For a huge chunk of my life I addicted to a drug that occupied most of my thoughts and energy. That drug? Dieting.
Dieting is a normalized drug in our culture.
There was a time when I loved nothing more than the excitement of making meal plans, tracking calories, stepping on the scale, telling all my friends about the dangers of gluten and getting validation for having “control.”
There was a sense of euphoria associated with the prospect of having the body I wanted and imaginary perfect life that would go along with it. There was a sense of power that I got from being on the moral high-ground of my dietary choices. It was a high.
Weight loss is the urge and dieting is the drug. We chase after the high by adjusting our macros, tracking our food and tweaking our exercise or supplement regimes to alter our body size. We get a rush from seeing our pant size go down. We support and cheer on others who are doing the same. It’s addictive.
Of course, these feelings and behaviours are fleeting so we chase them by “starting over” and “tweaking” what we’re doing to reignite the excitement. We fall off the wagon and get back on, over and over again.
Dieting distracts us from the discomfort we feel in the present. It’s a way for us to feel safe and protected. As long as you’re dieting, you’re conforming.
It gives us purpose and fills a void. Who are you without dieting and an ever-present desire to lose weight?
Even though negative thoughts dominate our mind, there is always the drooling anticipation of our “perfect” body and “perfect” life on the radar that keeps us hooked. It gives us a false sense of fulfillment from the monotony of our everyday life. We think, “just this one last diet” and then I’ll be done with it! Just like that last drink or last hit.
Physiologically, there is a valid explanation for this. This “wanting” of the being thinner and the privilege that goes along with it lights up the same place in our brain that is responsible for our other cravings and desires. And we get hooked on it.
Psychologically, dieting is a way to “fit in”, make yourself more likeable and avoid social rejection. We’ve learned that weight loss is a way to control our destiny. Rejecting this and leaping into the unknown is not easy.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a hard drug to quit. You have to hit a point where you are DONE. WITH. IT.
Where you are so sick of your body dictating your emotions. Where you’re ready to believe that your purpose in this life is so much bigger than being thin. Where the thought of another stretch of “clean eating” makes you want to suffocate yourself with your tupperware. And the fear of staying stuck where you are is greater than the fear of letting go.
Are you done with it?
Trust me when I say, it’s worth it.
I so want to be done with it. I am working on it every minute of the day. I have been doing this for 50 years. Believing that I am not enough the way I am. Constantly evaluating what I am eating, what I am going to eat, how I look, how I should look, how I want to look and on and on and on and on and effing on.
I struggle with this way of thinking, as well…..” This paradigm shift is just an excuse to eat whatever I want whenever I want.”
When I consider the YEARS of my life spent ruminating about all of the above, I am infuriated.
Thanks to all for being here and for listening.
Keep going Mary! I know you can do this. xo
Summer, I’ve read many of your posts over the last couple of years, and loved every one of them! Finding you was the beginning of a monumental shift in my life. Finding you helped save my “soul life”. But there is something about this post that speaks to me in a language that rings undeniably clear and true! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I’m so happy to hear this! Thank you Jessica!! xo
I am so sick of being at war with my body and inner self! So I’m quitting dieting. Going to buy some new beautiful flattering clothes for my new size (as I’ve been living in bloody pyjamas because they’re comfy and they fit me). I’m going to have a beer at the end of the day if I want to and not feel any guilt about enjoying some chocolate! I’m going to nourish the hell out of my body with nutrient dense food because it too is delicious! I’m going to go to yoga because it’s a beautiful experience, not flog myself at the gym and abuse my adrenals! Bring on inner peace!
YESSSSSSSSSS x infinity! You go Katie!!!!
Holy crap…. this struck all the chords with me. Wow. All of this is so true. I have some thinking to do. You’re awesome. Thank you.
I feel like I could have written this post exactly! It on my Facebook page and the responses are pouring in. Every woman, man and child needs to hear this message!
Thank you so much for sharing it Stacie! xoxo
Thank you for this post.
Please, I need a little encouragement. If I was to give up that high… what comes after it? What is the pay-off? What is better than that? Maybe there are other articles about this that I haven’t read yet?
I know how hard it is Clare! However, the pay-off is HUGE. The emotional weight that is lifted when you are no longer thinking about food or your body is immeasurable. You may find this post helpful: http://summerinnanen.com/afraid-accept-your-body