Did I get your attention? I bet I did. So what is this super magical right of passage that I’m about to divulge to you? Where did I find the Holy Grail? Was it in a Paleo recipe book, or maybe underneath the squat rack at the gym? Did I hear it traveling over the wind on my latest river run?
I’m sorry to disappoint you, and I know that this may be frustrating, but what I am about to say will not make you happy. What is the number one way to lose weight and keep it off? Stop trying to lose weight.
Please, calm down and don’t throw the computer quite yet. Put the torch back in the closet. I would like to direct you to a study, and we all know how reliable and accurate those are! But seriously, just give it a look.
So, what the hell are we supposed to do if we can’t diet? We don’t want to continue to look in the mirror and cringe, but we also don’t want to continue on a roller coaster of misery and pasta deprivation for the rest of our lives. It’s just not worth it.
People don’t typically engage in activities that have a 97% chance of failure. Would you go under the knife with those odds? What if skydiving came with a 97% chance of falling to your death? Even the placebo effect has a higher success rate. Sugar pills. So why do we continue to diet if it’s essentially proven to be ineffective?
Next time you look in the mirror and scowl, and subsequently decide to stop eating completely or to cut out all grains or sugar or to exercise seven days a week until you can fit into the imaginary size you think your body should fit into, I want you to imagine the following consequences to your actions.
- It only takes one attempt at dieting to screw up your metabolism.
- After you inevitably re-feed weight will come back on rapidly.
- A few extra pounds will be added onto the weight you were at previously as your body prepares for the next “famine”.
- It could take over a year of eating normally for your metabolism to return to its former state and shed the extra pounds you added.
- No amount of exercise, kale stevia sweetened coconut milk smoothies, or restriction will make you somehow more worthy or better or more successful. Character, empathy, hard work, and courage can help you achieve anything you set your mind to, but losing ten pounds will not bring you an inch closer to these things.
Okay, cool. So that’s out and now you’re not going to ever diet ever, ever again. What do you do now that your day isn’t filled with worrying about what you’re ingesting, what time you’re ingesting it, or if the sun angle is correct on the fermenting jar of kombucha on your back patio?
You fill your life up. You see it’s not about the food. Get rid of the food and there will be a dream-sized hole where the food used to be.
A person that thinks less of you because of you’re size is about as important to your life as the pebble chilling on the bottom of your shoe. The only thing that matters in this equation is you. Are you waking up every day with the feeling that you can be and do anything? Are you making positive steps to be the best person you can be? Are you giving it your all or are you kind of just standing in the corner, sulking and complaining?
If you want to make positive choices in your life pertaining to health and fitness than go for it. Add some more fruits and veggies into your meals, try to cook from scratch when you can, and get out and move your body in ways that appeal to you. These are all great practices to implement, but they are in no way concepts that need to stop you in your tracks and take up every ounce of space in your mind.
The people that are healthiest are those who fill their lives up with people they love, find something worthwhile to contribute to society that lights them up inside, and treat themselves and others with kindness and compassion. Many people I’ve known seem to magically shed the excess weight that has so worried them when they align themselves with these principles and make happiness and fulfillment their goals. Bottom line, you can’t hate yourself to a place of happiness. Drop the diets and live your life. A life well lived surrounded by people who cherish you is worth one thousand lives that were spent miserably inhabiting a size two.