I was going through old pictures over the weekend and it made me think about how young I was when I first started “dieting”. My dieting damage started at a very young age! As far as I can remember, it was 7th grade. In 6th grade I was average height and weight, but started to get called fat & was actually “mooed” at on a daily basis. It made me wonder how common this was for young kids. It saddens me because it really changes your self-esteem and self-worth. It hinders what that child can be or become. I remember from that young age starting to think whether I should or shouldn’t eat something because I was fat. And I saw many adults around me eating “good” food versus “bad” food, so I thought that’s what I needed to do. What’s really sad is that I was in every single sport possible and extremely active. So my body really needed the energy and since I started to not give it to it, I started slowing my metabolism at a very young age. And as we know that the more we restrict, results in the more we binge, which then turns to the more body fat our body stores. So in essence I was making those names that I was being called true by trying to not make them true. Isn’t that crazy?
Over the teenage years it got much worse, I started hating my body because it wasn’t just like my friend’s bodies. I started restricting & dieting more. Then in college I got to my all time high of restriction. I was the smallest my body could possibly be without being hospitalized, but I always wanted to be smaller. It was never enough. I was also the unhealthiest I have ever been and more disordered than I could have ever imagined. Of course I didn’t see any of this at the time. At that time I was working out multiple times a day, teaching multiple fitness classes, and eating only an apple and a chicken breast a day. I thought I was being “good”! I was a fitness instructor and trainer and this is what I was taught to do. What I didn’t know is that my body was going to shut down on me very shortly and I would pay dearly for what I had done to it. When my body finally did shut down, I gained A LOT of weight back. To the heaviest I had ever been. Now I felt like such a failure. And now I was so disgusted with the way I looked, I couldn’t believe how I had “let myself go”.
This cycle happened several times throughout my twenties as each “diet” came on the market. Each time it was harder to lose the weight and easier to gain back even more. If I had only known how I was setting myself up for more and more failure and heartache each time I did it. Through all my classes and certifications I had never learned how the human body really works and the details of it. I had no idea how a metabolism worked. I had no idea about hormones. I did what the diet and fitness industry told me to do and I paid dearly for it. You see, I wasn’t the failure! The diet was the failure. I didn’t “let myself go”, my body did what it had to do to survive. I was set up to fail from the beginning.
It saddens me when I see so many young kids saying they are fat or flabby, and then saying that they can’t eat something because of it. I see the dangerous path they will more than likely go down. Then I see our obesity rates rising and I know exactly how it got to where it is. Kids idolize the adults around them and they shadow what they do. If you are constantly on a diet, you are teaching that child that they need to be on that diet as well. And you are creating self-doubt in who the are. We have forgotten how to give compassion to ourselves and others and have forgotten how to take care of ourselves. We only think about the right now without regards to our future selves. We have to stop this vicious cycle. You don’t have to continue this path anymore. And your children don’t have to go through what you went through. Take a step back and think about…Is it worth it, the next time your mind tells you to start the cycle again. Will it really get you where you want to be? Is it really what’s best for you and your family? There is another way! You can be free from “dieting”! It will be the absolute best thing you have EVER done for yourself and your family! I know because I’ve been there! Let’s break the cycle together!!