As a recovering hard-core dieter turned bulimic, and then turned anorexic, I feel fairly qualified to speak about the diet industry. I’ve been overweight, I’ve been underweight, and I’ve been everywhere in between. Now, that’s not to say I know your struggle entirely, no one does. No one except, you. But I do know a thing or two about dieting and the monstrous world of lies that come with it.
So to simply put it: diets do not work. They never have, and they honestly never will. Sure, you may have lost weight by means of dieting. But what else did you lose with it? And did you keep the weight off, or did you gain it back? Did you even gain it all back and more? And did the short term weight loss, did it really make you happy?
These are things I want you to wonder with me. Food for thought. You don’t have to buy what I’m saying, but try to keep an open mind.
My guess is, if you’ve tried dieting you’re probably pretty frustrated, because you may have run into the exhausting results of not losing weight at all, gaining weight, or losing it just to gain it all back and more. I hate to say it, but if you’re completely against me on this, if you wholeheartedly believe in dieting, then you’re probably too entrenched in the lies to see the truth and to hear the freedom I am trying to speak to you.
This is not an article about acceptance for unhealthy, life-threatening lifestyles. Nor is it an article praising weight loss and promising the way to it. Instead, the intention of this article is to simply free you from the mirage that dieting will EVER bring you all the things it has promised you, and to provide an alternate solution to the hell that the diet world has brought to you.
Dieting won’t work. It’ll never bring you all the things you long for, and all that you deserve. Losing those last five pounds won’t bring you the love of your life, a successful job, or more happiness. To be quite frank, losing those last five pounds brings you very little other than the ability to say “I take up less space.”
Because heaven forbid, we take up space.
How do you find love, more success, happiness, or insert your own personal longing here? If not through dieting, then how do we arrive at these things we so deserve?
The journey looks different for everyone. There is no one map I can draw for you all, or instructions I can clearly articulate to you. The journey itself is a unique experience, with several right ways. But the start, the start is pretty clear. Self love; it all starts here.
You see my friends, in order to be ready to fall in love with our “person” or to be the best we can be at our dream jobs, or to embrace the joy of all we have in this life, we must first have a solid foundation to build all of that on. And let me tell you, that solid foundation isn’t found in counting calories, cutting out carbs, or completely obsessing over the scale.
The diet world feeds off of one main thing—insecurity. We all have insecurities, and that is okay, as long as we recognize them, don’t let them control us, and actively fight to overcome them. But you see, the diet industry takes our insecurities and maximizes them. They take our weak spots and transform them from a small lack of comfortableness into a full-fledged hate for ourselves. And once they’ve got us finding things to hate about ourselves, they’ve got us wrapped around their fingers.
The only thing. The one and ONLY entity in this world that is stronger than the power of hate, is the power of love. All the lies that hate promises you, are the same truths that love will actually bring you. You can’t arrive at a life worth living by hating your way to a new one. No, instead we must love ourselves, exactly where we are, for who we are, every step of the way.
If you can love yourself right now, in your utter brokenness, flaws and all, then you will feel an overwhelming degree of happiness, success, and peace, as that love for yourself grows.
The secret to this life is not the hate we’ve been taught. The secret of this life is love. When you put love first, everything else falls into place. The things you so desire, you begin to receive. And those desires that you do not receive fade into the background and begin to frame themselves as lessons rather than unanswered prayers.
The diet culture did have one thing right though, and that was to have the end goal result in happiness. But what they got wrong was the route to find and receive that happiness. You can’t find it in the growling of your stomach, or a new size smaller pair of skinny jeans. You actually, can’t find it anywhere. Because it’s not something that was ever lost, only misplaced. And now it is placed in the palms of your hands, all you must do is take a breath, take a chance, and let the love radiate through you. If self-love is a seed, you are sunshine, and the world is rain. Do not be bothered by the world around you, instead cherish the gifts it does bring. But you must not forget the most vital part of letting the love grow, and that is to be true. You can’t do this without you.