I was a professional dieter for MANY years of my life. I tried EVERY diet under the sun, or so it felt. And I was also, never able to stick to any one diet long term. Yes, there were diets that I did where I lost weight doing them, and that happened many times over BUT the key word “lasting” never applied.
Lasting and never looking back would have been my ideal accomplishment. That is what I was always desiring to find after all. Permanent weight loss. Permanent eating solution. But all I was sold, was a quick fix.
The longest that I managed to be able to stick to any one diet was six months. I was dieting the whole time however, never got to maintenance or any other stage. But I had (in this one moment of my life) managed to get my shit together long enough to stick to this diet because I had gotten fed up enough. I was tired of feeling like crap. Tired of being “fat”.
I ended up losing 50lbs from this diet. But as soon as I stopped, had some sugar, went off the diet for a cheat meal which ended up being a cheat day or week, but really just allowing myself to have some freedom….I slowly and steadily saw it creep right back on UNTIL my pants didn’t fit anymore.
Sadly, all the diets before this one, pretty much followed this same course of action. In this instance, I thought I had kicked the bad habits. That I was stronger! That I had come this far and there was no way I would go back! Yeah right!
And so, I did what I would always do anytime I failed another diet or as I saw it, the diet failed me, I went right back to square one and did it all over again. Because in my mind, if I wasn’t on a diet, If I wasn’t losing weight or thinking about it, THEN I would be miserable and just end up fat for life. And the only way to not be fat and miserable was to lose weight and of course, a diet was THE way. Because there was no other way.
But let me tell you this, in between diets, I always had fun because NOT being on a diet…meant that I could eat what I wanted without restriction, guilt or shame. There was none of that BECAUSE I knew I would go back to one and lose it again, so I figured, why not enjoy this freedom while I can and eat all the things!
But this also made it super hard to psych myself back up to go on a diet because I didn’t want to say goodbye to chips and cookies and soda. I wanted to drink all the coffee, eat all the desserts and have butter on toast…. pretty much all the things you can’t have on a diet. I didn’t want to say good bye and be miserable. But I had no choice, that was the only way to get what I wanted AND be happy.
But really what was going on, is that I was NOT accepting myself as I was. This never came across my mind of course because I couldn’t accept myself as I was with the weight on. I wasn’t going to accept my size unless it was a 2. Or if the scale did not say anything less than 125.
And had I had the thought to just let myself eat and that I would find my balance, I would have freaked out and panicked because I couldn’t trust myself to JUST eat without rules because “I needed to be told what to do EXACTLY at all times” even if I didn’t do it. I rejected my own ability to know how to eat or self-regulate, even after reading a million diet books and doing half of them. You would have thought; I was the go-to for dieting by then.
But after every failed attempt, when I finally got up the motivation and mentally energy, I would start looking for another diet to try, getting all excited and hopeful that “this WILL be different”! Which then, made me feel like I was more in control of my body AGAIN, my weight AGAIN, and my size AGAIN…all without even starting it.
The idea of it, the hope of it, the control of it was enough. But in reality, I was NOT even close to being in control. I was SO out of control around food and with my behaviors around food, that I didn’t even see that THAT was the real issue NOT a lack of dieting or finding “the right one”.
Dieting gave me a sense of control. A sense that everything would be ok again. That I could kick this weight issue. That I would be how I pictured myself to be. Thin. Pretty. Loved by all. But really, just deeper into diet dysfunction. Ignoring the real issues and masking it as just an issue dieting would solve once and for all.
But let me tell you this. Restriction on certain foods, rules around when to eat, calorie counting at every meal and obsessing over macro balancing, exercising incessantly to feel thin, denying every craving you have, trying SO hard to ignore hunger pangs, PLUS feeling tired all the damn time AND miserable from going on and off eating styles that have a huge period of adjustment is just insane! That is not control. It is anything BUT control.
It is a rollercoaster ride thought hell and NO you do not need to master it. You need to let it go along with the illusion that a diet is the key. The answer, the end all and be all to your problem. It is the problem.
So, what do you do instead?
First, you must realize that the dieting you keep going on and off of is THE issue. That they are designed to give you some quick feelings of control and success to keep you motivated to keep trying. Yes, they work but they don’t work for women like us long term who have to deal with the root issues first.
And that leads me to the next part. Find out WHY you want to lose weight or whatever it is you are trying to gain from diet bouncing. Get real with yourself. Don’t try to cover it up with pretty things like I want to be healthy. Because dieting is not how you get healthy. Health is something else outside of a diet. Figure out what you are trying to gain from a diet that you can’t have right now.
And lastly, once you discover you true WHY, make your goal be about feeling good versus looking good. When you focus on feeling…you will be able to stay in control MORE of the time. WAY more than the diet rollercoaster ride.
And if you need further guidance, want support, that is the work I do with my clients one on one. I help them see what they can’t see. Guide them to it and help them find what work for them long term. I do free consults, so there is no excuse but the mind drama you give in to. Have a blessed day friend.
With Nourishing Love,