A New Dawn: Getting Off The Diet Rollercoaster

It’s a new dawn and a new day for me. And no, it’s not because I am joining Weight Watchers. It is because I am getting off the diet train for good. No more counting points, no more buying food that my poor dog won’t even eat and no more spending money on things that are simply not going to help me in any way.

I have decided to take my life back from the diet wranglers and boy do I feel good.

I know by now, you are all tired of hearing about new diets, new plans, new pills you can take to make you look like whatever hip celeb they have decided to post on the newest pictures. If not, then this is not for you.

I have decided that at my age, I am done with diets and plans that do nothing but leave me broke and discouraged about whom I am as a woman and what I should or should not look like. I came to this decision after being burned out on going to a gym where I was the largest person in the room and asking for help to use a machine turned into the nerd asking one of the cool kids if they could have a seat next to them on the bus.

I also came to this decision after being sick and tired of every New Year’s Day starting off with 1001 new diet and weight loss commercials that are mostly designed to separate the desperate from their money. I have simply had enough of others telling me what I should look like, what size shoe I should wear and how my breast, hips and other body parts should appear.

This was not an easy process for me at all, but it was worth every moment to be at peace with who I am today. I realized sometime ago, that I was beginning to keep a mental calculator of what I had eaten, what I was supposed to eat and what I should and should not eat. Now for a person who is not dealing with a mental disorder, this may be ok. But for someone in my shoes, who is dealing with being bipolar, it brought on more stress than I needed and was beginning to make things unmanageable for me.

So, sitting at my dinner table one day, I planned the meal that I really wanted to have instead of the one that I thought I was supposed to have in order to be a good person and live a healthy life. I found in preparing that meal that I actually wanted, that there was not too much of a difference between the meals Maybe a few potatoes where I would not have them normally, but other than it was like the other meals. I also noticed that I was able to eat until I was comfortable. I was not hungry or starving as I had been before when eating a more regulated meal.

I have to say that in the beginning I felt like a kid that was cheating on a test or something and that at any moment Dr. Oz was going to jump through the T.V. and chastise me for eating! But after some time, I realized that I was practicing portion control, without thinking about it. I was not stuffing myself and at the same time, I was not pinning myself down to boiled chicken breast and bland broccoli. I actually feel better about who I am and about where I am going since I removed all the guilt and other emotions I had attached to eating and to food.

The big question is have I lost any weight? The answer is…yes, a little. But it was less about what I ate and more about controlling my stress hormones and gaining some peace of mind. And while I have lost weight, it’s not about that for me, it’s about being able to eat food that I like, while not feeling guilty and understanding what my body needs in order to be happy and run well. I am not saying that everyone should stop doing diets that work for them, by all means feel free to continue on your own journey, but as for that diet rollercoaster, I no longer want to ride.

Michelle is a Midwestern girl, with a Southern heart and a bit of an eccentric streak running through her. Along with being a wife and mother of 2, she also wears the hats of student, counselor, life coach,cook, friend and occasional matchmaker, all while keeping a Zen like approach to life and all that comes with it. Balance and comedy are the keys to keeping life interesting and livable and she has ALMOST mastered both.

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