Reading this post over on Fatties United!, inspired by the call from Dr Pattie Thomas to do video blogs on why we don’t diet as a response to the Fat Poz ReVolution apparently being stolen by a weight loss reality show. Like Whaliam over on Fatties United!, I’m not one for video blogging, but thought it would be a really good topic to write about here on Fat Heffalump.
There are actually lots of reasons I don’t diet. But the main one is very clear. Dieting makes me gain weight.
I dieted from when I was a very, very young age. Pre-puberty. And every time I dieted, I just got fatter in the long term. Every time I lost weight, I would get to a certain point and then no matter how much I restricted and exercised for punishment/bargaining purposes, my body would fight and fight and eventually, the weight would creep back. In my darkest days, I was exercising between 6 and 8 hours per day (and the haters say that fatties have no willpower!) and eating almost nothing as well as being on prescription “appetite suppressant” amphetamines… and I was gaining weight.
So when I found Fat Acceptance, I decided I’d try to give up dieting and see how I go. I was reading the work of The Fat Nutritionist who makes a LOT of sense to me, so for the past 2 years, maybe 2 and a half, I’ve been trying intuitive eating. I found Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon PhD a bit after and that reaffirmed a lot of the thinking I’d been having about intuitive eating and activity for enjoyment rather than punishment or bargaining.
Surprise, surprise, for the first time in my life, I have maintained the same weight for two years. Within a few kilos, but it’s been stable for the first time in my entire life (considering I’ve been dieting since before I hit my teens).
Another reason I don’t diet is because it makes me sick. When I am dieting my hormones go all weird and my body tries to regulate those and I get all kinds of issues. My depression and anxiety get worse. My skin gets bad. I get chronic reflux and gut issues. My menstrual cycle disappears. I’m always exhausted and cranky.
Yet since giving up dieting, my wellbeing has been so much better. I get a fraction of the depression and anxiety that I used to get, my skin is clearer than it ever was, and for the first time since I hit puberty I have a regular menstrual cycle. But best of all, I have more energy and am far happier.
There are dozens of other reasons I don’t diet, but these two are the most important to me.
So for those of you who don’t diet… would you share with us in the comments why you don’t diet?