REASONS TO QUIT DIETING:
1. “I stepped back from consciously dieting and gave up the aesthetic goal of looking smaller because I didn’t want to jeopardize my mental health to get there.
I started working on loving my body and honoring its health needs. I stopped thinking in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods and started focusing hard on listening to my body.I also stopped trying to exercise according to some external notion of the ‘perfect workout schedule.’ I do yoga because I love it; I don’t have to drag myself like I did when I had a gym routine I hated.
I’m still working on loving my current size and shape, but I’m proud to say that I’m making progress on this front! I’ve realized that loving your body doesn’t happen at the expense of somebody else, or even your own “before” pictures. It’s about understanding that there are lots of different kinds of beauty in the world and they are all equally wonderful.”
2. “I spent lots of energy thinking about what I shouldn’t eat. It wasn’t fun and didn’t lead to lasting weight loss or better health.
I had no idea there was an option that was so much more joyful and healthy. My daughter is so capable with eating. Seeing how natural it was for her to seek variety and eat the right amount when she listened to her body, inspired me.Turning my back on weight loss has been liberating. I exercise because it feels good. I don’t deny my appetites. If I want a Reese’s with coffee after lunch, I enjoy it, and have much more joy and feel fewer cravings.
I freed my mind from thinking about eating and exercise. I stopped participating in negative body talk—I didn’t want my daughter to learn that from me. Initially it took a conscious effort. Now (almost) always, it is how I really feel. Fake it at first if you have to, you’ll get there.”
3. “Diets reinforced the message that my body was not to be trusted. It wasn’t working for me and I was trying to recover from an eating disorder.
When I took the terrifying leap into a world without food rules I learned to really listen to my body. Since I no longer exercise as punishment for my food choices or with weight loss as the end goal, I have identified many forms of exercise and movement that I LOVE. Walking, yoga, swimming and dancing around my room ridiculously are a few examples.
I have so much more time and free mental space available to me now that I actually have the ability to recognize positive aspects of my body. Notice and appreciate all of the amazing things your body does for you on a daily basis. Maybe even say, ‘Thank you.’ ”
4. “Dieting taught me that I couldn’t know if I was hungry, full, sad, happy, angry. I became detached from my body to survive.
My tummy would say, ‘I’m hungry.’ I would respond, ‘Shut up, here’s some water.’ I learned that the body is not something to be beaten into submission. My poor body was so hungry and thirsty that it stopped working. I decided to quit DIEting and start living. I stopped reading fashion magazines which helps my mental health immensely. I listen to my body. I try to be gentle. I find FUN ways of moving that are pleasurable and comfortable. I don’t feel like a prisoner or victim to myself anymore.”
5. “I believed, falsely, that every 3500 calories cut would result in a pound of weight lost and that would somehow bring me closer to ‘happiness’ which I mistakenly linked to my weight.
I began to resent food and those who enjoyed it. Restriction meant I could not find a way to enjoy foods without binging. Since I feared getting fat, I purged. Bulimia developed as I cared more about being thin than my own life.
My recovery was jolted when I entered treatment. I came back a changed woman who wanted to declare peace with her body and use her energy to grow as a person and treat herself well. I now understand that living my life hoping that I’ll do/be ___ when I weigh ____ was the worst thing I could do for my health. You can be healthy without hating yourself. Treat your body like the most precious gift you’ve ever received. Because it is.”
6. “I quit dieting when I grew tired of hating my body.
I was exhausted from obsessing over food. I realized that denying certain foods only drives the desire for them. Now I eat mindfully and intuitively. My life is completely different — I’m calm, more creative, less inhibited, less socially inept and generally more at peace. I’m finally happy and my body has changed because of it.
Since age 4 I’d gotten the message that I am unacceptable because of my size. I’d been taught that my intelligence, creativity, kindness and accomplishments paled in relation to my appearance. After 38 years of these lessons, I’ve come to understand the lies and hatred for what they are. It has nothing to do with me; it never did. I am me, not my size. Tell your inner critic to shut up. Learn to live inside your body. Start listening to its inherent wisdom.”
7. “I quit dieting because 20 or so years of dieting had not made me thin, healthy, or happy.
I shifted my focus from my aesthetic to my lifestyle. By focusing on healthy behaviors for body, mind and spirit I’ve achieved a level of physical, mental and emotional health that I never imagined was possible. Now I no longer associate eating with guilt and punishment so I actually enjoy my food. I no longer live and die by the number on the scale or define my self-worth by the size of my jeans.
Oscar Wilde wrote, ‘To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.’ This is non-negotiable. The most liberating moment in human existence is the moment you fall in love with yourself, just as you are. Everything is possible when you believe that your happiness is worth fighting for.”
8. “After 15 years on a diet I got tired of looking at food but seeing numbers. I learned that diets work, until they don’t.
My weight was a constant struggle between wanting to eat what I wanted and having to go hungry to control the number on the scale. I was sick of constantly obsessing about food. Dieting and being thinner never made me like my body, so I decided to give eating for my health and loving myself a try—I never looked back.
I never restrict myself so that I don’t go back to the dieting mentality and then the binges. I exercise to feel good, never to change the shape of my body. And now I have much more time for activities I enjoy. I don’t panic about what I can eat or how it will affect my weight. I tossed my scale. I’m heavier than my diet days but now I spend zero time being dissatisfied with the person in the mirror, compared to 100% of the time back then.”