Really, I’m not on a diet

I want to talk about dieting.

I hate the word. I hate the idea.

I’m not on one. But for some reason, that’s hard for people to understand.

When I think of diets, I think of (1) something you pay money to follow and (2) something that you will cheat on or fail at.

I’m not on a diet.

I’m a recovering binge eater who thinks consciously, really consciously, about my eating habits to avoid relapse and to maintain control.

I think I run into this confusion mostly when I express hesitation about eating at a restaurant. People assume I don’t want to mess up my diet.

Not true.

I don’t want to enter a situation that could make me feel like I don’t have control over what and how much I eat.

For most of my life, I ate the bulk of my calories in secret and in shame. I hid and hoarded food, ate until I was sick and then punished myself mentally for the act.

I didn’t love myself, and I didn’t care about how binge eating affected my body.

But all that has changed.

Here’s the thing: I view meal planning, cooking and counting calories as an act of self care. I feel better and stress less when I’m doing all of these things to take care of myself. These things take time, but it means that I’m making my health a priority.

Do I lose weight from doing these things? Yes. But the bigger picture is that I’m taking care of myself. I’m thinking about what I eat. I’m researching health trends. I’m taking time to make sure I want and enjoy the food I’m eating. I’m not just grabbing food from a shelf and eating it as quickly as possible in the glow of a TV.

When you recover from an eating disorder, like binge eating, you have to relearn how to feed yourself.

The idea of going out to eat at somewhere like a buffet for a meal no longer appeals to me on a number of levels because in my mind it could act as a trigger for binge eating. Gaining weight does factor in, but it’s not at the top.

This is something that I really wanted to put out there, because I think there’s a common misconception that anyone who plays an active role in their food choices is on a diet.

I have no idea if I’ll always eat the way I do now, or if I will always track my calories. But those choices won’t depend on how much I weigh, they will depend on how I feel.

Right now, I like what I’m doing. I like that I have created a way of life that is designed to overcome binge eating triggers. I like that I don’t go to bed at night regretting my food choices that day and I like the way I feel when I wake up in the morning.

It’s hard to explain all of that, however, when friends want to know why you don’t want to have dinner with them. Having balance and maintaining a social life while working out my eating issues is something that I struggle with. But I’m undoing a lifetime of learned behavior and realize it’s not going to change overnight, or even over one year.

Anyway, this is something I just wanted to get off my chest and share. Maybe you can relate :).

———

Now….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 173

This week: 173

Change: 0

Total loss: 70

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9 thoughts on “Really, I’m not on a diet

  1. Well put, Jodi. “Diet” is really one of those buzz words people who aren’t being healthy use to describe what they think is being healthy. It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet.

  2. “Diet” is one of the most frustrating words out there. It literally means “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats,” which is how I use it. Sadly, this usage confuses people. HABITUALLY. Not temporarily. As in, I’m going to be eating like this for a long time (*cough* FOREVER *cough*), not until I reach some arbitrarily chosen “goal weight.”

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