For years now, I have been asked to share my thoughts on diets and dieting.
And for years, I have said no. The main reason I hesitate to share is because, in the past, I was verbally abused and mistreated by people who didn’t like my stance on diets and dieting. If you aren’t interested in my thoughts, then you should probably just skip this post. Maybe check out my recipe for Homemade Popcorn instead. 😉
What do I think about diets and dieting? I think diets are dumb. I don’t think anyone should be on a diet unless it’s for medical reasons. Why? Because the first three letters of diet are D-I-E.
Let me start by explaining a little bit of my past so you can understand where I’m coming from.
When Barry and I were first married, I was overweight. My doctor told me that I needed to lose weight. It was kind of a smack in the face to me. You know how it makes you feel when you know you are bigger than you should be and someone tells you, “hey, you’re fat you need to lose weight.”? It kind of takes you by surprise. You may have known all along that you needed to lose weight, but when someone tells you for the first time, it hurts. So you just want to wallow in it a little bit.
That’s how I first started down a path of dieting. I’ve tried a lot of different diets. And I have to tell you, they don’t work. At least not in the long run. Do you lose weight? Yes. But unless you found a diet that you can be on for every day of your entire life until you die; they aren’t a good idea!
Because of my yo-yo diets and dieting, I had several years where I was absolutely crazy. I had a problem with under-eating and over-exercising. I was afraid to get back to a place where I would be called fat again, so I went to the extreme. Sure, I lost a lot of weight, but it was a hard road! I misused my body, and I went on a couple diets that I’m not proud of.
The last diet I was on basically destroyed my metabolism. I was losing hair, I was always cold and I just generally felt crummy. After I quit that diet and kind of went public about it, I received so much negative feedback that it made me not want to talk about again.
What do I want to tell you today about diets and dieting?
I want you to know that diets are not the answer! I know how it feels to be desperate looking for any possible solution. It’s a terrible place to be, and you just feel awful. I know I always wanted an “easy” weight loss button, but it just isn’t there! Losing weight and getting healthy is hard. It’s takes commitment and discipline. In the past few years, I’ve been able to overcome my crazy dieting place and live in the land of moderation. I don’t want to live in a place where I feel smothered by diet rules.
And y’all, I have to tell you… it feels so good!
You may be in a cycle of fad diets right now. Everybody wants a quick fix. We go on diets thinking, “I’m going to eat only grapefruit and steak and lose 30lbs.” Will you lose weight? Yes, probably. But can you eat steak and grapefruit every day for the rest of your life? Probably not. But diets are not a long-term thing. Changing your lifestyle to one of moderation; now that’s something that you can maintain.
People always ask me, “how do you eat all that bread?! How do you eat brownies on Sunday? Why do you eat butter and fat bombs, isn’t it going to make you fat?” Y’all – I’m not a string bean! I’ve never been a super skinny person! I wear a size 12 pants and a medium/large shirt. When I was smaller and wore smaller clothes, was I happy? No. I felt unhappy anytime I felt out of control with what I was eating. Check out Healthy at Any Size; it really helped me get out of my spiral of dieting.
You need to be happy in your body and be happy with how you feel.
Anytime a diet cuts a complete food group out, it should cause you to take a step back and look at it. Why should you not eat everything God made? This idea of course does NOT include people who are allergic to certain foods or who have special restrictions for health or other valid reasons. That is totally different. But I learned to eat healthy by eating whole foods.
Also, I only eat when I’m hungry and I always stop when I’m full. I had to learn the signals of hunger. I listen to my body. When I’m hungry, I eat. But if I’m not hungry, it does’t matter how good food looks, I won’t eat it. Learn to listen to your body!
How can you avoid the crazy cycle of diets and dieting?
Just learn to eat real, whole foods. Eat more fruits and vegetables, more good healthy proteins, more healthy fats. It’s hard making the change from SAD (the Standard American Diet), but it’s worth it. Embrace a lifestyle of moderation and spend less time worrying about diets and dieting and more time enjoying the real, whole foods on your plate.
What do you think about diets and dieting? Do you have a past or experiences like mine?