I Stopped Dieting & Worrying About Food and Something Amazing Happened

What Happened When I Stopped DietingI had never been on a weight loss diet in my life until I got to college. I went from taking three to four ballet classes to sitting on my butt in a classroom and eating at the school cafeteria for three meals a day.

Can we say Freshman 15? Try 20.

Since that point, I've spent way too much of my time and energy worrying about the food I put in my mouth. Not necessarily for health reasons but for how I looked and how my pants fit.

Here's what happened when I decided to stop worrying about food for the sake of my own mental health.

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Now for the last 20 years, I have done everything except puke food up to try to lose weight. From drastically cutting calories and working out a lot to trying a myriad eating fads like macrobiotics, veganism, and the most recent, Paleo, I've put myself and my body through the ringer. 

There was the total elimination diet after my first baby to deal with breastfeeding issues. Four foods for six months? Delicious (not).

And I even did a divorce diet, which wasn't really on purpose. Yay, stress!

I was perfectly fine during my pregnancies, though as you might guess, completely frustrated after having them when it took me awhile to drop the weight. I did go through a period of pretty healthy eating and living after my third pregnancy where I did the 30 Day Shred and just ate sensibly. 

But I was still thinking about my food intake and my body every single freaking day.

With recent stomach issues and a whole heckuva lot of stress in my life right now, I decided, with my therapist's help, to just take a break.

Eat when I'm hungry or when I want to.

Work out when I can because it's good for my mental health (with side benefits, for sure).

And then see what happens.

So, yes, I want to be able to tell you that I suddenly lost those 10 pounds I had been working on, but that's not the case. In fact, it's probably the contrary, though I haven't weighed myself since a doctor visit a few months ago.

If anything, it's only a few pounds because all my clothes still fit just fine.

But I can't tell you how much head space I have. How much time and energy I am able to focus on other things in my life.

It's been truly liberating.

And what's amazing is that no one else even notices because it was really all inside my head. 

Now I buy food based on what's good for me (and my four kids, who I need to feed as well). And what I like to eat. I'm fortunate that I was raised to eat super healthy foods and I actually do like them.

But I don't begrudge myself when I want to eat a few pieces of candy. Or hit a drive-thru.

My new diet: simply putting good, healthy food in my mouth when I'm hungry and not worrying about how it will affect the way I look.

I'm calling it "just eating." Care to join me?

What kinds of diets have you tried?

 

Image via SlimmingTipsBlog/Flickr

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