I was eight when I went on my first diet.
I distinctly remember hating the rolls on my stomach that inevitably happened whenever I sat down. I wanted to get rid of them. And so I stopped eating bread, and stopped eating cake, and started pretending that I really loved lettuce.
Since then, I’ve spent years trying out different diets. I attempted the eight-hour diet (where you only eat between the hours of 11am and 7pm). I’ve been on a no-sugar diet. I’ve tried the Fast Diet. Also, there may or may not have been a day in high school where I dabbled with the water-in-chilli diet (where you add a chilli to water… and just drink that… all day… every day. It sucked.).
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Medibank. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
For far too many years, I was genuinely convinced that I would be happier if I just lost a couple of extra kilos. I would reach some kind of level of unprecedented self-enlightenment if my thighs were just that little bit skinnier. If my stomach looked just that little bit flatter when standing side-on.
What I didn’t know was that I was making myself absolutely miserable by putting myself through various stages of food deprivation. Rather than thinking about changing my lifestyle to be a healthier one, I would simply tell myself that I would never again eat anything that was ‘unhealthy’ in my head. Read: anything but vegetables, a bit of meat and a bit of fruit.
Inevitably, I’d slip up. I’d go to the movies and eat a big bucket of popcorn and a choc-top and hate myself for it. I’d go along to Max Brenner with my friends and order the biggest thing on the menu and then feel guilty with every bite. It was ridiculous – and yet it kept happening.
It took me a long time to realise that there are barely any humans out there who are truly capable of sticking to a super-strict diet. Regardless of how determined you are to never eat a super-processed, super-sugary treat, slip-ups are inevitably going to happen. That almond Magnum after a really hard day. That piece of cake at a wedding.
The other thing? Life kind of sucks when you’re attempting to deprive yourself of just about everything that’s enjoyable. No-one wants to be that person sitting at that party with severe food envy, nibbling on a garden salad while everyone else enjoys a creamy pasta. Food is meant to be fuel, as well as a way of enjoying an experience with your nearest and dearest.