I am finally fed up to the back teeth of the anti dieting articles that bring doom and gloom. “Diets don’t work!” “Your genes are mightily against you!” “Diets are futile and you will regain your weight!”.
Don’t get me wrong. For too long we have fallen prey to the promises of easy weight loss, the perfect diet, high fat low fat low carb f plan gi plan. We have and we continue to be bombarded by promise after promise after promise.
And diets don’t work the way they promise. We don’t work the way they demand. We are complex beings. A thousand thoughts pass through our heads every day. We respond to stimuli to all our senses. And we react through habit, and memory, and nostalgia and for a host of reasons.
Diets are not the quick easy life choice they claim to be.
And mental health and life experience play a big part in how effectively life style changes work for us as individuals. Dear God do I know that. Sometimes the idea of following any form of restriction for any Damn reason is so abhorrent I gain 7 pounds at the very thought of it. Other times I feel positive and ready to make sacrifices to hit one or two small goals in the near future. Sometimes, as the goal gets close, I baulk with fear and sabotage my own plans. I am a mystery to myself.
But the problem with all these diets don’t work arguments is that they left me feeling so bloody hopeless. And the problem with all these don’t diet activists, for me, is that either they have no plans to make changes in other ways, or they do have plans but they will only see weight loss as a result of being pretty prescriptive in following those plans.
When I am feeling really relaxed and genuinely happy with myself and my lot it is not an issue. There is no stress. No concern about what I weigh. And I wish this were a constant state in my life. To all those who feel this way, I admire you. I envy you. And I hope it remains a constant state in your life.
It is then that dieting is unnecessary and I couldn’t care whether it works out not.
But then there are times when I feel anxious and I wish to lose some weight and to feel less breathless, a little fitter, able to move with more ease.
I come from families of substantial women and men. We are not petite. So if the reports are to be believed then weight loss will require more work. But it is not hopeless.
Is it worth it? I guess that is the question every individual had to ask themselves. What do I benefit from making small, and sometimes large, but all significant changes to my life style? Is it worth the running in the evening? Is it worth less wine?
Is it worth making these changes a permanent fixture in my life?
Only I can decide for myself. And it doesn’t make me superior in any way by making changes for myself. I won’t get fast track through the holier than though lounge on the way to heaven. I might not even live longer as a result. But I know those changes will improve MY quality of life.
Telling me diets don’t work some years ago felt great at the time. It did take the pressure off trying to be perfect and feeling like a failure and it offered an alternative. But my experience was that the promise of a different plan, an anti diet plan, that would see weight loss in a different way, failed to deliver. It helped with food issues. It helped with self confidence. And those things are precious. But as the year goes on weight loss still matters to me. Not wholly for vanity. Not wholly for fitness. A mixture of both. And it is possible. If we can be realistic with our dreams and ideals.
Diets do work to some degree or other. But like it or not they involve lifestyle changes. And we have to enjoy and embrace those changes long term. If they aren’t sustainable then something had to give. That is the way it is. But again we earn no moral superiority. And we are not better humans as a result.
If you feel stuck in a rut. There are things you can do. It isn’t hopeless. And you can make changes that suit you.
It isn’t hopeless.