I know I am going against the grain, but hear me out. Yes, even you, Ms. Health Fitness Coach Trainer Nutritionist.
I have to start with my background, so you can better understand and, well, trust my cRazy thought process.
As a baby, my first “real meal” was probably chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and gravy from our family restaurant. I am not even kidding. I was not a fat kid, well, yet. In kindergarten, I was almost too skinny and looked sick- but I can assure you I ate. It’s because I was picky: no melted cheese, no hamburgers, no pizza, no hot dogs, no fast food. A weird kid, basically. Then middle school hit, and I started gaining some weight. I blame my first meeting with Aunt Flow. She blessed me with her presence at the beginning of 5th grade. I could have explained all the changes that happen to a females body to my PE class and saved them from watching that awkward video, but I digress. As if middle school wasn’t awkward enough, picture me as the tallest (if you know me now, stop laughing) and the biggest girl in athletics. Now, add Jncos, Dr. Martens, Tommy Hilfiger polos, and all the Gadzooks accessories possible hanging off my backpack to try and mask “awkward” for “all that and a bag of chips.” And, it worked. NOT!
Emotional Eating (September 1995 – September 2013)
As a freshman in high school, I decided to lose weight. Why? Because my boyfriend (a “new guy” in our small town whom I met the last week of my 8th-grade year) broke up with me because “I was too fat.” Yes, his friend eagerly told me – this is not made up. So, I conjured up a plan: lose weight, make my ex-boyfriend change his mind, and answer “no” when asked back out. Perfect, healthy plan! Since I was a smart, straight “A” student, I knew the activity I was getting through sports, paired with my regular eating habits, weren’t enough to help me lose weight. It had done nothing for me up to this point. So duh, I had to eat less! Way less!
Anorexia (October 1998 – December 1998)
I haven’t even mentioned my rock yet. My mom. She is the best cook who always had a dinner prepared in the evening, none of which came from a box or package of any sort. She was also the type of mom that would cater to your likes.. Don’t like a side she made for dinner? No worries. Another will be made of your choosing. Yes, we were spoiled. Despite the delicacies, I was too full to eat dinner since I would slowly digest (only) 1 cracker during lunch. *eye roll* After noticing my weight loss, mom baaaasically made me eat. *mean teenager look* When mom says do something, you do it, btw.
Bulemia (January 1999 – April 1999)
But, I showed her. So, I ate her delicious meals. Twice… But hey, things were better! I cleaned my plate at the dinner table, which filled my mom’s heart with joy. My friends were happy to see me join them in the baked potato and salad line at school, where we loaded our spud with cheese and butter. But then, it went to hell in a handbasket. Some nosey friend of mine followed me into the locker room, per my helicopter mom’s request, one day after lunch. How annoying. I guess my sudden, rapid weight loss and horrid mood swings inconvenienced my caring friends & loving mom. Unfortunately, their worries, a talk from my adored coach, nor a visit to the doctor dented the surface of my strong will. I didn’t want to discontinue my ways. I hate to admit what actually did get me “back on track,” but I will: my grandpa’s threat. He made me weigh myself (shortly after I started keeping food back down) & promised if I lost just 1 pound, he would not buy me my 1st car on my 16th birthday- which was a thing they did for their grandkids. I knew my parents could not afford to buy me a new car, so I had to stop what I was doing. Grrrr. Oh well. I was able to say “no” to the ex-boyfriend as planned, AND I got a new Mustang. #worthit #notreally #dumbteenagermistake
Fad Diets (June 2009 – Current)
Surprisingly I didn’t start fad diets until after college, you know, when your body starts morphing and weight sticks on when you simply look at food? I was my biggest at age 29. I can’t even say how much, but I do blame a toxic relationship. I’ll leave it at that. For now. Good news, however, is I am now down 55ish (the holidays just ended. I earned that “ish” by way of Mom’s kitchen) pounds and have been for 5 years.
After reading all of this, you might think I like fad diets because that’s how I lost all my weight. False. The fad diets didn’t get me to where I am now. I lost weight in the “correct” fashion, actually. I faithfully worked out and consumed healthy, whole foods. It was not quick, not easy, and not for the weak. That. Is. For. Sure. It was hard as hell.
THEN WHY DO YOU LIKE FAD DIETS THAT DO NOT WORK?
One word: commitment.
Commitment is the core principle of success. (I should Google that sentence to make sure it’s not already an actual quote…) To put in hard work, you have to commit to the tasks at hand. To meet a goal, you have to commit to the daily habits that help get you there. To hold a successful relationship, you have to commit to it, or else it fails. To fill your cup, you have to commit time and love to yourself.
Commitment is the core principle of success.
When I go on a “crazy” diet, I am committing to doing something for “x” amount of days, no matter the temptations that surround us every day. I don’t let upcoming events, happy hours, or date nights ruin my time, either. It’s still possible to have fun while staying committed to a diet. Once that’s over, usually around 30 days, I am back on the “healthy Paleo wagon” that I sometimes fall off of. Does that make any sense?
I am not saying this is the best way to get back on a “healthy eating” track for everybody, but it works for me. If I go from holiday eating (aka eating everything in sight) to controlling my portions & unhealthy grocery store purchases, I will fail. It’s been tested multiple times and I refuse to succumb to the definition of insanity. I have to completely restrict myself first, show myself that I AM in control and AM capable of making better choices for my health. Then, I bust out the Paleo Running Momma recipes I crave & it’s smooth sailing.
It’s really no different than (if I am going to be dramatic, which I usually am), parole for somebody getting out of prison. The re-entry into society poses a considerable challenge. Outside of bars, there is a myriad of chances to fail and repeat the actions that landed them in prison initially. Ideally, with parole, the person has to follow strict guidelines to keep them out of trouble and transition into a world where they have true freedom again. Yes, I just did that. I compared fad diets to parole. I basically put myself on food parole to help me get back on track, and that’s why I think fad diets are good.
I dedicate this blog post to Optavia. Because yes, that’s what fad diet we are doing this time. We usually ring in the new year with Whole30, but I thought I would change things up for 2020 and pick a program I know will also work. I didn’t want to start the year out in hindsight…