My colleague complimented me about how much weight I had lost. She remarked, “You must be working so hard!”
Yes, but no. But, yes.
I’m wondering if by hard work she means….
- Exercising compulsively while shaming myself
- Restricting calories and avoiding sugar
- Eating a lot of salads
- Denying myself of pleasure?
I’m working hard, but it looks quite different than the typical dieter. Because I am….
- Sitting with uncomfortable feelings
- Checking in with my hunger and satisfaction levels
- Trying to eat in a non-distracted environment
- Only taking exercise classes that I love, regardless of whether I lose weight or not
- Keeping foods like ice cream and potato chips in my house
I was talking with another friend at work about this whole weight loss thing. She’s lost the same amount of weight I have. But, she has dieted. She won’t keep food in her house. (Been there, done that, so I have a lot of compassion for her.)
I told her how I did something different this time around.
I bought more ice cream and chips than I could possible ever eat and put them in my pantry.
“WHAT?,” she screamed. “But, I would eat them all immediately.”
Well, yes I did do that, I admitted. But, I kept buying them over and over again, until my heart and my mind new that I was allowed to eat them whenever I wanted. I gave myself unconditional permission to enjoy them.
When I did that, the food lost its power.
“Wow,” my friend said. “That is something I would never do. But, after 40 years of dieting, maybe it’s good to try something different. But I just can’t put this weight back on.”
And that is where our similarities end.
Not that I haven’t felt those feelings before, or that they don’t come back from time to time.
But, my weight loss is not something I pursued.
It happened naturally.
Without restriction and hate.
Without deprivation or compulsivity or obsession.
Have you stopped dieting? What finally happened for you when you gave up the diet mentality?
Jill C blogs about eating mindfully and living intuitively at Eating as A Path to Yoga.