My concept of a "diet" has changed drastically over the years. I used to think I could "diet" myself down to a certain size by eating something specific or nothing at all and then all would be right with the world. I’d exude confidence. I’d always be happy and all my other problems would… just… fade… away…
I was delusional.
Really. I was. I approached the whole concept of dieting wrong. While trying things like the Grapefruit diet, the Negative Calorie diet, and even fasting all I had on my mind was "I want to be thin. I need to be thin. I want to look like that. I want to wear that." It was never about health. It was never about how I felt or what it would actually do to me or my body.
So when those quick fix diets didn’t deliver. What did I do? I moved to even more extremes popping xenadrine and at one point even getting a prescription for phentermine. I would have done anything to be THIN. Anything.
I’m not proud of it. But I’m also not ashamed. Everyone learns and grows. Life is a journey. We all look back in our pasts with a thought or two about how we would do something differently if we had the chance. It’s human nature. But when we lay everything out on the table it’s those experiences that make us who were are today.
I believe it was Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers who says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to reach mastery of a field. Well, based on my rough math estimates I clocked a little over 60,000 hours of dieting*. Seriously, I’m not joking.
After the pill popping stage I discovered Atkins and low carbing. More dieting. Then *drum roll please* I got pregnant! You guys who have read my story know this. Pregnancy was my ‘slap in the face’. It was the ‘you are so much more then your body shape!!’ wake up call that I needed. How could I teach my little guy how to be healthy if I was the poster child for yo-yo dieters anonymous. Even more importantly, how could I hate the body I was in when it gave and sustained such a beautiful life?
Yup, that was the moment my definition of "diet" changed forever. "Dieting" to me now means making the best choices I can make. It means nourishing my body, staying active, having fun and forgiving myself for the indiscretions that are bound to happen. It means eating more "good" then "bad." It means living and eating consciously, being creative in the kitchen and trying new things. Dieting to me is living the healthiest I can with what I have and throwing all excuses out the window.
So… What does dieting mean to you?
*Based loosely on waking hours between the ages of 15 and 29. I’m not kidding… I dieting almost exclusively during that time and all I did was get fatter and fatter. Or should I say unhealthier and unhealthier.