Diets Don't Work -- Body Love Does

Please, I beg of you. Don’t go on another bikini-body diet.
03/17/2017 07:50 am ET Updated Mar 20, 2017
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We’ve all been taught the same diet myth since we were tweens. Diet, lose weight, get a perfect body, be happy. Go from your before photo to your after. It’s a clean, linear journey that we buy into in the form of products, programs, and the zeitgeist of weight loss in our world today.

“If I fail at this clean, linear transformation,” we think, “there’s something wrong with me.”

We get in our heads and internalize dieting failures. “I’m lazy, I lack discipline, I don’t want it badly enough, I’m (gasp) an emotional eater. Put down the cookie and get it together, honey!” We tell ourselves terrible things when we don’t achieve the transformation we are seeking from dieting.

Happiness is just six weeks away. If you could just stop being such a fat slob and stick to your diet plan―right?

Wrong.

The diet myth is just that ― a myth. And you have better things to do with your precious time, money and energy than spend it all buying into yet another diet plan, program, or “get thin quick” solution.

The reality is that most people don’t lose very much weight from dieting. Those that do lose weight tend to gain it back, plus more. 95% of dieters regain their lost weight within five years, according to NEDA. Not only that, but multiple studies have shown that dieting is actually associated with greater weight gain, rather than weight loss.

The unicorns among us that do manage to lose 10, 20, 50, 100 or more pounds get to their weight loss goal and still find flaws with what they see. Plastic surgeons are now marketing solutions specifically to patients who are successful at losing weight through gastric bypass. The after photo, if you even manage to get there, is not all that it’s cracked up to be.

We’re spending upwards of $60 Billion on diet and weight loss here in America. Based on the statistical truths about dieting, we would be better off throwing that money out the window while we cruise down the freeway.

Or funding Planned Parent’s annual operating budget 60 times over. Or giving 60 Million pets a forever home. Or building 7.5 Million wells to provide clean drinking water to the developing world. We could do a great deal more with those resources than simply chasing an unattainable standard of body perfection.

Reading this might make you feel deflated or hopeless ― but it shouldn’t! This is an incredibly liberating truth. You are free from feeling obligated to buy into another plan or program. You don’t have to go through your days restricting your eating. You don’t have to use up your brain power assessing your food choices against the latest diet craze. You don’t have to use up your precious time, energy, and resources buying into the diet myth.

Whether you just inhaled a bag of Cheetos or ran a half marathon, you are free to love the body that you have right now. Even if you do want to lose weight, improve your health, or transform parts of your exterior, it starts with loving your body exactly as it is. Reinforce that love for your body every single day. Celebrate what your body is capable of doing.

When you approach your diet and exercise choices from a place of self-love, it all comes together, and you’ll be able to make the true transformation to a more healthy lifestyle.

So please, I beg of you. Don’t go on another bikini-body diet. Just love the body that you have, harder than ever before.

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