Dear Diet

Dear Diet,

I’m writing this letter to let you know that I am leaving you forever. We’ve been together on and off for years, and, let’s face it; things haven’t been good. When I met you, I was hopeful that you would be the one to make me happy, but it wasn’t long until things began to fall apart. I’ve always felt that you were too good for me, so I tried my best to change myself. When I failed to fit your perfect mould, you left me feeling alone, powerless and unworthy.

Each time I go back to you, you say that ‘this time will be different’, but it never is. In all of our years together, you’ve never given me what I needed. Like a withholding masochist you dangle the idea of fulfillment in front of me but always leave me wanting more. When we’re together it’s always about you, Diet, and there’s no room for me. How did I ever think that obsessing over you could make me happy? How did I survive all those years, as you fed me poison?

You should know that I’ve met someone else. His name is Lifestyle. He’s helped me see that I don’t need to deprive myself to be happy. He makes me want to do better, not because I’m flawed, but because I’m worth caring for. Lifestyle has helped me to be patient with myself, and never deprive myself of the essentials; nourishment and love. Even though I’m far from perfect, I am happier and healthier than I’ve ever been. Lifestyle gives me everything that I need and more.

Farewell and Good Riddance,

Me

——————————————————————–

It is not about the number on the scale, how many calories you consume, or how many minutes you workout on the treadmill: True wellness is not a numbers game. By focusing on such measurements and expecting to be well, you treat the symptom while ignoring the cause.

I’ve come to realize that any kind of eating disorder, whether it’s over-eating, never-eating, or some combination of both, shares a common perpetrator; a lack of self-love. I’m against the diet mentality because it often does not address the root of the issue. A lot of people go into a diet with the drive of desperation. They can’t stand how they look and they’re desperate to reach their goal. While this may be seen as a motivating force to some, pursuits led by fear and self-hatred rarely end in happiness. Those pursuits usually lead people to diets that are damaging and deprive themselves of proper nutrition.

When people begin a diet without first addressing the emotional component of health, they set themselves up for failure or worse yet an unhealthy complex about food. They are willing to do anything to be thin, including depriving themselves of proper nutrition and ingesting toxic carcinogens like artificial sweeteners or diet pills that supposedly will help them lose weight.

I’m all about eating healthy, but I am not one for deprivation. The way I see it, focus should be less on calorie counting and more on mind-management. What are you telling yourself every day? Do you love yourself? Do you even like yourself? You may say that you want to be well, but if deep down you feel that you don’t deserve to be well, then you never will be. No diet in the world can help you unless you are willing to do the mental work to love yourself as you are right now.

———————————————————–

“Disordered eating goes hand in hand with disordered thinking.” Lynn Crilly

“It has nothing to do with willpower or discipline. Whatever we are trying to release in our lives is just a symptom, an outer effect. Trying to eliminate the symptom without working on dissolving the cause is useless. The moment we release our willpower or discipline, the symptoms crops up again.” Louise Hay

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch

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33 comments

  1. Thank you for posting this! It is a great post and I completely agree with everything you said! It is not about the number on the scale. Being thin does not equal being happy. Too many of us spend too much time trying to become a different (skinnier) person and we forget that each day is a blessing and we should enjoy everything we have to be thankful for in that moment!

    1. You hit the nail right on the head: skinny does not equal happy! We’ve been so brainwashed to believe otherwise that there are thousands of people who are doing anything they can do achieve that end by a means that often hurts themselves and brings them great unhappiness. Health is happiness. And to be healthy you have to like yourself the way you are right now.

  2. Great post, the word “diet” really should be considered a swear word 😉 Even saying it now I want to rebel against it!

    1. I still catch myself saying I’m on a gluten-free diet from time to time, and that’s the exact feeling I get when I think of it like that: something I need to rebel against! Thanks for commenting!

      1. Thanks for voicing so well how so many people feel about diets and being on them.

  3. I have struggled with my diet for so long. Before it was for changes to enhance my body, but now it’s a necessary lifestyle change. Thanks for the input and great info!

    1. Whenever I’ve tried to go on a diet to lose weight I’ve always failed and been worse off afterwards. Now that I’ve given myself time to slowly shift my eating habits, the lifestyle is just that. I’m not depriving myself, I’m choosing well for myself. Thanks for commenting and visiting my blog!

      1. Great words of advice! Looking at my diet as a lifestyle change is way different than depriving myself and eventually binging because of horrible eating habits. You’ve made some great points in this entry alone. I can’t wait to see what else you have to share 🙂

  4. Great post! I couldn’t agree more.

    1. Thanks for reading!

  5. Really well penned~ Truly an enjoyable read~ ThanQ~

    1. Thanks for following my blog and for the feedback!

  6. well said S! Even I am against crash dieting. Why deprive yourself of God’s gift and be thankless. There are many who are hungry enough to eat trash even in the world. So it’s better to eat good and healthy and of course avoid overeating.

    1. Absolutely. We need to change the way we think about food. It’s a great gift that energizes us and should be enjoyable!

  7. It’s amazing to think how many billions has been invested in the dieting industry, when accepting yourself is free. Love the letter. Very inspirational.

    1. So true. I think diets completely miss the mark. They only address the surface of a much bigger issue. There’s so much more to health than weight loss.

  8. That letter is brilliant – love it 😀 I don’t believe in diets… but other the past few months I’ve changed my eating habits and exercised more and the pounds are coming off 🙂

    1. It’s amazing how that happens, isn’t it? I have never been much of a dieter either, but when I have been on them they messed up my brain and made me hate myself. Not a fun experience! Now that I’ve been taking better care of what I put into my body, I’ve shred the extra 10 pounds I’ve been carrying since University. When you stop focusing on the scale, and just treat yourself lovingly, everything works out. But patience is key! Thanks for reading!

  9. Fantastic post! I especially love the letter. What you are saying is quite true, deprivation is never our ally.

    1. Thank you! The diet mentality is so damaging, but typical of our symptom-focused society. Deprivation only leads to imbalance.

  10. Great post! Really enjoyed reading it thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Thanks, Sally! I’m so glad that you liked it.

  11. Wonderful post!! I love it!

    1. Thank you!

  12. GENIUS! I’m 48 and never dieted (or counted calories) in my life and stayed either 5 pounds overweight or 5 pounds underweight or a happy medium, just by eating sensibly most of the time and exercising regularly. When you do the right things for your body, it all works out automatically. I won’t even use the word diet. If I speak about things I eat, I don’t say “my diet,” I say “my menu.” 🙂

    1. I like that, “my menu”! So true, when you just treat yourself right things just work out. A healthy weight is only a result of a healthy life.. it shouldn’t be the focus. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  13. Sound of goodbye! Always makes me cry!!!

    1. Except when it’s saying goodbye to damaging diets, right? Thanks for stopping by!

  14. I’m making the same kind of discoveries!

    1. I have never been one that’s into dieting so much, but when I have, it has never been fun for my mental state… self-criticism, deprivation… no thanks! I’ve recently started eating gluten-free and am only having success because I refuse to see it as a diet! Thank you for reading!

  15. Great post! It is about lifestyle not deprivation. Super job!!!

    1. Thank you for your feedback, Kristin! Have a great week.

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