Unlike Marty McFly in the incredible, amazing, fantastic Back to the Future movies, I don’t have a time machine. However, if I did this is what I would say to my younger self;
Despite what you think you are lovely, just as you are! And whatever you do…DON’T DIET!
Your future self!
It’s this time of year, possibly (or statistically) this day that the festive feeling has worn off; you have a lot more month left than money and you are almost certainly contemplating a diet (probably masquerading as a HEP – Healthy Eating Plan). Indeed if you walk through any bookstore you will see all the offers on the ‘get-slim-quick’ books. But if there is one thing that I could say to the younger Sarah, it would be please don’t EVER diet.
Now believe me I have done every kind of diet there is going, from the organised ones that have duplicated letters in their name to the hare-brained faddy ones that supposedly the ‘stars’ swear by… I’ve combined foods. I’ve not combined foods. You name it I’ve done it in the quest for ‘the body beautiful’.
I was in my late teens when I first embarked on my first formal diet. I went along with my mother and my cousin to a draughty church hall where I was weighed and ‘sworn in’. This was all to drop 7lb (3 kg) ahead of my summer holiday in Ibiza.
Half a stone, 7 teeny pounds of weight I hear you cry. Yes that is correct, such a small amount I know but bearing in mind I only weighed 9 stone (57kg) at the time! So for my height I was dangerously close to being underweight by doing what I was doing. This all comes from someone that had anorexic tendencies as a young teenager.
Fast forward 15 or so years, and I am now carrying more weight (possibly than I would like but hey ho), and it has taken me a long time to make my peace with food and to not see it as the enemy. I do eat too many processed foods, which I am currently discovering directly affects not only my health but my moods too, so am addressing that as one of my challenges for 2018.
So when I see those ads advertising ‘flex’ or see that a certain slimming organisation’s app is trending on an App Store, I think to myself;
- You can’t lose weight with willpower alone
- You can’t give all that power over you to someone or something external to you
- No amount of ‘being good’ is going to make that dress fit in the long term
- Dieting is only one part of being the solution to being overweight; you have to work on why you are overweight in the first place. What is missing from your life, or what are you trying to anesthetise
- Finally (and most importantly) dieting is just a course in gaining weight for the long term. Because unless you address why you are overweight nothing will change and in fact, you will end up bigger than you started!
Love your body… you only get one!