Over the last ten years I think it’s safe to say I’ve done every diet going. I’ve been so worried about gaining weight that I’ve had a tight control on what I eat. I’ve cut carbs, I’ve pointed, I’ve not pointed, I’ve portioned, I’ve eaten only fruit and vegetables, I’ve lived off 500 calories for two days a week, I’ve cleansed, detoxed. The miles I must have clocked counting steps, laps, lengths, tracking runs, pumping, attacking, dancing (probably more freestyle than actual Zumba) boxing, stepping. I even qualified to lead a running group. Although it reads like a list of regrets and that’s far from the truth, I’ve loved carefully planning each meal, shopping for agave nectar and blitzing cauliflower to look like rice it’s boardering on addiction. I’ve learned how different foods are processed in your body, I could probably write a decent diet cook book. Carefully tracking gains and losses, over one stint I lost about 3 stone. Three weeks ago, the battery ran out on my scales. At the time, it was the perfect excuse to ‘go off plan’ take a break, after all maintaining a weight loss is half the battle but I’ve come to realise its possibly the best thing that could have happened. The no-diet diet is in.
I’m not talking about taking up residence in Maccy D’s or having Best Balti on speed dial. I’m talking about having peanut butter on toast for tea, or a cheese, yes CHEESE sandwich for lunch, without then spending three days compensating with only salad or no bread or twelve thousand steps. I’m enjoying pesto, olive oil, roast potatoes, breaded fish things that I have through one diet or another considered ‘naughty’. Pesto for god’s sake! Full of fat, full of cheese, full of bad evil weight gaining sin. It’s laughable. Thinking about the things I’ve avoided believing that they will make me gain weight, therefore make me unhappy, I feel ridiculous. At the time it’s far from ridiculous, choosing low fat, low sugar, gluten free, high fibre is all very serious, there have been countless times I’ve gone to buy something for tea and come home with nothing in fear of eating ‘rubbish’. The little colour indicators staring back at me on the packaging saying ‘eat this if you want to become a Jabba lookalike.’
I watched a programme called ‘Clean eating’s dirty secrets’ it pulled the clean eating fad to pieces. The industry is worth billions according to the documentary, and anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, you don’t even need a qualification. The books, the juices, the teas it’s all for profit. I dread to think how much I’ve spent on memberships to meetings and gyms. I dread to think what I’ve done to my insides with all those sugar free alternatives.
I’d love to say that it’s the way forward and sod society and it’s ideals about what looks good or how thin shouldn’t be in. I want to condemn shops that stock slogans like ‘a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’ or ‘nothing tastes as good as being thin feels’ but we’re all at the mercy of our own minds. Unfortunately, unless you’ve got the mental stability to rival Yoda, the media will with subtle ease, slide impressions into your mind whether you want them to or not. I think it’s more about how seriously you take it or how you chose to live. I doubt very much that the no diet diet will last forever, I’ll inevitably get a raging bout of I’m-fat-we’re-not-eating-rubbish-I’ll-take-up-running-where’s-my-fit-bit? I’m only human after all and like any addiction, dieting will be the devil on my shoulder for the rest of my life.
I couldn’t tell you if I’d lost any weight. I couldn’t care less.