Diet Bull #%&*!!!

no diet

Today was another typical day in today’s crazy weight obsessed world. But today, I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! I woke up and checked some things online. You know…Facebook, emails, the usual. Of course I saw several ads for weight loss. A “new” trick, supplement, twist on calorie reduction, blah blah blah.  Although I’m completely numb to their content, I still get angry that I’m even forced to see them as they invade my inbox, and pop up in the margins of everything I read. I wish I had some type of power over making them disappear. Maybe like a laser explosive device that would explode all diet ads. I’d love to watch them disappear from my screen. It would be no different than a video game where people blow things up. I’d just be blowing up stupid diet ads.  After I perused through my inbox and mentally blew up all the diet propaganda, I wandered downstairs to make my coffee and read the local newspaper. A few pages in, I saw a gigantic ad from a local doctor who is touting her new weight loss program. She talks about how she was overweight when she was young and how she just made some “simple” lifestyle changes and lost her weight and then became healthy and happy, blah blah blah. Her ad continues to profess her clients’ weight loss successes and her guarantee of weight loss in eight weeks or some such nonsense. If you follow her program, you’ll lose weight and everyone will be happy… especially her, because she will make a ton of money. Yes, some of her clients will lose weight temporarily (especially because she recommends her diet to women who have just had a baby) and I’m sure her “lifestyle” recommendations are sound, but if her diet was the best diet in the land, she’d have people from all over the world lined up to try it. It’s just another gimmick like EVERY OTHER DIET!

My “diet disdain” has been climaxing lately, for a number of reasons.

An adult client came in last week and told me that in years past, she would go to diet meetings and hear how so many people had lost 25, 50, 100 pounds and were so completely happy with themselves and their losses. They received their key chains of success, applause for milestones, and “well –deserved” time on the podium to profess their success to the audience of captivated diet success hopefuls. She said she felt like a loser, a weak excuse of a human because she couldn’t do what they did. She’d skulk out of the meetings, having hoped to get inspiration, but instead feeling defeated. She’d quit the diet and rebound overeat, gaining more weight than she’d ever wanted to lose. What she wasn’t able to “see” was that those same “success stories” regained all the weight they had lost, and had to redo the same diet or embark on a new one to re-lose the same 25, 50, 100 pounds over and over and over again.

In the past few weeks I’ve seen several CHILDREN who have been told by their pediatricians that they are “too fat”. The pediatrician showed these innocent children their growth charts, as if a 9 or 12 year old can even figure out what the chart means. These children were told that they were eating too much and that they were going to get heart disease or type 2 diabetes if they didn’t lose weight. The doctor told their mother to put them on a “restrictive weight loss regime”. WTF!!!!!! When a child leaves the pediatrician’s office begging to never have to go back again, it is a certainty that the child has been traumatized by the experience.

I also recently started seeing a 12 year old who was in the throes of a severe eating disorder because her doctor told her she was “dramatically” overweight and that she needed to lose “XX” pounds. She lost that weight all right, and subsequently lost her innocent childhood as a result because now she lives in fear of everything she puts into her mouth and she’s in intensive treatment for anorexia. Thanks, Doc!

The reality is:

DIETS FAIL.

DIETS DON’T OCCASIONALLY FAIL. THEY FAIL 99% OF THE TIME. (The 1% of people who need to lose some weight succeed at it because they achieve an inner shift and then the weight loss is a side effect, not the intended result)

DIETS DON’T FAIL ONLY FOR “WILLPOWER WEAKLINGS.” THEY FAIL FOR EVERYONE.

YOU WOULD NEVER SIGN UP FOR ANYTHING ELSE THAT HAD A 99% FAILURE RATE, SO DON’T SIGN UP FOR ANY MORE DIETS.

NEGATIVE DIET MESSAGES FAIL, AND CAUSE EMOTIONAL PAIN.

DIETS ARE THE NUMBER ONE BEHAVIOR LEADING TO EATING DISORDERS.

ANY DIET THAT IS UNNATURAL IS UNSUSTAINABLE. PERIOD. END OF STORY.

CHILDREN SHOULD NEVER BE SPOKEN TO IN A HARSH WAY ABOUT THEIR WEIGHT. EVER!

We are a culture of diet obsessed, fearful, self-conscious, self-deprecating people. Why??? Because we listen to, read, and watch too much nonsense about how we are supposed to look, what we are supposed to eat, how much we are supposed to exercise, etc. If we aren’t eating less and exercising more, killing ourselves to look “amazing”, we are made to feel inferior.

Individually, and collectively, we need to look at food and weight drastically differently. We need to examine in ourselves and in our children “why” we may have food and weight concerns. Are we using food in certain ways to cope? Are our children crying out for something by eating “too much” or “too little”?

We need to look at our eating as a “doorway” to find out something deeper about ourselves. If our eating is “off”, and our weight is affected as a result, let’s make a change in our inner world, and let our food take care of itself. Food and weight is never the real problem. It is just a clue. A diet is just a distraction from the real problem. Dig deep. Don’t be afraid to address what’s really going on. Don’t read diet nonsense. It’s just nonsense, but it can negatively affect/hurt you if you are vulnerable.  

I vow to NEVER read any diet propaganda. Will you do the same???

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2 thoughts on “Diet Bull #%&*!!!

  1. The recent stuff with the pediatricians sounds like what I went through as a child.
    I did not end up with type 2 diabetes. I ended up effectively losing 10+ years of my life to my eating disorder and 9 months in intensive treatment. I also, thankfully, ended up recovering fully and my body slowly crept back up to that border zone between “overweight” and “obese.” But this is my yoga body. This is my marathon runner body. This is my one-day-will-be-a-mom body. This body has blood levels and vitals so good that professionals tell me that I obviously know what I’m doing to take care of myself.
    Unfortunately this brain is still scarred from those childhood experiences. And that was before the obesity epidemic. It makes me so sad to think that more kids are going through the same thing.

  2. I am truly sorry you went through that as a child. It is unfortunate that so many children can be permanently scarred by powerful words spoken by “professionals”. Good for you though, that you have worked super hard at your recovery and have learned to see the strength in your healthy body! Hooray for you!!!

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