I have tried EVERY diet known to man (or woman) for over 50 years.
I have gone on shake fasts, liquid fasts, fruit fasts, water fasts.
I have eaten only protein.
I have eaten mostly fats.
I have eaten only eggs.
I have eaten only fruit.
I have eaten over priced freeze dried, packaged foods that came in the mail.
I have read every book. Gone to countless Seminars.
I have injected chemicals and hormones and toxins into my body.
I have sweated and cried and despaired.
I have tried hypnosis, therapy, 12 step programs, commercial expensive diets.
I have Meditated on it.
I have traveled the world in search of the Answer.
I have read all of Geneen Roth’s books and Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole. I LOVED the ideas and instinctively believed in them, but I wasn’t brave enough to commit and try. I chose to punish and hurt myself time and time again.
Eight years ago, I lost almost 90 pounds.
How I wish I could claim that I lost the weight through Meditation, Intuitive Eating and peaceful, natural co existence with food.
But I would be lying.
I lost the weight through torturous, panicked, unnatural rigidity using a commercially fad diet.
The diet just happened to work for me at that time because I was so big and scared and desperate that I was willing to overlook and ignore and push away all my mental, physical and emotional needs.
I ignored every message that my body and mind and heart were sending me.
In societal words, I Succeeded, I Won. But, at a heavy price.
I was starving.
I was terrified that I would gain the weight back. Over the last few years, I did gain a bit back. It felt like the end of the world.
(It was actually the beginning of the world. A new and better world. More on this in a moment.)
But to continue my story:
Because I was "successful"at loosing the weight, I naturally became a “Weight Loss” Coach. I did so because I understood. People called me when they saw my weight loss and wanted help. I was eager and overjoyed to help. I found my calling! To spread the message of the joys of losing weight!
Here’s what I learned:
I hate the term “Weight Loss Coach”.
I did not like being a “Weight Loss Coach”.
I found that I did not like holding women to task about what they ate and what they did not eat.
I was strangely uneasy about advocating “dieting’.
I did LOVE my clients, the connection between us, the heartfelt candid conversations about their lives, feelings, challenges and issues.
I know that I helped women lose weight.
In Societal words I was a Success.
I began to realize that the same thing happened to them that had happened to me. They were happy for 5 minutes. Then they became scared and miserable at the thought of gaining it back. I helped them exchange one “scared and miserable” for another type of “scared and miserable’. But this is what they wanted. How could I not help them?
Here's the "new and better world" part:
By chance, a year or so ago, I happened to re read the book Intuitive Eating (mentioned above). The principles and message struck a deep chord within me and, again,I knew that they were right. I was still scared to try their approach but I was also scared to try dieting again, I just didn’t have it in me. So if I was going to be scared and miserable, at least let me try a new way of being scared and miserable instead of always reverting to dieting.
I threw myself into researching and studying the principles of IE.
I took classes and courses, joined chat rooms and support groups just to learn.
And learn I did.
It took all my courage, every ounce of Mindfulness, and tons of support.
It was not easy for me, I am still in the process of making food my friend. Of living in peaceful coexistence with food. Of living a life of No Rules, listening to and respecting my hunger, feeding myself, finding joy in eating (rather than guilt and panic), of being a friend to my body instead of an enemy, of living in gentleness rather than rigidity.
So, here is the bottom line:
I want to help you. I want to help you find your way. I want to help you to find your own Answer. With lots of suggestions, love and support.
I want to be your friend, your guide, your supporter, your cheerleader.
However, I get it if you still want to diet to lose weight.
I will help you.
But, I will also give you options and an alternative for a gentler and infinitely more safisfying approach if you are braver than I.