Spoiler – this post is a little long and passionate… enjoy
Recently I have decided to ditch the diet mentality. After what feels like being at war with myself for years I have come to the realisation that it’s finally time to let it all go. . I was 15 years old when I first felt too fat and unbeknown to me at the time it was the start of over 20 years of dieting and chasing that “perfect” body. Funnily enough the more I tried to do this, the farther away I became from it. Throughout that time I haven’t always hated how I look or my shape. It was just a nagging ache in the back of my mind that I didn’t feel good enough. I slowly put weight on over the years, than lost it, then regained it, then tried to lose it again. The never-ending cycle.
I always felt that I was the fat friend in my group of friends as I was usually the biggest. I have joined several gyms over the years (I’m a member of a gym now), tried a multitude of different diets, pills and shakes. All with the same ending, me feeling like a failure, deprived and then bingeing. Now some people may read this and think whats wrong with you, get a grip and just stop eating cake. Well firstly I’m not even a fan of cake, secondly its just not that easy for some people. There are so many influencing factors which impact peoples weight, lifestyle, medications, jobs, relationship, genetics to name a few.
Last year I was so sick of all of the bull shit out there that I decided to educate myself on actual nutrition. I completed an advanced diploma in nutrition. Now this does not make me a dietician at all, but what it does do, is give me enough knowledge to see through the bull shit and make informed choices. I then had a moment of panic that I was not doing enough and rejoined Slimming World. As I am sure you can guess it didn’t work, I now weigh more than when I joined. So I made a decision earlier this year that I was not going to succumb to the diet mentality any more. I had, had enough of beating myself up, tracking everything little thing that I ate or drank, feeling guilty after “coming off plan” and most importantly no longer enjoying the food I ate. Food was the enemy and it was a fight I had somehow become involved in. Its exhausting.
Dieting is a multi million pound industry and yet it constantly fails us. We are not the failures in this relationship, thEy are. Between the companies who try to figure out new ways of pouring sugar in to your food and the diet companies it’s no wonder so many people feel fucked up over food. It really makes me feel mad when I think about it, as there is a whole network out there designed to make you feel like shit so you spend money. When you cut through it all, these companies are not interested in what the result is for you, you just need to pay up for whatever product, service, plan or result they have. So I’m fighting back and starting to make my own decisions about whats good for me, what body size / shape I am happy with and most importantly to take my health back.
I would love to tell you that this is an easy switch and again for some people I completely understand that it may be. I feel like I am having to relearn what foods I like, when do I actually feel hungry instead of grazing constantly to eat some points up. Its like waking up and seeing the world differently. No food is off-limits for me now and at first that meant going a bit crazy and over eating on chocolate. It was literally like being a kid in a sweet shop. The thing is, a change is happening in that I am starting to get a bit bored of it as I know I can have it any time I like, guilt free! Chocolate will always be part of my food as I love it, especially anything from Hotel Chocolat. I mean who doesn’t
My focus now is on my health and not just weight. There is a better way and it starts with loving yourself enough to stop. I continue to drink plenty of water, I eat when I am hungry, I continue to eat as many fruit and vegetables as I can do. I am at a gym and for the first time really enjoying going swimming a few times a week. I make sure I get enough sleep, see my friends, read, write, spend quality time with the people I love. I have started buying myself clothes again, instead of saying to myself well I will wait until I have dropped a dress size. I mean, that’s just ridiculous and really punishing myself for not being a size 12. Anyway who set the rules on what size or shape any of us should be?
Of course, I still have those days, sometimes weeks, where I eat unhealthy food, skip the gym etc but the difference is that I don’t feel like shit about it and I accept that’s just how it has gone down for today. I accept where I am right now with my body and that’s no longer at war with myself. I trust that I know whats right for my mind, body and spirit. I trust that in time my body will settle after years of yo-yoing and then I will be whatever shape and size that I feel good at, regardless of expectations. The dieting industry can go take a long walk off a very short pier.