2 thoughts on “Improve Your Body Image by Ditching Dieting

  • February 17, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I am currently on Weight Watchers. The day I started WW, I started feeling better… fewer headaches, less fatigue. I have been eating much healthier foods. I spent more of my limited organizational energy making sure I go to the grocery store and have foods in the house so I don’t get hungry. I drink very few sodas and go to restaurants much less often. The idea that diets are inherently unhealthy implies that for me, it is healthy to overeat restaurant food frequently, drink sodas, drink cocktails, and be too lazy to buy and cook healthy foods. I only try to, and I only succeed at, losing 5 pounds every two months. I do NOT feel bad about myself when I overeat or make a mistake in dieting because — well, because I am not at all a perfectionist, and because I just don’t feel guilty for wanting to overeat — it’s natural, especially in the American food environment, but also because I am only aiming at losing 2.5 lbs per month. But it really adds up! I have been in it since July and my New Year’s resolution is to stay in it throughout the rest of this calendar year. Anyway, thought I’d add my different perspective. It’s been very healthy for me so far, physically and emotionally, even aside for any gain in looking good, which I’ve also experienced.

  • February 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    @ Mary Beth, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    I wanted to clarify what I meant by healthy eating. To me, it doesn’t mean being any of the things you mentioned. I’m not sure where I said that healthy eating means being too lazy to cook healthful meals, for instance. I think this speaks to an all-or-nothing approach.

    Just because you aren’t on a diet doesn’t mean that you’re eating candy and drinking soda all day long. I think it’s a common misconception that, if left to our own devices, people will eat anything and everything in sight. That’s a message we’ve gotten for many years now.

    The problem with most diets is that they don’t teach you to listen to your body. What if you’ve had your allowed caloric intake for the day but you’re still hungry? I did Weight Watchers years ago and I remember that some fruits and veggies were more points than others (not sure if this is still true). So what if you’d like to have another piece of fruit but you’re done with your points for the day?

    Diets teach people not to trust themselves. They teach us to silence and almost fear our own internal cues. They teach us that if we are hungry and eat something it really means that we have no willpower (not true). Research also shows that dieting can lead to overeating.

    Diets put external limitations, and many people can’t stick to restricting their intake for long. So after people get off the diet, they typically gain back the weight and they forget how to listen to their bodies.

    Still, I do appreciate you providing us with a different perspective. That’s wonderful that you’re feeling better, and it sounds like you’re taking a more flexible, realistic approach.

    Thanks again! 🙂


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