Here’s an interesting story.
It’s no secret that I dieted for nearly 50% of my life. From the age of 15 to 32.
I’m 36 now.
My first diet was at the age of 15 when I started counting Weight Watchers points. It was a slippery slope after that.
My dieting got progressively worse over time as I tried to get better at it. If I was allocated 18 points, then I’d try to be really good and only eat 16, then it would be 14.
At one stage during the summer before my leaving cert I remember allowing myself to eat only 10 points.
I was being “good”.
Weight Watchers was my choice of diet for a good number of years. It was familiar, so I kept going back to it.
I followed it and lost weight. I stopped following it and gained weight. I followed it again and lost weight. I stopped following it and gained weight.
The vicious yo yo dieting thus ensued.
Then I got involved in the leisure industry. Or the “health and fitness” industry as it is so inaptly called.
It was there I was exposed to the high protein, low carb, high fat, no carb, no grains, no sugar type of dieting.
At first I thought it was revolutionary. The weight fell off. But only while I stuck to the rigid dieting regime.
When I didn’t stick to it, the weight came back with a vengeance. Even more aggressively than when I stopped counting WW points.
When I regained the weight, my thoughts were that I was not doing it right. I wasn’t being strict enough.
So I cut out even more foods.
Giving up sugar wasn’t good enough anymore. I had to give up sweeteners too. Because they were making me fat too, right?
I become unbearably anal about my food choices. I don't even know how my friends were able to tolerate me.
As a vegetarian following the Paleo diet (yes, feel free to laugh), pretty much all I ate was eggs and spinach.
I even stopped eating Quorn products following on from the advice from an online nutrition program. They are processed ya know, and “bad” for my health.
We were told to have a “cheat meal” once a week. But I wanted to be really “good” and stuck to having none.
To my detriment.
My treats at the time were soggy balls made from coconut flour, raw cacao powder, and seeds.
The whole low carb, Paleo, no sugar frenzy that was making waves, ultimately sent me over the edge.
My dieting hit an all-time extreme and my mental health took the brunt of it. I literally imploded on myself.
How in God’s name is this normal? How the hell are so many people sticking to this rigid way of dieting?
Here’s the thing… They. Are. Not.
Behind closed doors there are literally hundreds and thousands of men and women enduring the same suffering that I was.
If you feel like you are suffering or if you feel that your well-being or sanity is being affected while following a certain diet, then STOP following the diet.
That diet is NOT the diet for you, no matter hard you try or justify it to yourself.
I am using Paleo here as an example, because it was ultimately this form of dieting that broke me. But the same goes for ANY diet.
Be completely honest with yourself. Do you *really* enjoy eradicating sugar, grains, dairy, or carbs from your diet?
Or are you just following suit because you are (mis)led to believe this is the best way to achieve your goals?
There is no one way.
If your method of dieting is shitting all over your happiness then find another way. (<== Tweet that!)
There are better ways.
There are more enjoyable ways.
There are happier ways.
Ways in which you can also live your life, and not just endure it.
Now, go forth and find it!
Thanks for reading,