Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why Diets Suck

So I've been considering jumping back on the diet bandwagon. I hate that bandwagon. It's full of people who complain about being on a diet and restrict themselves from the most fun to eat and delicious foods in life. The diet bandwagon is also full of people who are repeat offenders. They get on, fall off, get back on... The vicious cycle continues...

That's why I don't get on the bandwagon. The mere stigma of "I'm on a diet" eats at my core. And no, it unfortunately doesn't eat away at my waistline. I've tried them all. Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach. The year my husband and I got engaged I did the Atkins thing. It worked great! I dropped 20 ugly pounds in only two months. We went to Vegas, got engaged, and came back and celebrated. I found myself trying to lose back that 20 pounds when we were nearing our wedding a year later. All diets are pretty good if you stick with them. But as soon as I banish every grain of sweet, sugary, fat-filled carbohydrate from my life I become a fiend for them. The second time I tried the Atkins Diet I actually found myself in tears, hugging a pillow staring into the kitchen thinking "if I could have just one Cheerio," or "sure, now I crave mashed potatoes."

The other day my friend at work asked me if I was on a diet. She asked this because a few days earlier a group of us went to lunch and I opted for the fresh fruit bowl as opposed to the array of greasy deliciousness the diner serves. I raved about how each and every piece of fruit was the freshest I'd ever tasted. Seriously, the bananas were even good and I usually don't like them in fruit bowls because they get all mushy. In response to my friend's question I thought "ha, I should be," but answered a simple "nope."

The stigma of being on a diet sets me up for failure. The fact that from this day going forward I'm banned from everything in life that tastes wonderful just messes with my brain and will power.

"I'm on a diet. I can't eat that cheeseburger. If I do my muffin top will for sure be overflowing the top of my jeans even more tomorrow." This is what we think to ourselves in an effort to convince the brain that we don't need that cheesy, greasy, and undeniably wonderful burger.

Before you go on a diet is even worse.

"I'm starting my diet Monday. So Sunday I'm cooking all the fattening food in the house. That includes clearing the cupboards of all cookies, Little Debbies, chips, and yes, even the ice cream." So by doing this to "rid" our kitchen of temptation, we pretty much pack on 5 pounds before the diet even starts so we have even more to do.

Guess you could say I've been on a diet forever. Yes, I gained 85 pounds during my pregnancy but hey that was NO time to be dieting! Before I got knocked up (my mom hates when I say that because "my husband and I got pregnant" not "knocked up") I had been losing a good deal of unneeded weight. The pounds were falling off left and right and it was fantastic! Same thing goes for post-baby weight. I've been steadily losing the weight since he was born. I made it back to pre-baby weight by the time Josh was 7 months old. That's 85 pounds - OFF!

In my opinion, losing weight isn't about dieting and all the stigma that comes with it. It's more about making healthy choices and starting each day new. Some people succeed with a plan. But if you tell me that I can't have a Big Mac for two months, you've got another thing coming. It's ok to savor that Mitchell's Key Lime Pie ice cream *OMG my fave* every once in a while. But if you find that you had ice cream already this week, think about it and say "you know, I've already had my treat for the week, I'm going to be good today." Then, tomorrow's a new day.

My advice to eat balanced. Sometimes you're allowed to treat yourself. Just remember to remain conscious about what you eat. If you need some motivation, check out Mommy Maria. She is my bloggy buddy and is the first Mamavation Mom. You can follow her progress right along with yours!