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Lose Weight Without a Diet

Posted Nov 16 2010 1:37pm

lose weight without a dietInspired by a post on the fabulous healthy girl site, I have decided to write out my crazy dieting history and how I finally lost weight without a diet.

My crazy dieting history:

2000 – Atkins diet. Here I did lose weight, as well as a few other things – friends, the ability to sleep at night, my period and my life.

2001 – More of Atkins, with my own twist – eating mainly low fat sugary candy for energy. My weight plummeted, as did my mood. I rarely went out and a good day was when I ate nothing but a few pieces of candy.

2002 -Strictly “No carbs” when my diet was on, in between – a LOT of binge eating. Weight gain approx 10 pounds.

2003 – Recovery food plans – no sugar, flour, wheat. Worked for a few months at a time, extreme binge eating in between

2004-2006 – every single diet + cleanse possible, including – lemon juice detox, cabbage soup diet, Zone, Atkins, Fit for Life, Macrobiotic. Extreme binge eating in between. Weight gain of 30 pounds.

2007-NOW: Losing Weight Without a Diet: I eat what I want, when I want. No diets, no binges, no purging. I exercise for health. Have lost 30 pounds without a diet and maintained in for 3 years.

Losing Weight Without a Diet – Is it possible?

If anyone had tried to tell me this a few years ago I would have scoffed. My mind would not have been able to process such an idea. I was so used to being on a diet or being handed a food plan by a sponsor or therapist, that I just could not accept that I was able to make my own food decisions.

I read an amazing article in the UK Daily Mail about a woman called Geneen Roth, who also managed to lose weight without a diet and finally emerge from years of self imposed hell through restricting and yo-yo dieting. She says:

“Just over 30 years ago, I made a decision that changed my life. I stopped dieting. I didn’t care ­any more that I was so fat I could fit into only one summer dress. I’d reached my threshold of struggling and figured I had two choices: stop ­dieting or kill myself.”

And the result?

“Gradually, the pounds began to drop off. Within a year, I’d reached my natural weight, eight stone, where I’ve remained for the past three ­decades. But more than my new body size, it was the lightness of being I felt that enthralled me. “

I love reading about all the different people who are moving away from dieting towards intuitive eating. I am proud to count myself as one of these people today – something that I never thought would be possible after all the years of dieting and having my meal plans dictated by someone else.

Diets – The real problem behind Eating Disorders

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control report that 98 percent of all attempts to lose weight inevitably fail?

And as Jean Antonello from Naturally Thin says:

“You end up with 2 problems – a weight problem and a problem with being a chronic eater”

“I realized at this point that I didn’t need another diet—I needed a solution. Dieting as a way of life had become an obsession and I wanted to be free of this obsession. I wanted to be able to eat like a normal person. I wanted to be Naturally Thin™, but I didn’t think it was possible for me. I had been at war with my body for too long.

Could I really give up the diet lifestyle to which I was quite addicted? I have been Naturally Thin™ for over 25 years. I eat well and never go hungry, I don’t diet, I never worry about my weight, my clothes always fit and I like my body.”

A lot of people send me emails about how long it took me to recover once I decided to let go of diets. My personal experience was that it was surprisingly very fast. I would say that within a few months the obsession had lifted and a month or so after that, my body reached a weight that was right for me. I have maintained that weight for several years now.

Here is another perspective to that question, from Sandra Kumskov, an Australian holistic counselor in a “Diets Don’t Work” interview on Nourishing the Soul

Q: How long did it take your body to recover?

A: It’s not a quick fix, but over time – just a few weeks – something remarkable will start to happen. Your digestive system will begin repairing itself (your whole gut lining is replaced every three days so healing can be fast) and digesting your food properly. You’ll find you have more energy. The movement will be clearing any stagnation from your body. And then your body will start to find its own “normal” weight.

My journey towards letting go of dieting has been long and complicated. The hardest part in all of this was trusting that I knew what to eat, that I could take care of my body and that I was ready to stop harming myself. I am always grateful for my eating disorder in that it taught me to trust myself, to have courage and to know that anything is possible in life.

I do not try to push any type of recovery method – this is just what has worked for me. I know if many people who have recovered from eating disorders through other methods, some even through strict food plans.

I am not a doctor, therapist or dietitian. My only qualification is that I live with freedom, I have made it to the other side.

Have you given up diets and found freedom? Looking for more information? Post your questions or your story!

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