Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Days of Punitive Dieting are gone forever. Thank heavens! Starving is just not a smart strategy. Often it doesn't work at all, and when it does work, it doesn't work for the long run. I've read it and I've lived it. Today I want to think about some of my past experiences and old punitive diet strategies that I am letting go forever:
* at one year of age and 31 pounds the doctor put me on my first diet, skim milk
* in fifth grade I unsuccessfully tried to lose using Metracal (precursor of Slim Fast)
* in 9th grade I ended up in the hospital with a mysterious malady that I believe was caused by not eating
* in 10th grade I lost 60 (from 172-112) pounds by pushing my food around on the plate so my parents didn't realize I wasn't eating much. it took me nine months to lose it, "maintained" less than 2 weeks, and gained it all back in 3 months
* freshman year in college my roommate and I rented a machine that was suppose to make you lose weight. It had a strap that went on your backside and jiggled! Like that is going to work!
* junior year of college became a devotee of Adele Davis and "Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit"; ate no sugar for over a year, hung out at the health food store; did not lose weight
* I joined Weight Watchers for the first time in 1968; was not successful first try. In 1970 joined WW again and lost 20 pounds in 14 weeks before going to India as a Peace Corps Volunteer in applied nutrition
* Lost weight gradually and pretty healthy during my 2 years in India and one in Fiji when I was growing my own vegetables and eating whole grains and beans. Quickly started gaining on return to US.
* Foolishly fell for the low carb craze in 1975. Lost no weight on low carb, but ate a ridiculous amount of bacon, eggs, and cheese
* In 1978 got really sick on the "protein-sparing fast"; I lost 21 pounds in 28 days to hit goal and immediately gained it back
* In 1979 I remember trying all kinds of diets (cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, food group diet, some kind of expensive injections, etc.) and finding that diet number 7 worked for me - it was Weight Watchers again.
After that, I never again tried truly drastic diets. I tried Curves and South Beach with temporary success. Somewhere upon the way I finally realized at an emotional level what I had known intellectually for a long time, punitive dieting doesn't work. It took coming to SparkPeople to discover healthy eating as a feasible way of life. And I must say for me it is probably the combination of Weight Watchers and SparkPeople that makes it possible.
Now, instead of dieting, I aim to eat healthy.