If this is your first time reading this series you might want to read these posts first:
False Hope – A Lifetime of Diet Failures
Diets were always an elusive hope, one I would chase for a time, catch for a moment, and then lose my grip and fall right on my face. I could really cut this post completely short and say, with complete certainty, that diets didn’t work because they didn’t solve my problem.
My problem WAS NOT that:
- I didn’t know what a normal portion was
- I couldn’t count calories or fat grams
- I didn’t exercise
- I didn’t know the difference between ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ food
- I needed to eat prepackaged, tasteless food
- I needed to drink my meals
What was my problem? Simply that I couldn’t eat sugar or flour without developing an insatiable craving for more. I could control my food intake at times but eventually I always had to give in. The cravings, the mental obsession, always won.
I spent years trying to fix my weight with insane diets that didn’t have a chance to succeed, not
because they might not work for some people but because they didn’t work for me.
So, even if I was “on a diet” – let’s use Weight Watchers as an example – and I could have 24 points a day, I would eat lots of food with little point value (those one point treats….) which never left me satisfied or feeling full, saving all of those points for a ‘special dinner’ or dessert. So basically, I’d starve myself so I could eat like a normal person once in a while. I hear people on Weight Watchers talk about saving up points – it might work for them. I am no longer willing to be hungry all day long. It’s not a good way to live.
Who really wants to count calories, fat grams, and points for a lifetime anyway? It’s maddening and restrictive – like being a caged animal.
When I didn’t know what the real problem was, I could never lose the weight and keep it off. I not only felt like a failure but started to believe I was a failure. Diet after diet, never able to achieve the long-term sucesss that was promised, I decided that there was a fatal flaw in my character. I felt horrible about myself.
The Turning Point
Nothing could be less true. The problem wasn’t me. The problem was the diet. No matter how well it worked for other people, it didn’t provide the solution my body needed. For whatever reason, my body has a bizarre reaction to flour and sugar that many people don’t experience. I’ve watched with awe while my husband takes a bite of chocolate cake covered in rich, decadent icing, puts his fork down, pushes the plate away and says, “It’s not that good.” That just doesn’t make sense to me. If I were to take a bite of sugary, gluten-laden chocolate cake I would keep on eating even if it wasn’t that good. And if I did stop, I’d think about eating it until something else came along to give me that fix.
My solution was simple. Not easy, but simple. There’s a big difference.
No more diets. No more calorie or fat gram counting. No more points. No more pre-packaged, frozen dinners. (Thank God!!!)
Instead, my solution was about sanity. I let go of flour and sugar and started learning how to listen to my body: what it wanted to eat, how if felt when I ate, how much it watned to eat and when. It was the beginning of a way of life for me that has improved every area of my life but most importantly, it changed how I felt about myself.
I don’t believe that everyone who struggles with their weight had the same problem I did, which is why I feel so strongly that everyone needs to take the time to look at their relationship with food and identify their problem so they can apply an appropriate solution. (If you don’t know how to do this, go back and read the Part 1 and Part 2 in this series.)
How Do You Know? and a Great Recipe
How do you know if you’re eating in a way that takes care of your body? Or, maybe an easier question – how do you know if you’re not? Comment below – I’d love to know.
The recipe for this week – my Smooth Watermelon Granita. It’s a delicious frozen dessert that requires only a freezer and a food processor or blender.
Next week, I’m going to write about why sanity, not loosing weight, was the most important part of my journey.
May you find balance and freedom,