There’s been a huge rise in the anti-diet lifestyle recently, and for the best reasons, we’re all sick of being told which diet to follow, how to lose pounds and gain this magical life, but are diets really dead in the water?
I know that around 90% of my friends are on some kind of diet or another, and, after spending most of 2019 avoiding diets like the plague, I’ve decided to put myself on one as well.
I want to lose a bit of weight this year for a few reasons; I’ll be 40 next year, I’m fed up of hating half my wardrobe because I don’t feel good in my clothes and because I want to love myself again.
I know the whole point behind the anti-diet movement is about loving yourself regardless, but what if you can love yourself AND lose weight?
For me, this time, I’m not doing it just to fit into a smaller size. It’s about a whole host of things, and they’re all things that will make me feel better about myself, for myself. It’s not a case of losing weight at the speed of light and then gaining it all back again.
More about making healthier choices, moving more and being aware of what makes me feel good.
I’ve finally come to realise that I will never be that person who can eat whatever they want and not gain weight. I sulked about that for a long time, trust me, but it’s who I am and who I am is more than OK.
I want to look in the mirror and like what I see, and even though I know it doesn’t matter what the outside looks like, it’s important that I like it.
That doesn’t mean I don’t love who I am right at this very moment, it just means I’m taking steps to tweak a few things here and there based on my body and my opinion of it. I couldn’t give two flying figs what anyone else thinks of it, all that matters is what I think. I live in it after all.
It got easy for me to say ‘fuck it’ to so many food options last year, because I was so determined not to diet ever again. It was almost like I was free from weird food restrictions and wanted to eat anything, everything and as much of it as possible.
My weight didn’t really change much, maybe a couple of pounds gained over Christmas (hello cheese) but what I realised was I’d stopped eating when I was hungry and was just, eating. But eating foods that would bloat me, make me feel like I needed an afternoon nap or gave me crappy skin, just because I was ‘allowed to now’.
I made the decision to change my eating habits based on how I felt physically not mentally. I knew the diets I didn’t want to do (no thank you Slimming World and your weird syn values that make no nutritional sense) and I knew the foods that would make me uncomfortable so I started by removing those.
I’ve started listening to when I’m actually hungry, not just hungry because my watch tells me it’s lunchtime.
It’s a work in progress obviously, but for the first time ever, I’m enjoying it, which is a shocker to me!
Every.single.time I’ve tried to lose weight in the past it’s felt like a chore, something I had to do to get to a certain goal and then I could stop. This doesn’t feel like that, it’s a choice I’ve made and it’s not so crazily different to how/what I used to eat. There’s just less of it I suppose!
Another thing I’ve became hugely aware of is the fact that I eat when I’m bored. I can’t just sit on the sofa and watch TV, I have to be on my phone as well. And if I’m not on my phone then I need to be munching something. It’s almost impossible for me to do one thing at a time and that led to so much mindless eating!
I was probably eating a good 500+ calories without even noticing them!!
Add on those extra calories where you walk to the fridge, open it, look for something random like a slice of ham or a piece of cheese, close it again and carry on with whatever you’re doing. All mindless! Sort yourself out Kate!
I’m cutting out the crap, but keeping the treats, because, well they’re treats. Reducing the portion sizes, increasing the movement and just generally being kinder to my body.
It’s a slow process but I’m not here for yoyo dieting and I don’t have the energy to do it in a way that makes me feel like I’m being starved of everything I love. I’m doing low calorie days during the week and eating what I love at weekends, and, so far, it seems to be working!
So, in a nutshell, I think you can love yourself and lose weight, it’s working for me at this precise moment in time and that’s all I can base it on. I’m not going to push my thoughts onto anyone else, if someone wants to feel more confident in themselves I wouldn’t dream of suggesting they diet, it’s just something I know, for me, will help.
There are millions of other things I need to work on to give me more confidence, and I am doing all of those too (well, some of them!) but it’s also important I like what I see in the mirror. Call me shallow if you like, I don’t really care, but it’s taken me a long time to like who I am, so I’m going to keep going with it and see if I can get to loving myself top to toe.