There. I said it.
Are we all breathing a sigh of relief?
Or maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah, easy for you to say…”
HA. Have you seen my hips? I like my dark chocolate chips and cashews, OK?!
Hear me out. They suck because they set you up for failure. Almost everyone who sets out to lose weight by following a plan eventually falls back into old habits and regains, plus many often gain even more.
Don’t believe me yet?
Let’s talk about Weight Watchers. Oprah is a damn genius for investing so much in that company… customers never leave. Once a member, always a member… and often a member who has to pay! I’m speaking from experience.
I started when I was just 16 years old. I kicked and screamed my way to the first meeting with my mom. I didn’t want to go with “all the old ladies in town.” Not only that, but I lived in a VERY small town, and word gets around!
Ok, so they weren’t a bunch of old women and all that was said was sacred. We were a close-knit crew of women chasing the same dream.
That first meeting I doodled some big goals:
1. Grace the cover of Weight Watchers magazine because of my success, and
2. Get really skinny as to speed up my metabolism. I actually wrote “I can’t wait to be super skinny with a really fast metabolism so I can eat special K bars again without getting fat.”
I put on the calendar that I wanted to hit my “goal weight” before graduation and the Monday before the big day, I stepped on the scale and was 0.4 pounds too high. ZERO-POINT-FOUR POUNDS. That’s like a breath of air. Or a bracelet. Or a drink of water. But I was so upset with myself. I should’ve walked more. I should’ve starved more that day. It was actually suggested that I strip down and weigh naked so I could hit it. EVERYONE was on my side. I peed and hit my goal.
Now I think about this night and I laugh at how ridiculous it all was. But back then it consumed me. The only thing that gave me purpose was the number on the scale.
You may know by now that only led to years of torture and excessive cardio and extremely restrictive eating. I was totally one of those people with an eating disorder in complete denial. In my mind I was eating healthy. I was taking care of my body by moving it. A lot.
I was so tired. Mentally, physically, emotionally… I felt trapped. And stinking exhausted.
Something that nobody told me has completely transformed my life. In all my years attending meetings, reading information online, and even working for WW, never once was I told this. And now I spend my days blasting it from the rooftops because I believe in full disclosure.
If you cut calories, your metabolism will eventually slow down. It’s called “survival mode” and it’s a totally real thing. Which means your weight loss (which is most often loss of muscle and water unless you’re doing it right- slow and steady) will not necessarily be effective for long. Not only that, it will get harder to lose. And it’s almost impossible to maintain. I wish I was kidding, but I’m living proof.
Another point that I don’t think any “diet” out there hits on is the psychological effects of dieting. I’ve never read an article that warns a person that it may lead to isolation, desperation, starvation, obsession, body dysmorphia, disordered eating or another eating disorder, etc. And if you have even a little bit of that in you- that “a little more, just a little more, maybe just a little more…” eventually you will experience that. The worst part is when the dust settles and your pants fit different (or maybe when you rebound), nothing and no one is there to celebrate you or build you up or walk you through it.
You failed because you suck. The end.
Not because of biology. Not because of an impossibility for sustainability. It’s on you. So you chalk it up and search for the next fix. The next diet. The next bandaid. The next desperate attempt to cover up the shit that really needs to be dealt with so you can feel good about your life again.
Remember the title of this blog post? Diets Suck. I mean it. Do you believe me now?
Still shaking your head? That’s ok. Keep doing your extreme eating and exercise attempts… and when you’re finally fed up and have had enough of the bullshit, I’ll be here. I won’t say “I told you so.” I’ll just remind you that I’m right there in the trenches with you. One day at a time. Learning how to love and listen and properly care for my body all over again- this time, the right way.
Are you feeling stuck in a rut of binging?
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