I have to admit something. Since I quit dieting (and by dieting, I mean trying to lose weight through external forces as opposed to internal motivations) I feel happier than I have in a really, really long time. There are some really great things about all of the programs I have done, but I feel like typical dieting is just not for me. Counting calories, hyper-focusing on certain food groups, restricting and depriving myself of certain things…it feels like wearing shoes that are a size too small for me. I know those things work great for some people and if you are one of those people, then more power to you, but for me it feels uncomfortable and unnatural. I just can’t do it and I don’t want to do it and I won’t do it.
For the last month I’ve been focusing on emotional eating resources (blogs, podcasts, books) and I feel happier and better in my body than I have for YEARS. And I suddenly have so much more free space in my brain, if that makes sense. When I’m not super focused on LOSING WEIGHT, I have more room to entertain other thoughts – I feel like my brain just opened up and I realize there are so many other things in the world that can make me happy other than pursuing thinness. This feels so much better to me than losing two pounds.
And let me clarify – I’m talking about what feels good FOR ME. You might have a totally different experience and that’s okay. I have a friend who has counted calories for years – it just works for her. She doesn’t obsess over it or turn into the main focus of her life, it’s just something that’s become part of her life, so it works for her and that’s great! I have another friend who swears by low carb eating – she feels better when she’s eating low carb and to her I say brava! I still think the Selvera program is excellent. I know lots of people who have successfully done Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous and they are happy, functioning members of society. So just because I say that I am happier taking a different approach, don’t take that to mean I think any other way is wrong…I’ve said for a long time that every one has to find their own way and I still believe that.
I think I have found my way and if it leads to a bunch of weight loss, well that’s fantastic, but I’m done obsessing about all the weight I haven’t lost. I’m replacing shame and guilt with confidence and optimism. I will not wear shoes that are too small anymore.