{Friday Musings} My Shady Dieting Past…

Disclaimer: Friday Musings is a post where I tend to get a little bit personal. Nothing too crazy, but I just wanted to warn you: if you feel like this post is about “me, me, me,” that’s because it is.

I have alluded to my shady dieting past quite as few times on this blog.

Mostly because I know that being caught in that diet mentality is something that a lot of people struggle with.

It can feel like you’re trapped, with no way out.

Like the only answer is to be on a diet.

For whatever reason, you’re unable to let go and just eat what you want.

There’s an intense fear that eating whatever you want will lead to death by obesity.

So, you must do everything possible to stay in control of the food that you’re eating and the calories you’re burning.

You feel frustrated, scared, discouraged and hopeless.

Because you need some comfort, reassurance and empathy.

I’ve done some crazy things as a result of feeling enslaved by the diet mentality.

I’ve been reluctant to share these things with you… because frankly, I’m a little embarrassed.

But I feel safe in this community we’ve created (thank you for that), and I hope that I can give someone else peace and comfort by exposing my struggles.

I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I definitely had disordered eating patterns.

Today, I’m going to talk about diet pills.

Back in the day, starting in high school, I was always looking for the magic bullet. You know– that magic pill that would help you lose weight without changing anything else.

I was totally down with doing anything–anything– to my body in order to lose weight.

Including taking every diet pill that you’ve seen on TV.

Starting in high school and through college, I fell for the marketing ploys of Xenadrine, Hydroxycut, TrimSpa, Hoodia and even some diet patch whose brand I can’t remember.

None of them ever worked.

Yet I kept going back.

I kept going back because I felt desperate.

Desperate to lose weight.

Desperate to lose weight so that I could be that person I always wanted to be.

(because there was no way I could be that person without losing 20 pounds first.)

Consciously abusing my body (and secretly liking the abuse).

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Then one day I realized that there’s no such thing as a quick fix.

That the most important quality one can have when endeavoring to change her diet and her life is patience.

Patience.

The patience to continue to love and treat your body well while striving to find a way of eating that works for you.

This patience takes a while to develop. You have to have patience to develop the patience…which is kind of a Catch 22.

I think of it as a journey: as long as you’re working toward loving your body and treating it well, it’s okay if you slip back into those “diet mentality” thoughts.

You just have to stay mindful and remind yourself to be patient, and forgive yourself for slipping back.

Often easier said than done.

That’s why this journey can take so much time.

 

6 Responses to {Friday Musings} My Shady Dieting Past…

  1. Nora February 8, 2013 at 4:28 PM #

    This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story and wisdom. These past few months I’ve been coming to terms with these very things. And it does take patience. So much patience. But it’s so much nicer living life without thinking, “I need to lose x amount of weight to be the person I want to be and do the things I want to do.” We aren’t guaranteed all the time in the world. If we want to do something, there’s no point waiting around until we think we’re “good enough” to do it.

    • Allison February 9, 2013 at 12:23 PM #

      Nora! I love this– “If we want to so something, there’s no point in waiting around until we think we’re good enough to do it.” You’re so right– we aren’t guaranteed all the time in the world– living in the moment is so important (rather than living in that future of “when I weigh X.”

  2. Heather February 8, 2013 at 8:00 PM #

    Thanks for this Allison! I remember that time in my life of diet pills (high school and another time after) and the more recent eating disorder. Since I have found paleo I am getting a better grip and even taking my extreme exercise habits down a couple notches. It’s not easy, everyday has its little piece of struggle that wants to turn its ugly head and try to get you down. I think that once you find that eating real food and not looking at that word “diet” and realizing that you actually feel really good, better than you have ever felt before that past bad habits are easy to get leave behind. I think this is hard for anyone to talk about, but being able to talk about it makes us that much stronger.

    • Allison February 9, 2013 at 12:26 PM #

      Agreed, Heather– being able to talk about it makes us SO much stronger. Building a great relationship with your body and with food takes time– and you’re right– every day brings a little piece of that struggle back to light. I find that when I’m in those moments, taking a deep breath and remind myself how important it is to take care of myself really helps me to re-focus on being kind and patient. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  3. Lauren February 8, 2013 at 11:58 PM #

    Thanks for sharing! Most people have these struggles on their journey to health. Mine involved calorie counting and undereating for high school and college off and on. The worst part was I knew it wouldn’t work every time, but I couldn’t stop myself. Glad my disordered eating days are behind me!

    • Allison February 9, 2013 at 12:28 PM #

      Yes! That was the worst part for me too– knowing that what I was doing was harmful and that it ultimately wasn’t the way, yet doing it just the same. Going against my own inner voice, because I knew that what that inner voice was telling me (that things like weight loss should take time), wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Thanks so much for sharing, Lauren!

Thoughts? Feel free to comment below!

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