Have you ever wondered whether dieting is worth it? A client asked if I’d ever been on a diet. My initial instinct was to say “no” because I “don’t fit the criteria for people who diet”. I was afraid that she’d judge me. I was afraid she’d see me as not fit to help her heal her relationship with food because I had dieted too. Even though I knew she was relieved to know that we had that in common, I was still worried she’d refuse to work with me.
I told her about my dieting experience.
For once in my life, the insecurities about my body became overwhelming. It was after I had my third child. Up until that moment, I never really thought about my weight or body. I had endured years of being told that my body was not African enough, so I was used to people’s opinions about my body. This time was different. I always trusted my body to go back to normal, like it always did. It didn’t happen this time. Instead, my tummy stayed the same, I struggled with the last 10 pounds. People were asking questions. I was constantly stressing about it. I felt like my body had failed me. I had to do something.
First was exercise and food rules, then a diet…for 21 days. I learned how to incorporate more veggies into my diet, portioned my meals out, and drank water like my life depended on it. I was constantly bombarded by fear, guilt, and shame because I got ‘off the wagon’ and ate brownies and more carbs than were allowed on the plan. I ate enough veggies and drank smoothies to last me a lifetime (I still run away from smoothies now). I was miserable. There was no way I wanted to do that for the rest of my life!
The conscious decision.
I decided that if dieting was what I had to do to lose weight, then I was willing to leave my tummy, embrace my new weight and move on with my life. I’m 10 pounds heavier than I was 5 years ago. My kids still play with the folds on my tummy. But I’d rather take the peace in my mind over another diet.
All this didn’t happen overnight for me. In fact, there are days I catch myself thinking about what it would be like to have the 6-pack tummy I once had. It has taken some time to unlearn and let go of the beliefs I had about what women’s bodies should look like. I’m learning to appreciate my body for taking care of me and helping me do the things I’m able to do today. I can run and play with my kids without feeling tired – thanks to finding and exercise regimen that feels good to my body. Saying no to stress has become a daily practice. Eating is based on honoring my body, rather than based on guilt, fear or shame. I can say no to so many things, and get to say yes to things that bring me joy and help me live my life’s purpose.
You have a choice.
Is dieting worth it? Dieting was a conscious choice I made based on what I knew then. I’ve ALWAYS believed that life is stressful enough so eating should be one less thing to stress about. My body was never my enemy. Neither was food. I understand that this may not be the case for everyone. You may desire to lose weight and that’s okay, as long as it aligns with the long-term vision for how you want to live your life. But this is my story. My client said “I love food. I don’t want to diet anymore. I just want to eat food without thinking about calories and fat.”
Isn’t that what we all want?
I’m on a mission to help as many women who need a way out or even want to know if living without diets is possible. Is dieting worth it? The first couple of sessions in my coaching program will help you explore this question objectively. Schedule a call with me and let’s chat.
I’d love to chat with you about this post, your experience, or any questions about life without dieting. Click below to schedule a call with me and let’s talk.