DIET CLUBS AND ME –
Or how quitting them changed my life and my relationship with food!
For as long as I can remember I had been a member of the weekly happy clapping club. Every week, I would go and get weighed after eating as much pasta, potatoes, chicken, fruit, vegetables and whatever other “free” food I could physically fit in my stomach. Every week, I would sit and listen to a load of strangers talk about what they had been eating that week and what they weigh, if they had lost or gained and the whole group would give them a round of applause for it. It slowly destroyed my soul. That was 2 hours a week of my life I had wasted in this cult. That really is what it felt like, and I was paying around £5 a week for the ‘pleasure’!
I have lost count the amount of times I have joined a diet group, lost around 7lb and then quit. Then binged and put it all back on and some more too. I was convinced I had a binge eating disorder and was in constant turmoil. My mental health was drastically taking a turn for the worse and I felt like a failure, I couldn’t understand why I was secretly eating things that had “sins” in them and “naughty” food. Because it felt bad I did it in secret and ate tons of it.
If I ate such “naughty” food in front of others all I would get is “I thought you were on a diet”. That felt embarrassing and shameful. I can honestly tell you I have lost count of the number of times I have had therapy to try and come to the bottom of my relationship with eating. I have had various counsellors and not once could I ever get to the bottom of why I was binging.
I was depressed and hated myself and how I looked. I felt unworthy of love and hid away; or if I was out anywhere, it would always be in black clothes, leggings and baggy tops. Something had to change.
Then we were put into a national lockdown and all slimming clubs were closed down! Hallelujah.
Here is where I changed my relationship with food, and it was a revelation!!
I came across the most amazing nutritionist who really does know his stuff. He told me I can eat what I want as long as it is within my ‘allowed’ calories. That sounds too good to be true to someone who has been told for so long that certain foods are “sins” and “naughty” and “junk” when the real truth is nothing is off the table as long as it is consumed within moderation.
I can’t say I wasn’t nervous because this guy is telling me I can eat what I want? And I will still lose fat? I have learned a lot since getting to know Peter and understand the fact that the only real way to lose body fat is by consuming fewer calories than you are burning.
I put it to the test. In the first 12 weeks, I ate McDonalds, Betty’s afternoon tea, and takeaways. I consumed chocolate and ice-cream most nights but for the most part I did try and consume nutrient dense foods to keep me full and satisfied and in 12 weeks I had lost 22lb!
I was amazed. I wasn’t deprived and my relationship with food had improved 100%. I no longer felt the need to secretly stuff my face with all the food I had previously been told I wasn’t allowed because I was allowed to eat what the chuff I want!
I cannot be the only person who when someone tells me I cannot have something, that I want it ten times as much - if not more. So because I am now told I can have what I want guess what? I no longer crave things like I did. If I want a bar of chocolate I can have it. If I want to eat a full pizza I can. No more diet clubs telling me I will gain weight if I don’t eat “free” foods. I believe that there is no such thing as a “free” food, everything has calories in. I started in the twenty one stone bracket and now I am in the nineteen stone bracket .This for me has been life changing and I am ready for more. To say I am over the moon is a complete understatement.
I have to be the elephant in the room and say what I feel. Diet clubs are there for repeat custom. They want you to keep failing and having a terrible relationship with food so that you keep going back and keep their pockets lined. I feel that they do not teach you the correct scientific way to lose weight. I now pay my nutritionist a whole £5 a month and honestly, he is worth his weight in gold. So, if you want to lose weight and repair your relationship with food, ditch the diet clubs and learn scientifically the real way to lose weight.
I can now happily eat out without worrying if there will be anything on the menu that hasn’t got any sins in it. I can eat what I want from a menu, as long as I adapt the rest of my day.
Just to add, I can honestly say I will never ever again consume mushy peas and curry, mushy peas and gravy, tomato soup made with baked beans and pickled onions, scan bran (a fibre product that tastes rather like cardboard!) scotch eggs or a packet of pasta and sauce as a snack again! If you know, you know.
Time to go now and make home made pizza with real pizza dough and plenty of cheese!
A BIG THANK YOU
A big thank you to Lianna – for giving us food for thought! I am sure that there are many of us who have yo-yo’d with their weight. I also tried slimming classes at one time, but came away frustrated after public weigh ins, at which I, who had ‘behaved’ as far as eating was concerned had lost no weight. However, others who had been listing the number of packets of crisps, blocks of chocolate they had eaten and no exercise done, had lost weight. Demoralising.
Like Lianna, I etched out a way of weight control that suits me, my age, my way of life, and is healthy and nutritious. It's not a diet, rather it's part of my way of living.
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