Can we ever 'master' dieting using the 10,000 hours rule?
Have you heard of the 10,000 hours rule? Malcolm Gladwell in his book 'Outliers' argues that with this many hours of deliberate practice, you can master a new skill.
10,000 hours equals roughly nine years if you practised on average for 3 hours a day.
Sounds like a lot, right? Nine years to master the piano, poker or Portuguese. Seems like a BIG commitment to master something.
But how many hours a day do you think you spend:
- Berating yourself
- Telling your body that you hate it
- Wishing you looked different
- Thought about what you’re going to eat and/or felt guilty about what you just ate
- Compared yourself to other people
- Daydreamed about your ‘perfect body’ and how happy you’re going to be once you got it?
If you’re on a diet I would put money on it being more than 3 hours a day.
This is why I talk about diets sucking your power.
Just imagine how much extra brain space and energy you would have to actually take up salsa dancing/embroidery/pole vaulting (?!?) if you GAVE UP DIETING!
I know it sounds like madness if you've always been on one.
The diet industry is so insidious. Weight Watchers/Slimming World <insert diet club here> make you feel like you can ‘master’ dieting. They tell us that if we can just remember all the points/syns/BS counting system and put their rules in place, then you’ll end up a champion dieter and be happy for ever more.
However, learning to squash your body’s natural signals, assigning foods as 'good' and 'bad', and not looking at the root cause of your body unhappiness in a holistic way, well bae, it only leaves the game rigged.
Diet mentality keeps us locked into a game which we think we can win without ever addressing what’s really going on.
And I know it’s hard to believe, but diets do not work. Huge budgets go into marketing campaigns that tell you otherwise and there are a gazillion before and after photos on social media and in magazines to rub the point in.
Seriously, if diets worked then these businesses would be OUTTA BIZ, YA HEAR ME!
Just imagine not having to spend hours planning meals that fit your plan, not feeling guilty about ‘giving in’ to office birthday cake and not sighing over photos of other people’s bodies.
Think of the SPACE and the QUIET! Holy shit, I know. If you’ve been entrenched in long-term dieting the concept can feel totally alien.
I remember exactly how much time dieting takes over your brain. Man, I was OBSESSED with diets. I would avoid social situations with food and I would fawn over weight loss stories just imagining myself finally reaching my target weight of 9’12 (fyi, I’m 5’9, 12 something stone (I never weigh myself anymore) and I’m a size 14. If I were 10 stone I would look ill! I’d be offering myself a sandwich but this was the lowest point of ‘healthy weight’ for my height in WW back in the day).
Diets sell you a fantasy - a belief that happiness comes in a size. So we fixate, obsess and get really good at the rules. We want to be a fucking black belt of dieting.
Here’s a radical thought:
What about if you spent all those hours you currently spend wishing you looked different instead saying that you loved yourself? What if for 3 hours a day you told yourself you were good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, sexy enough or badass enough? What if you spent MORE than 3 hours a day sending posi-vibes to yourself?
What if we chose to become masters of kindness to ourselves?
Yes, it might take years to fully undo diet mentality. I believe that it does, to be honest. There are still times when I grab my fleshy thighs wishing they weren’t mine. But the reward at the end of the time you put in to self-acceptance is so much sweeter than ‘winning’ at dieting and getting a lifetime gold maintenance card at Weight Watchers.
It really doesn’t take long to feel the benefits of mindset shifts away from diets. Just making the decision to be kinder to yourself and learn to understand the true reasons behind wanting to change your body can be instantly game changing. Find out more about how I can help break you out of the dieting trap.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be a fucking global champion of self-care and loving kindness.
To be honest, I wouldn’t mind becoming a master of many, many other things too. The possibility of doing that is much more likely now my brain space isn’t taken up with useless dieting bullshit.
What about you loves, what would you like to become a master of?
Love Harri Rose x