The 'D' Word

No, no it’s not that ‘D’ word!

Like many people in this big old world we are constantly reminded about the word ‘diet’ both the good and the bad, but I find it is easy for people to just say go on a diet but for someone who has no clue about what a ‘diet’ is – this will be a massive change for them and like so many they will give up du to the lack of research and education as to why they are eating the foods they have been told too.

With social media being such a massive part of everyone’s day to day life it is hard not to be reminded of all those ‘perfect’ looking people and how most people would assume that they are healthy (body and mind) which is not the case. The famous celebrity quote that stands out in my mind was Kate Moss’ “nothing tastes as good as skinny feel” but people see her in these multi million pound business' and magazines and think she’s perfect and healthy – which is not okay in my eyes.

Since a very young age I compared myself to everyone! And being bullied throughout my school years lead me to believe it even more so that I was not perfect and the only way to be accepted at the time was to look a certain way, this was before it was accepted for girls to lift weights without being called butch or masculine. I would cut out pictures of magazines and be obsessed with music videos and keep them in my room, I can still remember clear as day that in primary school when I had a growth spirt and couldn’t really fit into GAP Kids but all my friends still could….that was so humiliating for me because in my head I felt like a monster. 

From then on my relationship between my body, dieting and general self-loathing took its hold. My body became something I was ashamed off along with the added scars on my stomach and I for many years I went on a diet and tried to exercise as much as I could. I started by cutting down on carbs and sugar and my portions would get smaller, to many readers you must be thinking what an idiot that’s not healthy! And you would be right, but all I had in my head was this will make me skinny! And I had not done any research for the healthy way to lose weight or better myself.  It was that spark from then on I would feel guilty; eat, feel guilty, exercise like a crazy person, look in the mirror and then hate myself.

It wasn’t until the explosion of YouTube that it became for accessible for people to share their hints and tricks of a ‘proper diet’ but do you know what they all have in common… it is simply eating healthy foods (carbs, fats, greens and fibres etc) and effectively eating what you want within reason. I feel that the biggest part of acceptance of your body is our emotional health and can be so easily sabotaged. 

All diets do (for most people) is creating a sense of self-loathing and fear of failure. Which is why I now live my life by listening to my own body, because whether you care to admit or not – it knows stuff! And because nobody is the same we all are made differently and will run better on different things we out in to our bodies. I am eating what my body wants. One day it could be a superfood salad, soup the next or even sometimes a big slice of cake.  When we diet, we are more vulnerable to external cues that tell us to eat – but dieting reduces the influence of the brains weight regulation system by teaching us to rely on rules rather than hunger. This basically means paying attention to signals of hunger and fullness. Compared to chronic dieters, people who eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full are less likely to become overweight, maintain stable weight and less time thinking about food. 

My weight has finally balanced out (mainly due to hormone balance), not that I ever really weigh myself – I prefer to go on how my clothes fit which has made me realise that I have waited so much time and money on certain diets and that I have a voice and want to share my findings and research with everyone else. Was I really wanting to spend my next year’s hating my body and punishing myself to lose that little bit more (trust me my body has been through enough) that no one, bar me, cares about?  

Take Home Message 

Replace 'dieting' with healthy eating principals and habits.

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