I've been on a diet for 35 years! 35 years. I will never diet again and here's why. I have made my weight and body image the focus of my entire life, as a child all the way through adulthood.
It has never mattered how much I have to give to others, how much I donate of material or myself to charity, give of my time to our community, worthy causes I've started from nothing or simply participated in some way, I've always managed to focus on the one area of my life where I fell I fail everyday, my weight/body size. Is it really a failure to be twenty pounds overweight?
Yep, twenty. I weigh 175 and somehow believe I should weigh 155. Why? Because some Body Mass Index (BMI) chart says so? No, because I have never felt like I am pretty enough, thin enough, or good enough as long as I don't weigh 155 or wear a size 8 or 10. Pretty, thin, or good enough for what? For whom? For me, I'm the only one who stands in judgement on this issue and I'm done.
This state of enlightenment comes from my one regret in my life. I have never lived with regrets choosing instead to see every experience as a lesson. In March 2008 while in Vietnam with friends, we found ourselves in a French restaurant that was the most amazing place I've ever seen. It displayed a buffet of gorgeous food, immaculate works of art made from food, hand stirred ice cream in bowls made of ice, and so much more. The cost for the buffet was $15.00. Our group was in awe not only at the visual stimulation all around us, but this was amazing food! So they said, I didn't eat with my friends. They did everything they could to talk me into it, even offering to buy my lunch! Here's why I didn't eat. I was on a diet, the Usana program of liquid meals and meal replacement bars. Dave and I started this diet before our trip and it was important to me to lose some weight because I was traveling to Arizona immediately after returning from Vietnam. I had an event to attend and a special dress I wanted to wear. I was committed to dropping the pounds and a few dress sizes prior to the event in Arizona. We also invested $800 for the two of us to lose our unwanted pounds. I lost the weight, wore the dress at the event, and felt like I had succeeded.
Here I am two years later and that lunch buffet in Vietnam still haunts me. I regret not sharing that experience with my friends and enjoying that meal because I am the same weight now that I was that day. So what was it really all for? Nothing. I will never have that experience with my friends and I can guarantee you that I will never pass another one up again. I'm done dieting, no more deprivation, self loathing, and negative self-talk because of a ridiculous twenty pounds.
Instead of the angst of a diet, I vow to make more healthy food choices than not, exercise for the feel-good effects and a long life, and focus more on all the good I have to give! All the good I've already given! As Stuart Smalley would say, "I'm good enough. I'm pretty enough. And doggone it, people like me!" Laughing!
What do you think? Can you not diet and really feel good about yourself right where you are, here and now? Share with me, I want to know how you see this.