I have a family member, let’s call her Etta.
Etta has been on a diet ever since I’ve known.
Well, that’s not quite true, actually.
She’s been on 500 diets ever since I’ve known her. From Atkins to South Beach to intermittent fasting to all carbs to vegetarian, she’s been through them all.
And yet, despite her efforts, despite all the pain, despite the many limitations and restrictions, she’s always been obese.
It’s heartbreaking to see.
It’s infuriating to watch.
It’s a sign of our times.
And it happens everyday, all over the world.
Women from Sydney to Oslo are on a mission to lose weight, lose more weight and lose it one more time. Every new beginning, every new resolution, every new life stage is paired with the quest to shed a few pounds. Diets are their closest allies, their most trusted advisers and most beloved friends.
It’s all they think about, all they truly desire and all they talk about with their family and friends.
As you know, I’ve been part of this terrible “global weight loss cult.” And although I’ve hardly ever tried any of the “proven” diets, I can viscerally relate to the agony, the fear, the daily struggle that accompanies the “weight-loss life mission.”
When you’re in the thick of it, nothing else really matters, nothing else gives you joy, nothing else merits your attention. When your life revolves around losing weight, your life passes you by and year after year, your world gets smaller and your heart grows more frustrated.
I’ve seen it in Etta, I’ve seen it in myself.
And while Etta remains a dutiful member of the global weight loss cult, I managed to escape.
Freeing myself from dieting was a quest that wasn’t easy at first, but became more and more empowering as I acquired a taste for the delicacy called life.
If I could show Etta how wonderful the world is without thinking about weight loss and skinny jeans, without beating yourself up over a muffin or researching the latest wonder drug, I would — but she wouldn’t listen, wouldn’t see, wouldn’t hear. Because she’s scared.
She’s scared of losing control, scared of being judged, scared of living life.
Yet, only by living life will you ever be able to lose weight, get healthy and — the most important part of all — love yourself truly.
Only by ditching the stupid diets and letting go of the restrictive mindset will your body be able to communicate with you and send you its signals for hunger and satiation.
Only when you start trusting YOURSELF will your whole system start to relax and renew.
But nobody talks about that.
Nobody shares this truth because it doesn’t make money. Instead, billions of people suffer in agony trying to “fix” themselves, trying to finally find the diet that saves their lives.
If you’re one of them, instead of looking for outer fixes for your life and diet, try to turn inward to yourself.
Trust yourself, believe that your body doesn’t want to trick you, that your body knows best.
Listen to the hunger you feel and the fullness you experience.
Hear your body’s longing for movement and it’s need for rest.
Today, take one step toward a more self-love filled life, a life that’s about happiness and living, instead of misery and dieting.
Make a commitment to yourself to stop dieting once and for all to find your way back home to your body — the body that shares with you all the “rules” and “regulations” you need in order to live a healthy life with a powerful, thriving body.
Yes, it’ll be scary at first. You’ll feel lost.
But you’ll find yourself and the life you experience then is so worth that leap of faith.