I have been on such a long, hard road of dieting. I can’t even tell you just how much it has ruled my life and controlled everything I do. I have never not been on some sort of diet, meal plan, or special way of eating for even a month since I was 12 years old! I am done hating myself, fighting my body, and focusing all my thoughts and energy on controlling food. It has drained me, kept me from social events, and even from eating a slice of cake at my own wedding! I can’t even tell you how tired of it I am and unfortunately so many other woman are fighting this same battle everyday.
I know it’s debatable but I really do believe in the idea of set point theory. That theory basically states that our bodies prefer to stay at a certain weight (it’s different for everyone) and if you go under that weight, your body will fight to bring it back up. Usually that’s by revving up your appetite and slowing down your metabolism. Your body does this, in theory, to bring you back to your original weight since your body functions best there. I have seen this in myself. I’ll start a diet, weight comes off easy breezy, and then I hit a point, normally around 10 pounds of weight loss. It’s as if my body thinks, “wait, she’s still losing weight and it’s not ending. She’s not going to stop.” And it is at that time that suddenly, my appetite is through the roof! I feel ravenous, food becomes all I can think about. I count down the hours just waiting for my eating window to open up again. The diet that was once so easy and had me losing weight effortlessly is now no longer ok with my body. And it’s not just hungry. I can take hungry and in fact throughout my 10+ years of restrictive eating, it was something that I had to get used to. This is much more than just that. It’s a churning in your stomach, it’s rumbling so loud that people next to you can hear.
This my friends is not about willpower, it’s biology. When I am eating so little that I can’t do normal tasks, get delayed periods, and am snappy and irritable with everyone. When I need a nap just to make it through the day, this is not a matter of not having enough self control. This is a matter of me just wanting to be able to perform normal everyday things without feeling lightheaded. And that was the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around. For me, I believe that if I want it bad enough, I can get it. I know the hard work and determination I put towards everything I want in life. I have always been able to achieve whatever it is I put my mind to. So realizing that after 10+ years in a vain pursuit to achieve the “perfect body” that it is in fact something that I may possibly never be able to achieve? That’s so crushing to my A-type personality. It’s still an idea I’m adjusting to.
Of course, it is possible to be thin, but at what cost? I’m not willing to do it if I have to stay hungry everyday of my life just to look that way, if I have to deny every craving I ever have, if I’ll have to feel anxiety around food, or be too weak to do anything fun. I have read many testimonies of girls who finally got to that smaller size, but to maintain it, they had to keep a disordered way of eating. They would exercise for hours everyday, not go to certain social events, had a bunch of food rules, and the like. They would often isolate themselves most days too so they could practice their eating disorder in private. I have no problem putting in the work. I have. But I’m not willing to live a life feeling famished all day, obsessing over food. That’s not the kind of life I want to live just to attain a certain look that is not particularly healthy for my body type.
And I don’t mean I just want to binge on all the junk food and go crazy either. I don’t. I simply want to eat healthy and balanced, continue exercising (because I really do enjoy it), and just let my weight fall where it may. I’m just so tried of fighting my body and not just working with it, of always being dissatisfied and treating myself as if I need to change everything. I just want to be at peace with myself, to enjoy a variety of food, and just live my life.
This issue of trying to achieve the “perfect body” has been speculated to have it’s origins in big business. Meaning, that these companies make it seem as if there is a problem with our bodies (through advertising) so we’ll buy the weight loss products that they’re selling. Think about it! As of 2019, the weight loss industry ranked in $72.7 billion dollars! For all the supplements, teas, powders, videos, and memberships that we’re made to believe we need. If we were all told to just eat a healthy diet and embrace your body for what it is, there wouldn’t be a need for such a market. How would they make their money if we all believed that there was nothing wrong with us? I do believe that we are made to feel ugly if we have any amount of body fat on us just so that there will be a niche in the market for all the weight loss “tools” that we try, believing that this next big thing will be the answer.
I am just ready to live my life and without food being the main focus. Dieting all these years has really robbed me of precious moments. As I mentioned in the opening, I didn’t even have a piece of cake at my own wedding! That’s so sad to me. For years I was literally afraid to eat a brownie or pizza because I truly believed that it would cause me to gain all my weight back, just by eating it for that one time. I was afraid of food. I’m done living that life, I’m done starving myself, and I’m done believing the lie that something is wrong with me just so I’ll throw away all my money towards weight loss endeavors.
I hope you guys enjoyed this vulnerable article of mine. My hope for you is that you’ll avoid all the pain and misery that goes into dieting and obsessing over food. If you’re in the thick of it at the moment, I hope this article somehow encourages you to find a way out of that. Please let me know what you thought in the comments below so we can continue the conversation. And if you are struggling in this area, you can always email me by going to my contact page. I’m here to listen and help in anyway I can.
Until next time,