I didn’t know I wanted to give up dieting, but my body did.
As I transitioned from one diet to another, disguised as “not a diet,” I continued to binge.
I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing, but at night I’d go crazy with “acceptable foods.”
A whole jar of peanut butter.
A large can of nuts.
An economy-sized bag of cranberries would be gone in 2 days.
No carbs. Just healthy fats and peanut butter and berries… that’s what I told myself.
It was OK to eat the jar because it was a healthy fat and protein.
I was OK to eat the can because it was a healthy fat and protein.
It was OK to eat a pound of cranberries or raisins because it was fruit.
I allowed those foods back onto my “safe” list after staying away from them for 15+ years.
BUT. I was still bingeing. (Because, try as you may, you cannot argue that a large can of nuts is a sensibly satiating snack.)
It never made me feel great to eat like that. I had a stomach ache every morning, and I once again found myself “saving” calories, etc for those night time snacks just a few weeks after starting to eat them.
A diet is a diet is a diet. And a diet will lead to a binge.
95-98% of the time.
Because a diet makes you hungry. It makes you crave. It leaves you feeling deprived.
And your body isn’t going to have ANY of that forever. Maybe for awhile, but not forever.
Eventually you’ll find yourself in the pantry with a pan of brownies and a fork. Or in the basement by the freezer with a half gallon of ice cream and a spoon.
Because our bodies just want to live. And they’ll fight with every fiber of their being to put you in a position to need and want food so bad that you’ll eventually give in.
Just like before, my body was doing what it was supposed to do. I thought I was being smarter because I was eating “better for me” foods than the barrels of popcorn I was previously consuming, but at the end of the day it was still a binge.
My body was tired of dieting. It fought that awful fight for almost half of my life and wanted no part of whatever I was calling this newfound “plan to eat better.” I was so mad at my body and myself for continuing to let the binges happen. I thought I was just weak. I just needed to find the willpower that I had the first time around and then I’d be set. Then I’d finally lose the weight. Then I’d finally be content….
My body quit dieting before I did. It wasn’t about willpower. It was about survival. It was about knowing that with that smaller frame also came obsession and rigidity and isolation and depression and anxiety. It was helping me make the decision that I wasn’t ready to make on my own.
Keeping me from running out into traffic again, in a way.
If you find yourself “failing” on diet plan after diet plan, perhaps it’s time to flip the script. Maybe it’s not about you after all. Maybe your body is trying to tell you that you are enforcing unrealistic expectations on yourself and it’s time to let that all go.
Because, trust me… there is a better way.