The word ‘diet’ conjures feelings of failure and shame in me that are greater than the summit of Mt Everest. That word makes me think of starving and restrictions, complicated measuring and tasteless food. That word transports me back 11 years to the early days of my weight-loss journey, when I was at my most vulnerable and facing the seemingly insurmountable task of achieving my target weight.
Diets are never fun.
I knew the morning I stepped on the scale and saw 250lbs that I had to change my life or risk losing it. I didn’t know how to lose weight—other than the obvious of eat less and exercise more—so I bought every diet book I could find, purchased every magic diet pill and started walking.
Every diet I tried made me feel like my punishment for being fat was memorising the long list of forbidden food followed by the endless measuring and preparing of bland, boring meals. Thinking about food all day and what I couldn’t eat made me hungry and grumpy, and even made me start to resent food.
My weight went up and down, like the moon waxing and waning. With each cycle, I felt more hopeless.
Diets ruled me. The scale ruled me. I didn’t feel fabulous.
Through all the wisdom filling the hundreds of diet books I read, the endless searching online and my first few trainers, not one source addressed the real problem. I thought that either there was something wrong with me or I just hadn’t found the right diet to lose weight and keep it off.
What I learned late in my weight-loss journey was the real problem that no source addressed, which was the link between over-eating and emotional triggers. I never imagined that being bullied as a child would create emotional triggers in adulthood that linked to food. The moment I understood the reason I over-ate and learned about behaviour coaching, I gained control, lost the last bit of weight and transformed into who I am today.
I thought I was fat because I ate too much. I was wrong. I was fat because I ate to fill a void in myself and then punished myself for being fat by eating more.
Another remarkable epiphany happened the same time I learned about my emotional triggers. I also learned how to eat to fuel my body. How I had been eating was wrong. How I had been eating wasn’t healthy. How I had been eating would never get me to my ideal weight. Banished, henceforth, from my vocabulary was the word ‘diet’. I stopped thinking about food as big no-no’s and red x’s and started thinking about how food made me feel.
Let’s be honest, no one eats a chocolate cake and feels fabulous. No one stuffs McDonald’s into their mouths and wants to run a marathon. But when you fill up on lean protein, vegetables, whole grains and fruit, you sleep better, have more energy and benefit from improved memory—and that’s not even the best part: You look better too.
Diets often make food the enemy, but it’s bad habits that are to blame.
It was a long journey to reach my goals, but I got there in the end. I am certain that journey would have been easier if someone coached me, educated me and supported me at every stage. With Body by Cathy, I can be that coach, that teacher and that support you need to start your journey and reach your goals. I’ve been where you are now and I know the way out.