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Stop Dieting and Start Living

by nina on December 29, 2010

diets dont workDuring the holiday period we seem to be bombarded with messages about how to drink, eat, be merry and still lose weight. There is so much focus on the perfect weight loss plan, dropping pounds and shrinking ourselves through diets. But realistically, we all know that the very act of dieting is what causes us to ultimately binge and consume to excess, as a result of the obsession and deprivation.

In recent weeks I have written several guest posts about my dieting history and how ending the diet war ultimately led to my eating disorder recovery. If you want to read some of the posts you can find them here:

Cabbage Soup, Master Cleanse, Zone, South Beach—How All These Diets Just Led to Binges

Why I Will Never Diet Again

Looking back on my dieting behavior I can clearly see how much life it took away from me. The constant obsession, the fear of food, fear of people and being out, depression and ultimately shame and frustration because I could never make the diet stick. It took up all of my energy and focus, leaving no room for me to actually live my life.

Giving up the dieting, being free of an eating disorder has essentially given me my life back.

Stop Dieting and Start Living Benefits

1. I am able to attent parties, dinners and events without worrying about the food that will be there

2. I enjoy my time with friends without being obsessed with what I am eating, not eating and how much weight I need to lose

3. Every day is the same – there is no diet that I am “on” or “off” and my self esteem is not dictated by my adherence to an eating plan

4. I do not binge, because my body is not deprived

5. My weight has not fluctuated in over three years

6. I focus on my relatinships, work, yoga, hobbies and friendships. I have the mental space and physical freedom to be available for the things that make me truly happy.

Are you sick of the pain and frustration of constant dieting? What would you be doing if you were free of the dieting mentality?

Nina Vucetic

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Evi January 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Hi there 🙂
I’ve only just started intuitive eating and I was wondering how one can get away from that “Eat when you’re hungry only – diet” thought. I don’t wanna turn this into just another diet, but I feel guilty when eating without being really hungry and deprived when waiting hours until I can have what I want because I feel like I have to wait for the hunger to come. When I get cravings for certain foods, I don’t know if it’s the eating disorder wanting me to give in and binge or just a normal, natural, craving for something that I should give in to, in order to avoid dissatisfaction… I’m just completely confused as to which urges to give in and which to ignore.
Help please, I’m lost!

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Meysa July 11, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Thank you so much Nina for writing about your eating disorder experience! i’m afraid i’ve been dieting ever since i was 13 years and even though i have changed from being an overweight teenager to a healthy adult, my life is still controlled by differentt diets and gym workouts 5 days a week. However i dont seem to be loosing weight which is making me feel depressed etc. Eating and being a ‘normal’ size has taken over my life and thats all i think about. I admit that i need to change and enjoy life, however i dont know how or where to start from. Your posts are inspiring 🙂

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nina March 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Hi Alexis,

It sounds like you are doing great and that you have a good understanding of the whole obsession and disorder as being one of the mind, that takes time to re frame and create new neural pathways.
I had many rigid rules for so long that if you had told me to break I would be horrified. I would be even more shocked to know that the breaking of those rules would actually provide me with freedom and being completely rid of the eating disorder, obsession and depression.

You are really doing great, and it is good to share about the second guessing and the doubt – you can contact me anytime.

Nina

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Alexis March 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I fall into the same trap of second guessing and self-doubt. I too want to be doing it better, negating the fact I am already doing it “best”. I worked for a while in a health food store that employed 4 nutritionists, had a supermarket and a restaurant. I noticed the ppl who did it the best, the cleanest and followed all the rules, weren’t “living” health – they were on a healthy “program”. All the rules and restrictions were in place for them as they were for me as a compulsive binger/dieter. The food was different – the mindset the same. Their unrealistic lifestyle was just as limiting and controlling of them as mine was.
I’m in the beginning stages of setting myself free from being a ridged perfectionist diet rule follower. My faith isn’t waining, although most of the ebb and flow is hard not to look at as being good vs having massive setbacks. I feel like I’m breaking up hardened tar with a teaspoon. As I have read, it takes about a year for intuitive eating to progress and become reality, but that’s a life time in dieter’s years. I just have to have faith and keep reading sites like this one for encouragement.

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Anjali January 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Thank You so much for this post…and for this entire blog. I had been in solid recovery for about 4 months after treatment until a few weeks ago. I have suddenly been obsessing about binging and restricting, and exercising, etc. all over again. What changed? I had been researching veganism and “clean eating” for hours a day. I thought this was a healthy activity…and to be honest…I still do. But when I see these old, frightening behaviors show up again in my life…and I see myself losing perspective VERY QUICKLY, I wonder. Should I be obsessing over eating “perfectly” right now? I feel like I’m in very dangerous waters. Under the disguises of “wanting to feed my body the healthiest food” and “I need to eat ‘clean’ for my yoga practice” I am unraveling my recovery. I just needed to say this out loud! I am too afraid to admit this to my support group over the phone–they’re in another state. I’m too afraid to admit that I am slipping. I really needed to read this. Thanks again!

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admin January 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Hi Anjali,
Thank you for being honest and sharing about this. It is so important to speak our truth. Secrets keep us sick!
I can completely relate to what you are going through. I had similar situations throughout my recovery. I would be doing really well – eating what I wanted, free of obsession and then all of a sudden I would have an idea that I needed to be “healthier”. I would then spend hours in health food stores, researching veganism, raw food diets, etc. The end result was obsession again!
I have learned that these things are off limits for me. I still do eat healthy on some days, and some day I eat fries, etc. I dont even like to label them as “healthy” or “not healthy” because I believe that the healthiest thing we can do is eat what we truly want and live with the freedom from obsession and compulsion around food.
My body has never felt better or healthier and I do not diet or follow and clean eating plans. I simply eat what my body feels like and leave it at that. My weight does not fluctuate, I have a lot of energy and most of all, peace of mind.

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admin January 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Charlotte January 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I have been waiting to read this post until I could sit down and really think about it because I love every word you wrote. I totally agree with you. It still seems like a miracle to me that this kind of eating is even possible for someone who was as jacked up about food as I was . But it works! I hope to be able to say, like you, that my weight hasn’t fluctuated in 3 years. (And since I’m not having any more babies that should be do-able!!)

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admin January 18, 2011 at 2:24 am

I totally agree – its an absolute miracle. And I see so many people struggling with the obsession in one for or another. We are truly lucky to be free.
Thanks Charlotte!

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