No-Diet Talk

Reading the comments on this post really got me thinking. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that having a “no-diet talk” policy is a good thing.

For a lot of us, the road to dieting is a road to crazy-ville. I know that’s true for me. Like Rachel has said, not all diets turn into eating disorders, but most eating disorders began with a simple ‘diet.’ And while I never had a full-blown eating disorder, I’ll be the first to admit that I was well on my way to developing one. My only saving grace was that I had someone who loved me to stop me from killing myself.

My last diet – just last year – ended the day my husband lost it, screamed at me, and smashed my scale to smithereens with his bare hands. What set him off? Well, for one thing, I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t even eating enough to keep a baby alive. 2 pots of yogurt (low-fat, of course) and 1/4 of a meal was pretty much all I would eat – and that was on a good day. If I was having a bad day, I would eat even less. I would drink water to try and fill up my belly, so I wouldn’t feel the hunger. And after a while, I would become immune to the hunger pains anyway.

He watched me starving myself and weighing myself 3.. 4… sometimes even 5 or 6 times a day. It became an obsession. I was obsessed with becoming thin. It was all I could think about. I ate, drank, even breathed ‘weight loss.’ It was the sole purpose of my existence at the time. Nothing else mattered. Not him, not the children, not the house (I’m a housewife, so the house is my ‘job.’) All I could think about was becoming thin. Or at least thinner.

I was weak, I would get dizzy spells, I was cranky as hell (okay, I’ll admit it: I was a bitch)… and yet the only thing that mattered to me at the time was becoming thin. Losing weight. Taking up less space.

Until one day he found me in tears in the bathroom. After all my hard work, the scale actually said that I’d gained five pounds. GAINED!!! I was hysterical. No amount of dieting was ever going to work. I was going to be a fat, ugly, worthless pig for the rest of my life. That’s the really sad part. I really believed – at the time – that fat = ugly/worthless/pig. At least for me. (That’s the strange part. I could look at another fat woman and not think those things, but to look in the mirror always brought those thoughts. It was like those particular slurs were meant for me and me alone.) When he saw just how distraught I was, and knew that no amount of trying to support me was helping, he lost it. He couldn’t stand to see me literally trying to kill myself just in the quest to become thin. He started screaming – not so much at me, but at his own frustrations regarding the situation – took my scale, and broke it. It was in pieces. Several pieces.

At first, the thought of not dieting, not knowing how much I weighed? It scared me. It fucking terrified me. I, like a lot of fat people, had the irrational fear that I was going to keep gaining and gaining and eventually take up the whole world. And I feared that he (Hubby) would one day become disgusted with me and would leave me for someone thinner and infinitely more beautiful.

But that didn’t happen. I didn’t gain weight. I haven’t taken over the world. My husband hasn’t left me. If anything, he was the catalyst that led me to FA. Not directly, of course, but I don’t think I would have been ready to accept the concept of FA if I was still in full-blown dieting mode. I don’t think my brain could have grasped the concept.

And, if anything, finding FA and realizing that I don’t have to lose weight just to become an acceptable human being, has made me a better person. Trying to accept and come to love myself just the way I am, without trying to change myself, has improved almost every area of my life. It’s certainly improved my marriage, and I can finally see that my fears over losing my husband just because of my weight were not just unfounded, they were downright ridiculous. Because he’s always loved me just the way I am. He’s attracted to me because I’m fat. (I have to tell you, that knowledge is still mind-blowing. After spending 9 years terrified that he’d ‘settled’ for me, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around that one.)

So… no-diet talk? For me, it’s a must. It would be SOO easy to fall back into that mindset, that thinking that I will only become an acceptable human being once I take up less space. And that thinking? Is crazy thinking. In-fucking-sane. I realize now that I deserve so much better than to think that I have to be something I’m inherently NOT just to become “worthy.” Worthy of what? Of whom? And who says? Who the hell crowned himself king of the world and decided that I have to be X to become a worthy human being? And why in the hell did I ever believe it?

So… yeah. NO DIET TALK. It’s much better for my mental health. And, reading the comments on Paul’s post just proves to me that I’m sure as hell not alone.

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6 Responses

  1. Oh yeah, no diet talk, and no WLS talk, definitely. It’s too crazy-making. Used to be, every time I heard diets mentioned, didn’t matter where (tv, friends, magazines, newspapers, radio), I’d head for the kitchen and binge. I think it was my way of saying no way in hell was I going to diet, I’ll show you. Didn’t do me any good, sure didn’t make me feel any better about myself, and was harder than hell to stop. FA has helped me get past that, and the no-diet/no-WLS rule is a big part of it.

  2. There is nothing wrong with being a fat person. If you are fat and happy I say great for you. however the way you were going about loosing wight was not a healthy one and one that was bound for eventual failure. “dieting” in the way you did was most certainly unhealthy and would lead to more problems than it would solve. Instead you should have began to eat a healthy diet low in energy dense foods and high in nutritionally dense ones, along with increased activity that was healthy for your body type. you did it wrong and now have anger due to your bad experiences, but that is no excuse for vilifying those who live their life in a healthy and pragmatic manner and who have lost weight.

  3. Why don’t you try actually reading for once? If you’ll look up at the top, you’ll see a bunch of pages. One of them is my background, as condensed as possible, where I detail my lifetime of dieting. Where I tried every diet known to man except for one. In this particular post, I was relating the most recent experience of one diet.

    I don’t have anger from bad dieting experiences, I have anger from being treated like a second-class citizen simply because of my body shape. And from stuck-up, high-and-mighty “I lost weight and there’s no excuse for you” people like yourself. Come back and see me in five years when you’ve gained all the weight back PLUS MORE. Or have an eating disorder. Then maybe we can talk.

    Until then, fuck off.

  4. Amen, nuckingfutz. Bet you never thought of trying a “healthy lifestyle change!” [eyeroll] ‘Cause, you know, we don’t spend our lives trying every possible way we can think of to lose weight. We don’t eat, sleep, and breathe dieting. I’m sure that was totally the only diet you were ever on. Gah.

    I have to say I’m amazed at how far you have come with FA and in loving and accepting yourself, considering the hell you were in just last year. I agree, it would be terrible to risk all of that hard work by allowing diet or WLS talk to erode what you have built, both for yourself and for you as the person that your husband and kids love. Congratulations on getting to a much better place.

  5. Thank you, scg. It’s not easy, getting to this point. But it is SO worth the struggle. I can’t even say that enough. So I’ll say it again. IT IS SO WORTH THE STRUGGLE!!

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