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Diets Suck….and don’t work.

August 19, 2010

You've entered the No-Dieting-Zone.

Since I’m all about admitting dirty little secrets, let’s get my new biggie out there.  I’ve decided to never follow any diet ever again.  I know, I should be careful when I start throwing superlatives around.  But how many people do you know have gone on a diet, lost weight, and never, ever went on a diet again?

Every time I have reached Skinnyland, I still had to deal with, you know, life, and inevitably, I would slowly go back to indulging in my favorite “forbidden” foods.  Because I love to eat.  And this summer, I found myself ready to go on yet another diet to get rid of these baby pounds once and for all –  menu planning, portion controlling, equal parts protein and healthy carbs.

Then two books entered my life:  “Women Food and God” by Geneen Roth (yes, the one from Oprah), and “Diets Don’t Work” by Bob Schwartz.  Oprah says Ms. Roth’s book is a revolution, but Mr. Schwartz wrote his book in 1982, so these are hardly new ideas.  Bottom Line:  Diets don’t work, because they don’t allow you to deal with why you eat too much in the first place.

I found Ms. Roth’s book aggravating at times, as it was very ethereal and new agey.  Mr. Schwartz’s book, however, was very tangible, complete with questions to ask your self and explore as he discussed the concepts – but it completely lacked the spiritual connection that readers need.  In the end, despite their faults, both are very eye opening and worth your time if you’re are a person who struggles with their weight. (And they are free to borrow at the library!)

And despite frequently wondering what the hell Ms. Roth was trying to say, the concepts are incredibly easy in both books.  Eat what you want, when you are hungry, until you are full.  Yes, it really is that simple.  Well, have to get over your Diet Mentality about eating forbidden foods and let go of unsatisfying “healthy” diet food.  You have to confront all the millions of reasons you eat when you’re not even hungry.  And then face how much you eat way past feeling full.  So, yes, it really is not that simple.

If you’re sitting there, as I suspect you are, thinking this is all a load of bullshit, then I should add that since I started eating whatever I want, when I am hungry, until I am full, I have lost six pounds.  Six pounds in six weeks.  I’m not even sure what my weight loss goal is anymore, as clearly eating this way will get my body to where it is supposed to be.  No, I have not yet mastered it.  I have put food in my mouth while saying out loud “I’m not even hungry and I don’t care!”  But overall, it has been a revelation.  I’ve learned so much about myself and my relationship with food, there’s way too much to delve into here.  But a few quick parting thoughts:

1.  When you realize that you can eat ice cream everyday – when it is no longer forbidden – you actually don’t want it as much as you think.  You can eat it, fully and completely enjoy it, and actually be satisfied…on much less than you would guess.

2. When you can eat whatever you want, packaged, processed, low fat, low carb, low sugar substitutes suddenly completely suck and are a waste of time and eating energy.  Bring on the food that God intended me to eat and let me enjoy it!

3. When you start eating consciously, you’ll savor every…single…bite.  For a Foodie like me, you’ll realize that loving food doesn’t mean stuffing it in your mouth to the point of exploding.

4. The hardest part of eating consciously is not eating on the go, on the fly, or on your feet.  No TV, magazines, no iPhone games.  This Is Hard!

5. It seems focusing on building a strong faith and spirit are key to stop turning to food for answers.  For me, my main man, Jesus, is my source of faith and strength.  Who or what fuels your spiritual strength?

6. A pound a week isn’t as glamorous as 20 pounds in 20 days or any other get-skinny-quick scheme you see out there.  Those diets you’re tempted to try/buy because wouldn’t it be so awesome to be that skinny!  But more awesome than instant Skinnyhood is knowing that I’m experiencing true weight loss without depriving or punishing myself.  And that feels awesome, indeed!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2010 3:16 pm

    Amen! I too have come to the same conclusions as you. I’ve looked deeper into the issues of compulsive eating, and without “diet” or “exercise” have lost 13 pounds in 8 weeks.

    The diet industry can eat my dust. Goodness knows I’ve been eating their crap for years!

  2. August 24, 2010 2:16 pm

    Fiona, I think that’s great! It’s so hard to break the habit of dieting, of putting so much effort towards “doing it right” when it comes to eating. It’s a huge release to let go of that! Congrats, and best of luck with dealing with the true issue – simply eating too much food!


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