Addicted to dieting?

I found a book today when I stopped at Rite Aide. It caught my eye because it wasn't a diet book. Do any of us need a diet book? Can't we recite backwards and forwards the rules and regulations of every diet out there? How many times have we bought a diet book and the first chapter gives the nitty gritty and then the rest of the book is recipes and food lists. I don't know about you, but I don't need to be told what to eat. I know what to eat. My problem is that no matter what I eat, I eat too much of it. Here are some promises on the back cover of this book:

Give up dieting forever

Learn to use food as a fuel rather than a tranquilizer

Relax around food and find your way to your natural weight

Move beyond constant thoughts of eating and weight in order to live a more satisfying life.

As I read the list of promises I found myself feeling uneasy. Why uneasy? I had to think about it for a while because all of those promises are promises of freedom. I think it's because all of those promises take me into unfamiliar territory. I have no frame of reference for them. I cannot think of a time in my life from my teens onward when I wasn't thinking about dieting, when I wasn't using food as a tranquilizer, when I was relaxed around food, when I wasn't constantly thinking about eating or about my weight. My weight battle is a familiar struggle. My "fat" suit is a buffer. I can blame every bad thing in my life on my weight - and when the weight is gone, life will be great. The truth is that if life isn't great now, losing weight isn't going to make it great. It will only enhance what is already there - good or bad.

I am trying to imagine a life where my first waking thought isn't "have I lost or gained?" "Did I get away with what I ate yesterday, or will the scale reward me for my sacrifices?"

I often call myself a fraud. And I think deep down I know the truth about myself. I talk a good game, to myself, about how I'm going to change, but then I don't follow through. I don't treat other people this way, but it's how I treat myself.

I have joined 2 weight loss challenges and I have weighed in with a gain at all of the weigh-ins. What is going on in my head? If anyone else treated me this way I would call them on it in a New York minute.

I am going to start the book today and see if I can find something that will help me with my real problem - not what I eat, but why I eat.


  1. Oh man, do I hear you. We live in a "super size that puppy" world, don't we?

    It's been an incredible journey for me. What I've done is not shifted my thoughts away from food, but shifted my thoughts to fueling my body with food. You know, vs that other self destructive mind process.

    There was no WAY I can stop obsessing about food. It's who I am. It's what I do. It's how I roll. :)

  2. I know that there was a time in my life that I didn't obsses about food. That dieting was not even a part of my vocabulary. I could and DID eat whatever I wanted. For many, many years (until my mid thirties) I didnt gain. Then, when I hit middle age I started gaining, and gaining and gaining. Mostly because I STILL ate whatever I wanted. Now...I HAVE to think about what I eat. Am I hungry? Is this a good choice? If I don't, I fall right back into the 'whatever, whenever' trap. I only wish I had learned good eating habits when I was young, rather than having to learn now that I am old.

  3. I think the idea is not to quit thinking about food, but to put it in it's proper spot in our lives. In my case, I knew the proper eating habits, knew what to eat, but I use food to cope. I can remember having this problem when my mother was still alive - she died when I was 12.

  4. You know i think it will take years for this new way of life to be just that ' a way of life'. If ever. This may be just the way it has to be.
    But you know somethings are becoming habit. Cereal and coffee in the morning .....its what i like. A light lunch, grilled chicken salad most days, and a healthy supper. My worst struggle is on stressful busy days when a pizza would be so much simpler. Or sitting in front of the TV at night eating an apple or orange when "God help me" what i really want is a big bowl of icecream. But as long as i plan ahead and don't leave my diet to chance then i do pretty well, without much effort. And exercise.....its just a gimme. I have to exercise 3-4 days in a row before i can take a day off from it. Its just a RULE! LOL! We will make our new lifestyles work for us. We have to believe it will get easier. That one day it will just be 'US' who we are. Its what we do as easy and pure and simple as breathing. Jinx!

  5. "I cannot think of a time in my life from my teens onward when I wasn't thinking about dieting, when I wasn't using food as a tranquilizer, when I was relaxed around food, when I wasn't constantly thinking about eating or about my weight."

    I could have written these words myself. From the time I was 11 years old, I have dieted, starved, binged, purged, and just generally been crazy & miserable about my weight and food in general. No matter what other good things I had in my life, I was miserable. I'm hoping that my life is changing for the better now that I'm trying to address the underlying issues. You're right, it's not what we eat, it's why we eat.

  6. I would suggest NOT to quit watching the scales. I weighed myself every day for YEARS and then decided to quit doing that a number of years ago. This is what happened: I went from size 8 to size 16 and when I finally weighed myself about six years later I had gained about 30 pounds. Since that time I have, once more, weighed myself every day just to keep a monitor on it and I wear sizes 12 and 14.
    Once I saw a funny greeting card that said, "Cheer up, things could get worse! So I cheered up and sure enough, things got worse." My point of is that if we DON'T watch our weight daily, we could end up on "The Learning Channel" in one of those stories called something like "The Ten Ton Woman"! At least I could!
    This is the first time that I have commented on this blog, and I have to add the following. The author of this blog is a dear friend of mine. Mary, like all of us, has a battle with her weight, BUT what she is NOT telling you is that she is the most kind, generous, sweet, and super-talented person that you could ever meet. She plays the organ so wonderfully at our church, and sings like an angel. So, Mary! I will say to YOU what the Lord has said to me: "If you were as beautiful as you want, and as talented as you want, then the WORLD would have you, and I (the Lord)want you!"