Don’t sacrifice 90% of your life to weigh 10 pounds less

Weight loss isn’t easy. It’s really hard. It takes a full-time commitment, laser focus, and a lot of sacrifices. I used to think that made it a noble pursuit — an admirable, even enviable, way to live a life.

I no longer feel that way.

At the end of it all, what do I get? What do I have to show for my hard work and sacrifice? A step forward in my career? A marketable skill? The foundation for a fulfilling relationship with myself and others? A contribution to my community?

Nope. I get the privilege of defining myself by a NEW arbitrary number on the scale. I get conditional self-approval, which can and will be revoked at any time.

Anyone who has ever dieted knows that diets don’t end in closure. They end in white-knuckled insecurities:

  • Fear of regaining the weight, and therefore losing the time you poured into this project…what was it all for?
  • Frustration at not continuing to lose more and more weight…the goal weight never turns out to be satisfying, does it?
  • All-consuming panic around food…how do you know how much to eat when you don’t have diet rules to follow, and also never seem to feel full?

Contrary to rosy weight loss propaganda, life doesn’t get better when you diet. It just gets more complicated. The simple joys in life become thorny: Holidays. Birthdays. Nights out with friends. Dates. Morning pancakes with your kids. Impromptu gatherings.

It all adds up to an unsolvable calculus that will take over your life if you let it. “Can I eat this? Can I eat that? How much am I allowed? What if this is the cookie that negates all my efforts? Now that I’ve already eaten the cookie that will inevitably ruin me, shouldn’t I just eat the whole box because I’m worthless anyway?” And on and on and on.

If you have found yourself backed into this corner, you know what comes next: Another diet. More structure. More rules. It’s the only option, isn’t it? Nope. What feels like a dead end is really a fork in the road: you can go on another diet, or dare to imagine a world without them.

Don’t sacrifice 90% of your life to weigh 10 pounds less. The fleeting approval from the bathroom scale pales in comparison to what awaits down the road less traveled — the one without diets. Instead of feeling a temporary difference in the way your jeans fit, you’ll feel a lasting change in your mental acuity, in your approach to the world around you, and in your ability to be present in this, the one and only life you will ever get.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. FRMRDTR says:

    Thank you, as always, for posting these encouraging words. You hit the nail on the head every time with things that roll around in my mind, and its good to know someone has fought that battle and won! I struggle daily and beat myself up mentally. What you write about opens up a little hole in that wall and reminds me that there is a way to change it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much ❤ I so appreciate the kind words and how hard it is to change those thought patterns and reject the diet mentality — especially when the culture of guilt and shame is all around us! I hope you'll keep practicing new thought patterns, keep challenging the cultural norms, and be patient and kind to yourself. The last thing you need is to beat yourself up about beating yourself up 🙂 You can get through this!!

      Like

  2. Tiff says:

    Yes!! So much truth here!! I’ve just written a post on why we shouldn’t go on another diet this new year. I’m currently suffering from binge eating so I’m fully aware of all the downfalls of dieting. Keep up with the truth bombs! 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tiff!! ❤ Loved your blog, thank you so much for sharing! I'm so glad you're spreading the word about why NOT to engage with diet culture's yearly onslaught of weight loss messages — it does so much more harm than good! And somehow I had never heard that amazing quote from Geneen Roth: "For every diet, there's an equal and opposite binge." Absolutely perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tiff says:

        Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it 😊

        Like

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