You might be thinking, "diets do work, I've lost weight while on a diet before". Well yeah you might have, but what happened after the diet was over? Did you gain it all back? How did you feel during the diet? Were you hungry? Craving everything you "couldn't eat"? Did you beat yourself up when you slipped and had a cookie or bagel? Do you want to spend the rest of your life going on diets? Saying you're diet starts tomorrow? Watching the scale like a hawk as it goes down and then back up.
Well if you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are not alone. I've been there and I am so happy to say that I haven't been on a diet in over 5 years. I'll tell you how I was able to let go, but first I want to review why diets don't work
- If you want to lose weight you need a lifestyle change, diets aren't a long term thing (probably because you're so miserable theres no way you could do it for more than a week).
- When you're on a diet you tend to focus too much on the number on the scale, theres a lot more that you should focus on than that
- Diets assume everyone likes the food they tell you to eat. This one annoys me the most. "eat oatmeal everyday"- well what if you don't like oatmeal?
- When diets tell you to count calories it drives me nuts! It is a waste of time and a bit OCD, no one can spend their whole lives doing that. There are ways to lose weight without doing this-I did it.
- When you limit yourself from eating certain foods it makes you want them more (cookies sweets etc)
- Your body needs a balance of carbs proteins etc and most diets ask you to cut out carbs or sugars
- Diets are like that old boyfriend who you dated and broke up because it didn't work out, would you go back to that guy and expect it to work? Hopefully not. If you keep dieting, that is exactly what you are doing.
- Last but not leas, diets take control of your life and life is too short not to be the one in control.
Things to remind yourself
- Don't define yourself by the foods you eat, having a cookie doesn't make you "bad"
- You should be more concerned about eating healthy as opposed to being skinny. There are plenty of "skinny" women that eat fast food and junk (we all know them and hate them).
- You are not Jennifer Aniston (or any other hot famous person) therefore you should not compare your body to hers, nor should you be comparing to yourself to anyone. You need to aspire to be the best you can be and not to look like someone else. I have short muscular legs and that will never change, it would be a waste for time for me to try to look like someone with long thin legs. I am just not built that way, and I'm finally ok with that.
- Figure out what you like and do it, forcing yourself to run if you hate it won't work. If you love to do zumba, do it! If you love to swim, do that. Just find what you enjoy and do that. Theres no sense in forcing yourself to do something you hate, because in the end you won't do it for long.
- Unless you despise it, I strongly suggest you do some sort of work out with weights. It can be a class at the gym that includes free weights or barbells, or you can do a DVD with free weights. When you life weights you are burning calories even after you are done, when you do cardio on the other hand, when you stop, the calorie burning stops. Also, muscles are great. Let go of the myth that if you work out with weights you'll "look like a body builder", if it were that easy more people would be body builders. Trust me, I lift weights and I do not look "manly".
- If you think you have no time to work out, think again. If you want to feel better you can make time. Even if you have ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes at night. Do some squats or pop in a workout DVD. Every little bit counts.
Other things that have been helpful for me
- If you like to read, I strongly suggest you read "Naturally Thin" by Bethenny Frankel. This is the book that turned everything around for me and the reason that I stopped dieting. It is the only health book I've ever read and the only one I will ever read. It doesn't tell you how to live your life. It just helps you love food again and let go of diets and restrictions. I could sit here and summarize it, but that would make this post longer than it already is.
- Don't weigh yourself everyday, once or twice a month is good enough. And don't worry so much about what the number is, be more concerned about how you feel.
- Take care of yourself. If you don't do it, why should anyone else? Focus more on making yourself the best you can be, by eating things you love that are good for you and doing things you love for exercise. In the end you'll be a better friend, sister, mother, etc.
If you stuck around until the end, thanks so much! I hope that was helpful! And seriously READ THE BOOK! I promise you it'll change the way you think about food. I'd love to read your comments!