The Day I Officially Broke Up With Dieting

As I’ve mentioned lately here at Where The Light Plays, I’ve been engaging in more ‘intuitive’ eating strategies. I’ve also moved away from reading about health and fitness plans and trawling through their associated social media accounts. Now it’s time to tell you a major reason why.

But first a quote from the author Geneen Roth (and if you have the time, go and read all the quotes from Geneen Roth please):

“Diets are based on the unspoken fear that you are a madwoman, a food terrorist, a lunatic…The promise of a diet is not only that you will have a different body; it is that in having a different body, you will have a different life. If you hate yourself enough, you will love yourself. If you torture yourself enough, you will become a peaceful, relaxed human being.”

That’s what I believe dieting is really about - torturing ourselves, telling ourselves we’re not quite good enough and talking nastily to ourselves until we measure up.

I’m sure many women have had these thoughts:

‘I’ll be happier when I lose a few kilos’,
‘I need to lose some weight and tone up for this event’,
‘When I have the perfect body, then my life will be perfect too.’

Now here’s my story.

Over 10 years ago, I graduated high school. 

During my closet declutter (thanks to reading The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up) I came across the dress I wore at my graduation and thought...hmm, maybe I should try it on?

A potentially dangerous practice I know. But guess what?

IT FIT.

Enjoy the major flashback and daggy current day photo below.

I felt happy. And astonished. And angry and defeated. All at once.

I wouldn’t say I’ve continually been obsessed with dieting (and like most people have never actually ‘succeeded’ on any eating plan) but goddamn I’ve thought a lot about gyms and boot camps and quinoa and ‘starting afresh’ on Monday since I first wore that dress at the end of high school.

And guess what? It was for nought.

I am pretty much the same size I was back then.

I’m not telling you this to rub it in. I’m telling you because I was surprised. And because I realised I had wasted an enormous amount of energy and time.

If you take anything from me sharing this pretty personal experience, take this:

Don’t waste as many years as I did wishing you were a few kilos lighter. Don’t waste the amazing organ that is your brain reading about calories and HIIT workouts. It is not worth it and no one ever really finds success in this area.

Go and call a loved one. Go and read your favourite book. Go for a walk outside. Go and live your life. And for god’s sake, go and throw out all the dieting junk that has never brought you any fulfilment.

You deserve better.

Want to know more about intuitive eating and how it has helped me find my natural weight? Health coaches Paige and Simi run a brilliant course I've taken called Finally Free. I'll tell you more about how I've used their techniques to find freedom in future posts.

And here's one more quote from Geneen

“It's never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels. 
We don't want to EAT hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to BE hot fudge sundaes. We want to come home to ourselves."