OPINION: Stop dieting and start living

BEING on a diet is like forcing your real life body to squeeze into a Barbie and Ken sized dollhouse.

Not a great fit if you really want to feel at home there.

Does weighing all your food, watching your food portions and eating to the clock actually satisfy your hunger?

What about when the rebel in you says, "Stuff it! I'm so hungry and I hate this food. I'm going to eat that cake anyway"?

And what if you can't stop at one piece after a week of willpower and restriction, and end up eating three pieces like an unconscious vacuum?

That's when it hits you; a slap in the face, a punch in the guts.

"I've broken my diet! I'm a failure. It's too hard. I can't do it!"

The shame in your body at feeling like three kilos have returned in an instant.

That inner witch yelling and throwing insults at your lack of self-discipline.

You feel worthless. Ashamed. Guilty for letting yourself down - yet again.

Do you marinate in this negativity for a few hours and console yourself with your favourite comfort foods, one after the after, only to feel worse than before you started?

Or do you lean towards punishment and force yourself into a workout you hate, only to ease the pain with your go-to pick me up treat, because you've earned it?

Either way, you probably resolve to start again, this time with renewed dedication to your dieting plan - stricter and more focused on food than ever before.

You promise yourself you'll stick to it, prove you can do it, and watch anxiously for the evidence your hard work is paying off.

By focusing on dieting, you're deciding that the way you look, the size of your clothes, the beautiful imperfections that are uniquely individual to you, all need improving before you can allow yourself to truly live.

Your self-esteem takes a beating every time you look in the mirror and declare war on your body.

Every time you allow the scales to destroy your good mood.

Every time you choose to deny your hunger even when your body needs nourishment.

If enjoying your life has become dependant upon your weight, your dress size or the gap between your thighs, then news flash - your life is passing you by and you're missing it.

Things you can do

While you are obsessing over calories, carbs and exercise, you may be missing out on living a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Just think for a moment, what has all your dieting efforts cost you?

Spend time building your self-esteem and deepening your connection to self in a positive way.

Here are some suggestions to enjoy life now:

  • Wear clothes that feel comfortable and feminine and compliment your current shape. Experiment with bright colours and notice how they make you feel.
  • Buy yourself flowers and smile every time you look at them. Smell them and appreciate their wonderful fragrance and unique beauty.
  • Book yourself a full body massage and allow yourself to feel pampered. Focus on relaxing your inhibitions into the comfort of healing hands.
  • Wear your favourite lipstick and paint your nails your favourite colour. Notice how you feel looking into the mirror and at your hands.
  • Set personal boundaries and say no to what doesn't feel good.
  • Say yes to social activities with people whose company you enjoy.
  • Consciously look for positives in the mirror and write them down to review.
  • Talk to yourself like you would a loving, supportive friend.
  • Pick yourself up when you are feeling down by choosing fun activities.
  • Move your body in ways that are fun and energising.
  • Write about your worries and look for solutions (not a new diet).


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