Diet Trauma

Let’s talk about a very awful word - dieting. From a very young age, I was taught that it was important to be thin. Not only was I bombarded with media and products that targeted young women (does anyone remember, “Get in shape, girl??!!), family and friends would remind you constantly to keep your weight in check or it would only get worse over time. I tried I started with Weight Watchers, then the Atkins Diet, then Suzanne Somers and before I knew it, I was drinking my breakfast and lunch. I knew that I couldn’t stop eating full stop (learned that one the hard way), but I also knew that I didn’t look like my friends or anyone in the media.

I dieted throughout my 20s and early 30s and at one point did absolutely nothing other than go to work, exercise and count calories. I was the thinnest I had ever been in my adult life but I was miserable. I lost friends, and nothing was bringing me the joy it used to. I stayed like this for a pretty long time. Then I met my bestie, and she was unapologetically her fabulous, confident self. She had been through ALL of the same things I had, the countless doctors, tests, fat shaming, looks, questions - but she was something that I was not: happy. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but she had this peace and happiness about her body that I had never encountered in a peer.

I’ll tell you some of my weight factors, because I think it’s important to normalize these common issues, not because I think that I need to explain anything. First, I’ve struggled with a smoking addiction for many years. I have successfully quit for a long time now, but I gained weight each and every time I quit. I also have a condition called “PCOS” which also makes it more difficult for my body to use insulin properly. But at the end of the day, most of my significant changes in weight have been directly related to diet culture. The GREAT news, is that I met a dietician about 2 years ago, who reinforced with me that my ultimate goal is to improve my health and not weight loss. 

I read an amazing book called: The Diet Survivor’s Handbook by Judith Malts & Ellen Frankel, LCSW and it completely changed the way that I look at food. It’s always a work in progress, but my goal is always to increase healthy foods and activities and decrease things I know won’t make me feel good long-term. Gone are my days of self-deprivation and self-loathing and instead I’m on a constant quest to be good to myself. So, welcome to the journey!