No matter how many times we are told that diets are a short term solution and that you will more than likely gain the weight back on after, we STILL fall for them.
If you met me 2 years ago you would NOT think I would be speaking about all of this today. I myself wouldn’t have believed it! I was the queen of diets. My eating was determined by a strict set of rules, not by what my body wanted or needed. It literally took me my whole life up until then to realise diets don’t work. Not just realise it, but accept it.
As a side note: when I say ‘diet’ I’m talking about any type of restrictive eating that can’t be maintained long term. And when I speak of my restrictive eating, I’m talking about only letting myself eat certain things, rather then restricting the quantity.
Intellectually you know that diets don’t work. But if you are still diving into them, you should consider these 4 things that you are getting fooled into thinking.
1. You think you will keep the weight off after.
I use to think that I could follow a diet, lose weight AND keep it off. I don’t care what they say! I will NOT put this weight back on.
Sound or feel familiar?
I seriously use to think that I could outsmart diets. I was so good at following them and each time I convinced myself it would be different. I wanted so badly to believe I could maintain the results of a short term diet for much longer, but I had no idea how to eat and live once the diet was done. I needed those rules otherwise I was completely lost. Being in a diet was my little safe bubble, so when it was time to come out the other end I freaked out and didn’t know what to do.
When I did gain weight back on I was SO angry at myself. How could I let this happen! Ah I’m disgusting.
Then the cycle began again.
2. You think you won’t rebel.
Oh this is a goodie. I used to think I wouldn’t rebel against my diet. Ha! How wrong I was about this one. I couldn’t even admit it to myself for many moons.
It wasn’t until I took a cold hard look at myself and thought, hmm maybe if I allowed myself to listen to my body and my cravings I wouldn’t binge alone at night. I thought I was just crazy for doing that. And while it was very much emotional eating, it was also a massive act of rebellion. It was like screw you diet! It’s late night and I don’t care anymore. (Because late night means it doesn’t count right…?) All of this was then followed guilt and self loathing for eating ‘forbidden’ food. And a lot of it.
3. You think it will be ok to ignore what your body wants.
When you are constantly following strict rules and counting how many calories are on your plate you actually have to ignore what you body wants. You learn to shut it down so you can stick to the rules. Too bad if your body is craving a big toasted sandwich, you don’t eat bread on this diet! Cue frustration and dissatisfaction.
My boyfriend has never dieted. He can open a block of chocolate have one square and then think, OK that’ll do me. Meanwhile I use to stare at him like a crazy person. ‘But how can you not just eat the whole block!?’ I used to say. The thing was he was listening to his body, he knew he could have more whenever he wanted so it was no big deal. There was no restriction. There was no ‘Well this is it! I may as well eat the whole block because I’m not supposed to eat this and I’m not allowed to ever eat it again!’
At other times he did eat the whole block. But he didn’t go and cry into his pillow about it, he just ate well for the rest of the day because that’s what his body genuinely felt like after a block of chocolate. He didn’t punish himself for ‘messing up’ by continuing to write the whole day off and eat crap.
4. You think you’ll be happy.
Of course you’re going to be happy right!? Skinny you will be much happier than current you. Wrong.
Two things with this one:
1. You are projecting your happiness into the future. I’ve spoken about this before. Happiness is an attitude. It’s a choice. You could be the happiest you’ve ever been in your life RIGHT NOW if you decide. Stop waiting for something outside of you, like losing weight, to make you happy.
2. It is just misery forbidding yourself of things. Ironically telling yourself you can’t have it makes you want it more. Even if you think it won’t! I thought I was immune to this one too. I was wrong.
Giving yourself permission to eat whatever you want won’t make you eat everything in sight! It is safe to grant yourself permission to eat what you want. I promise you won’t live on doughnuts. Your body won’t want that. It wants to feel good.
So tell me, have you been tricked by any of these thoughts? Let me know which one got you in the comments below.