I have been on numerous diets and will never go on one again. Let me tell you why.
As someone who struggled in the past with insecurities and poor body-image, my heart hurts when I hear of people going on “diets.” Food and the thought of food controlled me years ago. I’m not talking about planning ahead, having a craving, or looking forward to a meal. I’m talking about restricting myself to an extreme, planning to binge and purge, and having no control over eating too much or too little. Basically feeling guilty, out of control, and insecure all the time.
Before my eating disorders, I was on many diets, including Weight Watchers. WW isn’t all that bad, because unlimited amounts of fruits and vegetables are permitted. It is a diet that encourages better choices and proper portions, but I will never go on it again, either. I believe proper change is creating a new lifestyle, a fresh outlook, and smeared in patience.
Diets are restrictive, unkind, dangerous, and mostly unhealthy. What happens when you mess up, when you “cheat?” For me, it led to a dark road. For others, it can too. There is so much pressure to follow a specific eating plan, when instead, a change of heart and mindset could make all the difference. Specific foods should be in your life, not eliminated because they are “fattening.” It’s the “too much” or wrong kind that threatens your health.
The culture we live in wants you to feel inferior. These people want you to buy their product, look a certain way, and brag about your “success” to recruit your friends. Our society almost brainwashes us to think beautiful is skinny, a six-pack, a certain size. By pushing the unrealistic standards, we all fall short and feel pressured to find extreme dieting in order to feel accepted. To feel beautiful, even in our own eyes.
SO LET’S STOP.
Let’s put an end to dieting! Instead, let’s focus on HEALTH, MODERATION, LIFESTYLE CHANGES, and POSITIVE CHOICES.
If losing weight is on our minds, we should first ask WHY. Do we NEED to lose weight for a better heart health? Do we want our clothes to fit more friendly? Or are we feeling pressured to fit a mold? The personal decisions about our bodies should be made from a compassionate, thoughtful mindset and carried out with the same self-love.
From compassion, there are no extremes. If you want sugar, eat FRUIT! If you want carbs, eat WHOLE WHEAT pasta or bread. Maybe your body craves salty? Eat chips, then follow those with carrots and hummus. Eat more PLANTS, not less food. When we make the conscious effort to eat MORE goodness, we are changing our lifestyle. With a more wholesome lifestyle, we lose a little weight (without guilt or starvation), we are healing the body (fruit has good, natural sugars that the body needs), and we are finding balance.
Changing the mindset is HUGE. I do not say no to anything (*I am vegan for ethical reasons, but I eat just about whatever I want). FRUIT IS GREAT, FULL OF ANTIOXIDANTS, WATER, AND VITAMINS. For whatever reason you cut back on sugar, don’t give up fruit! Give up processed sugar. But again, if occasionally want a brownie, have it! Want another? Have some strawberries, a banana, or almondmilk in place of an extra helping. Having the headspace of wanting to be healthy, NOT skinny, will allow you to treat yourself and stay on track! Little changes make way for big changes!
Now, “cheat” meals or days are not a thing. If I want a cookie, I eat a damn cookie! One cookie, maybe a few if I am feeling wild, and guilt is not welcome. The cookie is enjoyed, and no negative thoughts are allowed because of the eaten treat. I enjoy it and move on. I did not CHEAT on my health, on my body. I gave myself a treat because I wanted it.
Finding an activity you enjoy: walking, dancing, yoga…
These things are what we need to work on, what we need to practice. Not eliminating sugar, carbs, or dessert. We need to make better choices within those realms, making sure we are living life and respecting our bodies.
Say no to diets. Make better choices, do research, and love YOUR body.
Health is what matters, not a jeans size,