I can still remember being 12 years old (yes, 12) and ordering The Hollywood Miracle Drink from the back of one of my teen mags. You know, the days when we clipped an order form out of the back of our favorite magazine and sent money to order something we wanted. Times sure have changed.
The drink claimed you’d lose 10 pound in 2 days by drinking this “miracle” drink that all the skinny celebs were using. Want to look like Cindy Crawford? Then you have to drink this!
My mom had always been a dieter as long as I could remember. So naturally I picked up this skewed perception of my body and always compared myself to other girls. (Obviously, she did not do this intentionally otherwise she would never have used any sort of quick-fix diet in front of my sister and I. She is an amazing mommy and I lover her to the moon and back.)
I was chubby and wanted to feel skinny in my bathing suit at pool parties and have my cute new school clothes look as perfect as everyone else’s. I wanted to look like everyone else.
I don’t think I lasted the whole 2 days. I can still remember the nasty taste of it and seeing it in the fridge staring at me saying, “you need me, drink me and you won’t be fat anymore."
Next was Slim Fast. I mean, who doesn’t want to lose weight in a week and drink chocolaty milk shakes? “Give us a week we’ll take off the weight” and leave you starving and crashing from a sugar high like a little kid on halloween who just ate 3/4 of the candy he got.
Since then I have partaken in dozens of diets: Atkins, Hypnosis Diet, Mediterranean, Zone, any plan claiming to be the next miracle, competition prep, Shakeology cleanses, juice cleanses, weight loss pills, diuretics and even bulimia (I am now a year and a half fully recovered!)
A few of them had allowed me to lose weight. Prepping for a bikini competition had gotten me down to 115 pounds. I was working out 2 ½ to 3 hours every day and eating very minimal calories. I couldn’t eat regular food at events with friends and family and I couldn’t even have a drink, my mouth was always watering looking at all the delicious food everyone was eating and highly enjoying. I. WAS. MISERABLE—but I could fit into a bikini nicely and wear anything I wanted. You know, the important things (she oozes with sarcasm.)
Diets were never made to last. I have never heard of anyone following a diet for life or following any sort of restrictive plan where they weren’t miserable and wound up resorting to things like binge eating and a vicious cycle of self-sabotage.
We’re human and we desire things. We’re not here to be "perfect" or live our lives depriving ourselves in search of that one diet that will shed the pounds and solve all of our problems.
Our bodies are incredible machines, if we listen to them they will tell us exactly what we need to do to feel better, be healthy, and lose weight. We trust our body to breathe, circulate blood, remove toxic waste, and pump our hearts—why wouldn’t we trust it to guide us to eating in a way that provides us with complete satisfaction, nourishment, good health (with room for our favorite foods when we're feeling the need) and be at our optimal weight if we let it? A little something to ponder.
Do you remember your very first diet?