I used to think this was a true fact. Like, truer than my hair is red or the sky is blue. If I let go of dieting, if I stop counting points, calories, pounds, fats, carbs, sugars, every single lick, taste and bite…I will get as big as a house. My waist will expand to epic proportions and I won’t be able to fit in my car. If I loosen my grip on food, even just a little bit, I’ll spin out of control. I was absolutely sure I would eat 10 bags of potato chips, 5 boxes of gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and who knows how many peppermint patties or dark chocolate bars. And I would do this every day until I was as big as a house. I had no willpower. Food controlled my life.
I did this for years. It’s starts young. A well meaning friend or family member comments on your weight “Oh, I see you still have some baby fat, isn’t that cute”. WTF, who asked you? And again after you have your own babies the same comments! And don’t even get me started on the partners that comment on our “big arms” or “more to hold on to”. I’m very lucky to have married a man that never, ever commented on my weight, even when I was 192 pounds. He will tell you to this day that he never saw me as fat (I love him!). But I saw me as fat. Society saw me as fat. And it hurt. So I fought back by controlling food. But in reality food controlled me.
My story is a lot like some of you reading this. It’s a story of shame, sadness, depression, disordered eating, body shame and low self esteem. It’s a story of feeling like I HAD to be on a diet at all times. It was exhausting. And honestly, I’m done with feeling that way. I hope you are too.
What was my pivotal moment? I’m not sure there was one exactly. It was a combination of my own stuff and working with women and realizing that no matter how crappy processed diet food made her feel – she still ate it all the time. No matter how many times she agreed to eat more leafy greens – she rebelled. No amount of kale, or green smoothies was going to satisfy WHAT SHE WAS REALLY HUNGRY FOR. She didn’t need one more restrictive diet, one more person telling her to eat this or that, one more diet failure. And I didn’t either. We needed to stop dieting and focus on herself – not our food.
I made the decision to stop dieting. I know I know…how crazy right? I took a deep breath and decided to just eat whatever I wanted. No restrictions. None. Zip. Ice cream? Sure. Chips? Of course. Cookies? bring it on! And I did. And some of it made me feel like crap. But much sooner than I expected, I stopped eating all this crap. It finally clicked that I could have it WHENEVER I WANTED. Wow.
The simple fact of knowing that I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and it’s my decision was so liberating! It was like taking off a dark cloak and putting on a Wonder Woman suit! I could now conquer the world! Well, not really but you get my point.
When you stop dieting I promise you, you will NOT get as big as a house. What you will get is your very own Wonder Woman suit because you will be in control of food and food will no longer be in control of you.