When I was 21, I went on my first weight loss diet. I wasn’t personally looking to lose weight, but a friend wanted to lose a few pounds and asked me to join him. Little did I know that I was setting myself up for a 40 year battle with yo-yo dieting and body hate.
During that first diet, I lost enough weight to go from a size 14 to size 8 and hey, at 5’9” I thought I was looking pretty good! I bought, and wore, a little black bikini and skimpy shorts with matching skimpy halter tops. Life was fun – on the outside.
On the inside, life had turned into a struggle. I didn’t realize that maintaining this new me would be a full time job, that I’d have to think about what I did or did not eat every minute of every day. I desperately wanted to keep this new look and I had thought that my weight would just naturally stay put.
But au contraire. The weight started to creep back on and that little black bikini was soon tossed aside for baggy pants and t-shirts – depression set in. It wasn’t until my size 14 pants got tight that I could muster up the determination to return to a strict diet. This time though, I knew how the game worked and I wasn’t happy with a size 8. I decided to go down to a size 6 just to give myself some added wiggle room.
Does this sound like you? Can you relate to the physical, mental and emotional ups and downs of dieting? When you think about it, does any of it even make sense?
Restricting food, while it may be helping us to lose weight, doesn’t teach us to celebrate or respect our uniqueness, who we innately are. It doesn’t because it can’t. That’s not its job. As a result, most women who go on a weight loss diet will gain their weight back within a year or two and will generally continue to gain even more weight. I truly believe if I had never dieted, I would naturally be at least 20 pounds lighter than I am now.
It took me 40 years of yo-yo dieting to realize that diets weren’t my friend. And you know what? As I learned to eat for health and nourishment, my body started to trust me. It found its happy place and now my weight can easily maintain itself. While it’s true I don’t own a bikini, I am free to be in my life and celebrate who I am rather than devoting myself to a soulless restrictive diet. I find it’s very liberating.
Does that sound like a place you’d like to be? You can be in a loving relationship with who you are. You and I both know you are very, very worth it!
photo credit: jennifer-burk-ECXB0YAZ_zU-unsplash