A long wild dieting history

Veronica's Story

I have recently returned to using the If Not Dieting website, and I'm so grateful for this support, and also for Dr Rick's books and materials.

My history with dieting is a long and wild one, as I've yo-yoed frequently and regularly between periods of extreme dieting (inevitably resulting in extreme bingeing) and then periods of attempting to steer away from diets into the more sane territory of non-diet advocates such as Dr Rick.  I've long been conflicted about dieting, and I think I've tried everything from both approaches – Overeaters Anonymous to Fit for Life, Overcoming Overeating to hypnosis (hmm, that was an expensive mistake), Beyond Chocolate to Atkins. The more obsessed with food and dieting I became, the more the consequences were evident in my body. (BTW, has anyone else ever gained over 20 kg in just six months? That was a scary time... )

Maybe it's just that I'm slowly maturing and getting a bit of mid-life perspective - I'm in my 40's now, and have been in this troubled relationship with food and dieting since primary school - but I've decided IT'S TIME.  It is scary to declare you're going to give up dieting for good, and really mean it, but I've finally realised I need to choose the more positive path of self-acceptance and love, rather than criticism.  I've hopefully grown up and am past the stage of needing approval based on my appearance, and allowing myself to feel inadequate when compared to unrealistic societal models.  I'm ME, I'm don't need or want to be a beauty queen, I don't need or want to be judged by my appearance. That's not a measure of my worth, and I don't want to measure others by that yardstick any more either (goodbye No Idea and Woman's Daze magazines with all that celebrity finger-pointing).

I am a normal sized and shaped woman (there are lots and lots of normal sizes and shapes for people in this world), and I don't have to change myself to be acceptable or worthy.  My health – physical and emotional – is something I need to take care of, and endless yo-yo dieting isn't doing me any good.  Now is the time for me to grow beyond this for once and for all, and find some peace and joy in my relationship with my body.  It's time to let go of the impossible and unrealistic body fantasies and start living in the here and now.  Freeing myself of these negative body thoughts and negative eating behaviours will be far more rewarding than reaching some magical weight (which would probably only be temporary, going on the experience of the past few decades!).

I'm a little apprehensive, because I know how insidious diet thoughts are, how seductive the idea of quick weight loss and admiration over a new figure can be, and how easy it is to panic at the possibility of gaining weight by not being “good”.  And I'm taking a little time to mourn the fact that I'm never going to be the impossible “dream me”.  But I'm just over it.  I'm a bright, capable woman who is good at what she does, has a lot of blessings in her life, and should be able to enjoy a relaxed, happy, healthy and free existence.  I don't want to let my self-worth depend on how big my hips are this month, or how I perceive my attractiveness – there's so much more to me than that.

Funnily enough, now that I have decided I can have whatever food if I want it, I'm kind of craving more healthy “everyday” foods.  As the saying goes, I can have faith in my body – it is an amazing self-regulator.

So come and join me everyone - taste the freedom! No more being seduced over to The Dark Side!

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