means it is clear and simple. No clutter or mess. So I love what is shared here – the shift between tidying to look good, vs connecting to what supports us and honouring what this means in terms of our space around us.

  25. The problem is not food itself but why do we go there (in other words, how, why and what we resort to food for). So, food is the last piece of a chain. To really get it, we have to move up in the causal chain.

  26. The opposite is also true for me – when I feel down (depressed) my place gets untidy and my food choices are not truly nourishing. Cleaning up something helps to change my mood slightly but focusing what I eat never works, only when I am truly self loving do I make self loving choices when it comes to food. Focusing on the food doesn’t work, focusing on the love does.

  27. When we bully ourselves into doing anything we meet our own resistance and invariably fail. When we honour who we are everything changes.

  28. And just like tidying the closet or drawer by putting away and discarding as needed so too can we do that within ourselves. Letting go and tidying our energies and ways of being that are not truly who we are. This supports us to not react so much to life and then cook and eat with the authority of love in our body.

  29. It makes a big difference to choose foods to eat from a sense of what you feel supports you and your whole body as opposed to eating from a mindset of not liking your body and not accepting your worth…

  30. Dieting has never worked for me, willpower just doesn’t do it. Recently I started binge eating again, grabbing handful of nuts and eating more straight after meals, as if the nourishing meal i just ate wasn’t nourishing enough. Of course I put on weight. In the past I’ve kept off certain foods by not having them in the house. This time I really got that eating like that was an addiction, addiction to feeling numb. So I stopped just like that. After years of ‘trying’ in the end it was a simple choice to be more still and to feel more in my body, to honour my body and let it do what it was designed to do. I can have nuts and fruit in the house now and I don’t touch them, it feels great. Once I respect my body enough, food choices are no problem.

  31. I remember tidying up my home to make sure it was presentable for when visitors came, the thought of how does my home, or food for that matter, “support “me was never a thought, with food it was what was considered good for me, but that felt different to the word “support” which I now feel has a very loving element to it, not just something I do.

  32. When we tidy up our homes by just stuffing things into another drawer, as soon as we open it the mess is still there. This is the same principle when we bury our hurts instead of healing and letting them go.

  33. An observation I made today, having said 13 days ago that I was off the nuts, today I have been eating, eating, eating like there’s no tomorrow. I can link this to two events: (1) I’ve just spent three amazing days on a healing course and can feel myself in a very different space, so there was some tension there when I came back home and (2) we have the full moon coming up at the end of the week and that often affects my mood and my eating habits. So this means that I am still affected by external events and numb myself to avoid feeling the tension in my body resulting from an energetic shift. It reminds me that I need to raise the standard in my house in order to support me with any energetic shifts, meaning more detailed cleaning, folding clothes away as soon as they are dry, keeping cushions straight, that kind of small detail can make all the difference. Also completing things – today I sorted an issue with my mobile phone service that I have been meaning to do for months. It felt great!

    1. The small details do make all the difference I agree Carmel. Just giving our living spaces a little bit of attention, and can be as simple as adding flowers or burning a scented candle but also moving things around, or removing an unnecessary piece of furniture, which opens up the space, cleaning our windows which adds mor light…. everything counts and makes an impact. But when we do follow our impulses to give some attention to our homes, I feel this always supports me in moving forward.

  34. Same here Carmel, I too lost weight which remained off, when I changed my approach. I stopped the yo-yo diets and instead decided to eat food that would truly nourish my body. Having made that decision the first thing that came up for me to look at was my sugar consumption in which I discovered I was a sugar addict. But sugar did not nourish my body and had to go as it was not in line with my new approach. It took me some time but not as difficult as I first imagined. I found going for short-term weight loss did not work, but making it about true nourishment made such a big difference with a successful outcome. I now have the figure I had in my 20’s, and absolutely adore my body these days – now that is a huge turnaround.

    1. I’m still struggling with sugar cravings or at least carbohydrate cravings so that my body can make the sugar. And it’s not about food, it’s my body’s way of signalling that it is exhausted, so I need to deepen my awareness of where I am draining my own energy, for example, taking on other people’s emotional stuff.

  35. Every step we make with making space in our house has an effect on our body, and the space we can experience in our body.

    1. Sylvia, thank you for writing that sentence, it has made me look around the house where I live now and I am already tidying up tiny corners – the house itself needs some TLC in terms of fixing a few things here and there, and I know that will take time, but meanwhile I can tidy up my clutter, throw away things and bedlinen I no longer use, and tidy up the laundry-cum-shed. It is amazing how simply we can express what needs to be done. And tasks needn’t be onerous because simple things like sweeping the leaves off our front verandah, or repairing a torn fly net makes a difference.

  36. “wanting the end result to be different by how it would look to others and reflect positively on me” Gosh I can relate to this. I am exploring how I do this more and more, and where I see it, letting the part of that wants the ‘recognition’ go and just going with more of what needs to be done and getting on and doing it. It is quite exhausting trying to do everything with a positive result for self!

  37. We often feel concerned for how things look and ignore how they feel, the energetic imprints we leave behind in what we touch when we do anything with an intent to please, to impress or to not look bad. Keeping our living space tidy is a way to support ourselves, an aspect of self care that is not obvious but noticeable when it isn’t done. That can be as simple as making the bed, washing up after meals and keeping our clothes tidy. Picking up something that dropped on the floor and not leaving things lying about when they are not needed are two more.

  38. I was ten kilos more heavy after stopping with smoking. I felt bloated. I did all to get it off.
    Just eating carrots, doing a lot of fitness etc.
    Nothing changed until I stopped to focus on the result and woke up in the workshops of Serge Benhayon in which I was invited to start truly loving myself. When I started to make movements in a more loving quality with eating, walking, talking etc my body shape lost 8 kilo’s and my body shaped in a way that felt good to me.

  39. I agree Carmel diets don’t work, after yo-yo dieting for many years it didn’t do anything but made me more obsessed with my weight and food. I now am a healthy body weight due to developing a more loving relationship with myself, this has then allowed me to approach food in a way that supports me and nourishes me.

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