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> Back to Self-Care Excerpts List

Self-Care Excerpt from Don't Weight

Healthy Lifestyles for All Sizes

Traditional dieting is often the cause of binge eating and compulsive eating. Think about a day when you decided to take control of your eating. You ate a small sensible breakfast and lunch. You passed right by the donuts at the office. You stayed strong and said no to cookies in the afternoon. But then, that evening, you found yourself eating everything you could get your hands on! Welcome to the human race. You were having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation of deprivation.

This cycle is repeated daily by millions of people who are trying to lose weight. Sometimes the time frame changes. Sometimes they "are good" for months at a time, particularly before a special event like a wedding or class reunion. They do lose weight. Then, in the weeks or months that follow they become part of the 90% or more of dieters who gain back all they have lost.

Those who think they are fat often internalize society's stereotypes and perceive themselves as lazy, gluttonous, unworthy, and unlovable. This can lead to desperation. When Fen-Phen was taken off the market, we saw many reports of people who wanted to take the drugs even though they were proven to be dangerous: "I would rather die than stay fat".

What can you do if you are worried about your weight? Do everything you can that is reasonable to build a healthy lifestyle. Seek out the support and education you need to develop these skills:

  • Eat nutritious foods when you are hungry.
  • Stop eating when you are satisfied.
  • Meet your emotional needs without always using food.
  • Enjoy exercise regularly.

Work toward doing everything reasonable
to build your healthy lifestyle ... relax.

Enjoy your new lifestyle.

Appreciate your extra energy.

Notice your improved health.

Learn to accept yourself as you are.

The only alternative would be
to do something unreasonable
and push your body to an unnatural size
that could be maintained only
through obsessive behaviors.

We all know people who talk about food, weight, and dieting all the time. Traditional dieting turns into a full time job that requires all your energy into in order to be successful. Any self-improvement program that is to be effective must help you build a healthy lifestyle that you enjoy and will continue even when life gets stressful. In order to be comfortable with (not compulsive about) your body and your weight, you need to find a relaxed way to think about nutrition that is based on enjoyment, not willpower. You CAN enjoy good nutrition even though you are never going to go on a diet again!

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By Kelly Bliss M.Ed., A.C.E. author of Don’t Weight, Eat Healthy & Get Moving NOW!
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