Diet Daze

Back in my dieting days, when I made a commitment to follow a particular diet, I usually stuck with it until I saw the results I wanted OR until I decided for whatever reason that the diet could wait until the next day.

Between diet days, I ate off-limits food in large quantities. Okay, I binged, not all the time, but often enough that I’d feel sick and guilty, which made me eat more to escape the guilt. Either I was good, i.e., compliant, or bad, i.e., non-compliant. The way I saw it, if I robbed the bank by eating something off-limits, the entire day meant freedom to eat again, so I took advantage of eating a huge Last Supper before resuming the diet the next day, or better yet, the next Monday.

When I managed to stay loyal to the diet until reaching my goal, i.e., losing a certain number of pounds, I promised myself I’d keep the weight off to avoid suffering through another diet. But it was a catch-22. Being free of the diet made me head straight for what I’d been craving, and before I knew what happened, I’d end up even heavier than when I started.

In hindsight I realize it wasn’t the diet food I detested; no, it was relinquishing my freedom without even realizing it. In fact, I thought I was the one making choices when in reality I was eating with total disregard to how my body felt at any given time. I got so used to being on a diet that I forgot how to eat normally. Diet Daze.

For example, one morning, I stood in the kitchen wondering what to eat for breakfast. I had no idea how to decide because it seemed my only options were the extremes—to eat what some diet said was “good” or what I wanted, which was bound to be “bad.” It didn’t occur to me to consult my taste buds, stomach, nutritional needs, and other factors, such as my level of activity, the possibility of eating lunch out, etc. Dieting had stolen my ability to think for myself about food. And that’s sad.

The cool thing is that the experience set me up to recognize a way out of diet prison when I saw it. So here I am, a mature woman among thousands who are coming to terms with what seems obvious now—to listen to our bodies. Better late than never!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Natasha
    Nov 07, 2012 @ 00:24:16

    WOW. This post describes the past 20 years of my life. Feels like I am in diet prison! I want so desperately to stop the dieting but am scared of the kilos piling on even more.


    • Norma
      Nov 07, 2012 @ 21:15:22

      Nice to meet a kindred spirit, Natasha. I was scared I’d gain, too. When I quit dieting, my clothes fit a little tighter, but I’m not sure of the exact amount I gained because I gave up weighing myself until I broke the habit of stepping on the scale every morning. As far as I can tell, my weight has plateaued, which is comforting. I bought clothes (many of them from thrift shops) that fit me, and I still eat what I want. Let me know how it goes with you, okay? Thanks for reading!


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