When I wrote my last blog (please click on picture above to see that) announcing I was going to be blogging about losing weight. I got a mixed reaction.
Lots of you are intrigued as to how I can be thin and yet eat exactly what I want. A few (and I've had this all my life) told me I was too thin and also told me that I must have always been thin, so who was I to think I could blog about losing weight.
Believe me, I was never obese - but I was a size 14 -16 and that's an old school 14 -16 when those sizes were actually much bigger than they are now and a size zero didn't even exist!
In the picture above I'm 22 years old and a size 14. I look great but I didn't feel great and I certainly was not comfortable about how I looked or around food. I was constantly on a diet and binging. This had been going on from the tender age of 12, when I went on my first diet. I firmly believe that everyones first diet is the undoing of their natural instincts around food, because DIETS DO NOT WORK.
At the time of the above picture, I would wake up in the morning and think - today I will start my diet and I will be good. Sometimes, if it were the weekend, I'd tell myself, 'Don't start a diet at the weekend, wait until Monday.' I would then proceed in eating the contents of the fridge. Not tasting anything that touched my lips. Not enjoying a single mouthful. Food was completely in charge of me and I truly hated myself.
On the days when I did 'diet' I had often failed by lunchtime and going to the gym was such a trauma (because I felt fat) that I couldn't bare it, so I would just hide and eat some more.
I know that every single person who diets has this mentality and that is because the minute you go on your first diet you are set to fail. You over ride your natural instinct for hunger and your whole body goes in to 'panic mode' as it realises you are about to starve it again.
I know supremely intelligent people who have no control when it comes to food. How many of you out there are boom or bust? If you are going to the gym, you eat a healthy diet but if you miss the gym, you think, 'Oh well, I'll have a day off then' and then gorge yourself on a packet of biscuits, followed by 2 bags of crisps, a McDonalds and then wash it all down with a take away? Just because you missed going to the gym? It doesn't make any sense... Surely if you miss the gym, you are less hungry and so you need to eat less.
I remember before I found this way of eating, I thought there must be a magical formula to losing weight and I just couldn't find it.
Well I'm here to tell you there is a magic formula. It will be tough at first. You will not want to give in to your ways of being around food. You will not want to let your, 'measures of control' go and simply trust your own stomach. You will be afraid to allow the naughty foods back in to your life.
You must do all these things to learn my way of eating though. You must be brave and you must be free.
You will have to face some personal demons as well and you will have to find the right weight for you. Your own set point weight and I will explain this in further blogs.
For tonight though, I want to leave with you reasons why diets actually sabotage your naturally ability to eat like a rational human being.
I give you the dieting excuses... there will be one or two a blog, there are 12 in total. Here's the first...
1. Diets make you over eat and even binge.
Let's imagine you have just arrived home from a very hard day at work. You have been starving yourself (dieting) for 2 weeks now. You have kept to a strict programme, you have been to the gym and you are surprised and pleased with yourself. You are also very hungry though. It's a hunger that starts at your stomach and rides up your throat in to your foul tasting mouth. You really want dinner but you realise you have actually eaten everything you are allowed to eat today. Miserable you make yourself another black coffee.
Your partner, who is not on a diet, says they can't be bothered to cook tonight and thinks you should get a take away. They convince you that you should join them, telling you how well you have done and that you deserve a treat. They impress upon you that it will do your diet good, they say, it will give it a boost.
You think about it and convinced that they are right and that you do deserve a treat, you relent and agree a take away would be a great idea.
Without even realising it, as you go to fetch your phone to call and order your takeaway, you have grabbed a handful of biscuits and eaten them. While waiting for the takeaway you finish off your kids left over chicken nuggets and a small bag of chocolate buttons.
When the takeaway arrives, you don't even realise it but you are actually already more than full.
You have ordered the works as you have been so good and you push in every last uncomfortable mouthful, feeling almost nauseous and definitely not really tasting anything that goes in to your overloaded stomach. You are not even enjoying your food actually but boy, you are going to eat it because it's your day off.
There's a left over cheesecake in the fridge and as you clean away the plates, you stand at the fridge and eat mouthfuls of that. By now you are not tasting food at all and a familiar voice in your head is screaming at you.
"Please stop", says the voice. "We were full before the takeaway came. You know you won't even go to the gym tomorrow now because you will be too disgusted with yourself. Why didn't you just have a small takeaway and enjoy it. Why do you always punish yourself this way when it comes to food? You never just eat without emotion. You are either sticking to a diet and under eating or you are preparing for a diet tomorrow by overeating. When you are o a diet you are deprived and depressed and when you break your diet you are bloated and you hate yourself. You are living a nightmare and you keep reliving it! You lose weight and then gain even more back again when you stop dieting. Please I beg you to stop."
If this is you and it was certainly me all those years ago, you probably don't even hear that little pleading voice of rational thought and reason - because all you can hear is the cruel voice that rants at you how revolting you are and how flabby you feel now and that you'll never be 'good' enough.
There are thousands of dieters in this self defeating cycle. We diet to stop ourselves over eating but the diet actually drives us to overeat. Which in the end makes us even fatter.
There has even been a great deal of research in to this and it is a scientific fact that if people feel like they have been deprived, the minute they can eat normally again, they will overeat.
People who have never been on a diet. Let's call them the lucky ones or the naturally slim ones, don't go into this same frenzy if they overeat though. So what is their secret? Well that is what we will be looking at over the next few weeks.
Since I have 'taught' myself to eat like a naturally slim person, I no longer dance this ugly diet dance.
If I overeat one day, it stands to reason that I won't be as hungry the next day and I've found that naturally I tend to just eat less. I don't monitor what I eat or make myself eat less. I listen to my stomach and because I am still full from a takeaway the night before, I might not be hungry for breakfast the next day, so therefore If I'm not hungry for it, I don't eat it.
I eat only when I'm hungry and I stop as soon as I feel full. I also do eat whatever I want, there is no such thing as good or naughty food to me. Food is food and as lomg as I listen to my stomach, I eat exactly what I fancy.
This might mean I have 5 small meals a day. It might mean I don't eat anything until way after lunch. Some days I eat 3 big meals but I listen to my body and I will, over the next few weeks teach you to do that too.
There will be more dieting excuses tomorrow as I really want you to see how ridiculous dieting is! I will start showing you how to eat like a naturally slim person too - but for now please bare in mind that every time you go hungry when you are starving, every time you deny yourself the food you actually want, like having a baked potato when what you really crave is a crisp sandwich, you feed the out of control binging dragon.
It's like winding up a toy dragon. Each time you have a baked potato., rather than that crisp sandwich you really do want, you wind the toy up a little bit. Each time you starve yourself, you wind it up a bit more. Every time you deprive that wind up toy of something, you wind it up and then when you finally release it to eat what it wants, it dances a demonic binging dance that you just cannot stop until it burns out and cannot eat anymore!
I will teach you how I stopped it for good and hopefully you will be able to stop it too because life is too short and food is too delicious to live like that.
There will be many more blogs on 'not dieting' so if you want to subscribe so you don't miss out you can do so below. Please do also comment on my Facebook page so we can take this journey together.