Diets & The F word
May 13, 2010
“As a Plus-size model, everyone loved my curves – except me”, “Celebrity Diets – fads or effective?”
A search for the word “fat” on dailymail.co.uk returns me with 9440 articles, all dedicated to our feelings towards our bodies.
Good grief. As someone who has done the whole “I feel fat” thing like most women, even looking at that number is enough to make me want to go eat some cheesecake. Wait, what!? Surely reading those things should make me want to diet, right? Shouldn’t I feel unaccepted in society, shouldn’t I wish I was thinner and looked like recently-slimmer-celebrity-in-the-news? Not this time, matey. Because I’m on an attitude diet.
Holy cow when I re-read that it sounded alot cheesier than it did in my head! Mmm, cheese. That reminds me – I cut out dairy last year for three months upon a remark made to me by someone I cared about – “you don’t have the self control”. So I did it, nothing with milk, butter, cheese; lactose ingredients were completely out of the window for three months of my life. And I didn’t lose weight.
Why? I asked myself.
Because “diets” don’t work. They fail by definition. I cut one thing out an exchanged it for another, and ate that excessively instead. I saw chicken as my new comfort blanket, I saw dried fruit as an awesome way to pass the time. The one thing I didn’t change is my attitude towards food, which of course is always where the problem starts.
Now though – back to my previous note of “you don’t have the self control”. One would think that there lies the problem – if one can’t successfully lose weight, then it’s because you have no self control, it’s because you have a horribly unhealthy emotional reliance on food as a comfort – yes? Well, what I’ve recently realized is that no, that’s not the case at all.
I know I have self control because I keep negative thoughts about others to myself, I can quite easily pass up a night out to do work and I don’t feel the need to spend all my money on clothes, even though I would very much like to. What I did have though, was a warped view of what my problem with food was. I berated myself for breaking a diet, for gaining weight – I called myself “fat” in my head in a bid to get my mind to change, and nothing worked, I just kept on munching – be it one day into a diet, two weeks in, or three months in.
And hallelujah, I had a mental breakthrough. The way to beat diets, is to allow yourself to eat whatever you want, when you want it. I started to do this after reading “how to overcome overeating” by Carol Munter (definetly reccomend this).
I let myself do this, and more importantly, I didn’t berate myself when I ate those two cookies. I said “that’s okay, Rosie. You’re eating those cookies because you see it as comfort, you are trying to take care of your feelings right now”. Then afterwards, I’d think – it’s so much easier to eat “bad” foods and sit and think “if only I were thinner, my life would be better” afterwards, than it is to face up to the thing that caused you anxiety in the first place.
Why? Because it’s what we’re used to. We’ve done it for as long as we can remember. It’s easy to think that your life could be made 10x better just by the loss of a few pounds of flesh, than by facing all those problems individually.
So I ate my cookies, and I felt good. And eventually, I didn’t want them anymore – not because I’d now felt so fat I couldn’t take it, but because I knew I COULD have them if I wanted them. It’s like living in an ice cream shop – you eat all the ice cream you want but after 2 weeks you’re sick to the back teeth of damn ice cream. So I applied that rule to all foods – if I wanted it, I ate it.
I’ve gained weight since I got back from America in Feb. I have also never been more at peace with myself, or with food. I no longer have emotional ties to food. After learning the signals of when I was hungry for comfort (mouth hunger) and hungry physilogically for food (stomach hunger), I started to deal with the problems at hand, instead of eating first. And then I gave myself the option to eat, and I started to opt out, because it felt unneccessary afterwards.
I’m beginning to eat only when I am hungry, and only the foods I really want. And with time, I’m sure I’ll get sick of the crappy food and start craving good, nutricious stuff. Today, I craved a banana for the first time in my life. I broke up with diets. And I’ll never ever ever go back to feeling that way, I’m taking care of myself the proper way now – and my life is changing around for the better. I’m confident that with these natural changes I’ll eventually be at a natural weight, with the healthy relationship towards food that I have lacked for so many years.
…and if I want a damn cookie, I’m going to have one – not to prove a point, or break a rule, or for comfort, but because they taste yummy ;)
And so concludes my small ramble about diets and the F word.
Feel free to share anything you want!
– and incase anyone was wondering, this isn’t me trying to tell anyone to lose weight or than thin is the way to be. Personally, I feel more comfortable at a healthy, lower weight than I am now and my words here were based on my feelings towards myself and that’s all! Hope that’s okay :)