For years I was sold on a new diet every few months. Each time I knew it was going to be the one that changed my life for good and every time I 'failed' I couldn't understand why I didn't have enough will power. A good 10 years of my life consisted of dieting, calorie counting, bikini body challenges, detoxes, fat burners and quick fix methods. It took developing an eating disorder and going to years of therapy to finally understand what the issue is.
When I let go of dieting, worrying about weight loss, the number of calories I was consuming and forcing workouts in, my body became happy. I had been trying for years to lose weight and when I finally stopped worrying about it, my body put me right at the weight it wanted me to be (40lbs lighter and keeping me there for about a year + now). If that happened so effortlessly then why did I spend years of doing diets over and over again thinking each time was going to be different? Why did I spend gobs of money on shakes, pills and gym memberships because I always felt like I had to be on a diet?
Your body is an amazing thing and we hardly ever give it the credit it deserves. We feed it shit, we curse it for the way it looks, we starve it, we overload it with binging, we put chemicals in it that promise us weight loss and happiness. It's all a load of crap. Our body keeps us alive. Our body walks, breaths, functions and so much more without us ever having to think twice about it. Our body allows us to move, it allows us to think, it allows us to be independent! If it weren't for our amazing, wonderful, fascinating bodies, we wouldn't even be here functioning. So why in the world do we treat them so poorly? Why do we feel we always need to lose weight? Why do we feel we always need a meal plan to follow perfectly? Why is it that we are always in a constant battle between dieting, binging, throwing the towel in and starting over on Monday with a week long detox?
Why don't we stop worrying about the number on the scale and trust that our bodies will put us at that happy place if we just treat it like the amazing body that it is? I get so frustrated when I see things like bikini boot camps, 21 day challenges, detox teas, fat burning coffees and everything along those lines. Why do you need 21 days to be perfect? Why do you all of a sudden have to lose weight so you can look hot in a bikini? Why do you need to buy fat burning coffee when your body can do it naturally if you fuel it correctly? I don't get mad at the people believing it because I was there too. In the past I didn't know any better and I thought that was the norm. If I wasn't trying to lose weight or go on some crazy month long challenge then I was scared I would gain weight. I could not comprehend that there was such a thing as just being an overall healthy person and trusting my body to take care of me. I didn't comprehend the fact that I could consume a donut and it didn't mean that I messed up or I ate something off the diet.
We are surrounded daily from all angles with ads and promotions telling us we need to lose weight. Telling us we need to get that workout in so we can have a guilt free weekend. It is so hard to comprehend that we don't need those things. Have they ever worked for you? They sure as hell never worked for me.
It has been a solid 3 years that I have not dieted. It has been 3 years that I haven't followed a meal plan, workout plan, counted calories or tried to lose weight, and for the first time in my life, everything worked. And it's been working for 3 years. I don't have issues where I slip up and eat a whole batch of cupcakes, I don't feel like a failure because I didn't make it to the gym for 5 days in a row, I don't weigh myself every morning and let the number dictate what type of day i'm going to have.
All I do is trust my body. And granted, it took me time to get there, but when you finally realize that there are no more diets, no more cheat foods, no more slip ups, start overs, mess ups or failures, you really become free. When you realize there is no more number on the scale to dictate what type of day you're going to have, there is a weight ( no pun intended) lifted off your shoulders that I cannot explain.
Yes, I eat healthy. My body ( just like any other body) craves real foods. It THRIVES when I fuel it with balanced meals and keep it on a consistent schedule. My body also craves sweets, sometimes it craves eggs, sometimes my body even craves the real deal icecream. And I don't stress when that happens because I trust my body. I know if I take care of it, it's going to take care of me (so yes, that means enjoying all those treats as well!)
Next time you're tempted with an unrealistic meal plan, challenge group, fat burning miracle pill or any other type of diet, just ask yourself has this worked for me yet? If you're still constantly trying to find peace with your body, still trying to get that perfect combination down and still trying to build that willpower so you don't 'fail' anymore, maybe it's just time to stop. Maybe it's time to call a truce and start trusting your body. Our bodies are amazing things and they want us to survive. If you trust them, they're going to make you thrive.
My name is Hanna Kuyper and my mission for iamwell comes directly from my past experiences. Read more