I was a compulsive dieter. I’ve dieted, cleansed, detoxed, restricted, changed my lifestyle, whatever you want to call it, more times than I can count. And yet here I am, NOT at the sparkly goal weight I was constantly trying to obtain.
Not that I never reached it, but because as many times as I dieted, I also rebounded. Living life like a pendulum, between 2 different weights. 2 different wardrobes. 2 different lifestyles. 2 different self confidence levels.
See, we diet. It works, initially. We lose weight. We get compliments. We feel confident. We feel motivated and on top of the world. Then it gets old. It gets hard. It gets impossible to sustain. And we hit a wall. We fall off track. And we struggle to get back on. So we gain weight back. And then those compliments? They become crickets. And that confidence? It crashes into shame. And that motivation? Gone. And there we are in the thick of another weight cycle. And what’s our solution?? How can we get those good feelings back? Another diet of course. And so it goes.
The guilt, shame and embarrassment of yo-yo dieting is the real deal. It suffocated me for a decade. Especially being a gym owning personal trainer, I felt like a fraud who couldn’t get my shit together. I know what it’s like to lose weight. I know what it’s like to gain weight back… and then some. I know what it’s like to associate your worth and value with your body. I know what it’s like to feel like a failure, again. I know what it’s like to have your happiness weigh in the balances of your body. I get it.
Now ask yourself, each time you dieted. What were you really dieting for? What did you think dieting you get for you? What were you struggling with? What were you trying to distract yourself from? What were you trying to avoid? What were you trying to solve by changing your weight? I know you wanted to feel good. I don’t doubt you did. But keep asking yourself, why did you want to diet? Why do you still want to diet?
See, dieting was my favorite coping mechanism. Unsure about my career and wasting my college degree? Diet for a figure competition. Financial stress? Do the next popular MLM cleanse. Relationship issues? Restrict food groups. Binge eating? Overexercise. Parents divorce? Restrict calories. Business pressure? Control food and exercise.
It doesn’t matter which issue I was experiencing, my answer was always the same. CONTROL MY BODY. How? Through DIETING AND EXERCISE. I thought if I competed I’d get attention and validation. I thought if I had a good body I could get the job I wanted and pay off my debt. I thought if I couldn’t control my parents being together, I would control my weight and food. I thought if I was lean AF, My training business would boom and I’d be seen like I know my shit.
I lost weight every time. I got the job and I paid off my debt, but I took such terrible care of myself I couldn’t possibly keep that job. High stress, low sleep and activity, and processed food got me fatter real quick. I left my college degree career to open my own gym where I struggled everyday to look the part. I competed and spent my life in the gym and my relationship fell apart. I controlled my weight and my parents still didn’t get back together. And every time, I gained the weight back.
Dieting doesn’t work.
Dieting as a coping mechanism doesn’t work.
All those things still happened regardless of my body. And now, weighing more than my goal weight, I am in the best spot in my life yet.
Look, eating food for comfort as a coping mechanism sometimes is so fine. But dieting to control your body, in an effort to control other peoples thoughts and opinions, to control your life… IS ABSURD AND A WASTE OF TIME. It doesn’t work!!!
Coping mechanisms are natural. I understand that. And for so long I used dieting as a coping mechanism. I used food and body to escape my problems. My obsession with dieting distracted me from addressing the real issues I was having.
Now, I no longer turn to dieting as a coping mechanism. I fundamentally believe that dieting doesn’t work and dieting is not the answer.
Since I believe dieting doesn’t work and I can’t control my body like we are made to think, DIETING NO LONGER APPEALS TO ME❗️❗️
I learned how to have a relationship with food when NOT dieting. I learned to hear my hunger signals again. I explored intuitive eating, with my own twist.
Now, I soothe myself in other ways, beyond dieting to control my food and body. Now, I walk. I listen to podcast. I read. I nap. I text my sisters. I sit w feelings and I take action for the issue, not escape it.
I spent soooo many hours obsessed over food, fitness and my body just to escape my life.
When I gave up dieting, I gave up my favorite coping mechanism. It was amazing, but I had a lot more time to fill and mental energy to use. It gave me room to read. To learn. To take my business online. To grow. Dieting was weighing me down and it solved nothing. And it never will.
There’s a lot of work to do beyond just deciding not to diet. I hired a coach for support. And I suggest you may want to do the same. You will have more time. More energy. And more fun.
So I want to ask you…
What would you do with your time if you gave up dieting??
Want my support through your transition away from dieting and the food, fitness and body obsession? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.