Diets are common talk in society today. There’s always the next trending diet to follow or that upcoming event that you want to look good for. It has become something somewhat normal or expected in today’s world because of our obsession with looking the best.
So is it okay to diet then?
If you asked me this question maybe two years ago, I would’ve said yes. What’s wrong with “eating healthier” and “losing some weight”? I was wrong.
So how did dieting change my life?
My dieting probably began back in the tenth grade. All throughout my life, I have always been the “fat” kid so I wanted to lose weight. I remember several failed attempts at dieting in the past. But this time I was determined to succeed.
So there I went. I began going to the gym and eating “healthier”. It began with just incorporating healthier foods in my diet. I enjoyed trying new foods such as avocado toast and brown rice. I feel that it was going well as I was slowly losing weight throughout the months. I was happy that I was losing weight but wasn’t happy with the amount of weight.
This is when I started restricting. I knew that I was losing weight because of the healthy foods that I was now eating were lower calorie than the foods the foods that I used to eat. So I started eating smaller portions and counting my calories. Because of this, I became obsessed with logging everything that I ate. Even something small such as a tablespoon of milk in my coffee had to be logged.
Because of this, eating out with my friends and family became increasingly hard. I became afraid of going to restaurants that didn’t display their nutrition facts. If the nutrition facts were shown, I would go down the list and pick the item with the lowest calories. This ruined my relationship with my friends and family. I began creating excused why I couldn’t hang out with friends or attend family functions.
Eating became a chore and an obsession. I didn’t want to eat but I also couldn’t stop thinking about eating. I was 24/7 planning out my meals and dreaming about the foods that I knew I wasn’t allowed to eat. Meals had to be planned out. There were specific foods and specific times that I had to eat them. Even if I was about hungry and about to head to the gym, I wasn’t allowed a snack because it wasn’t 3 pm yet. If I was hungry for lunch at noon, I still wouldn’t allow myself to eat it until 1 pm. I became so preoccupied with food! It is no exaggeration when I say that I thought about it nonstop.
My “diet” created so many rules that I had to follow. I was no longer able to function in real life. Everything became harder. I didn’t think I would graduate from high school or accomplish my goal of going to a good university. I struggled both mentally and physically. Mentally I was gone. I became extremely depressed and the only time I left the house was to go to school because going anywhere else was just too hard. Physically I was in poor health. The weight had fallen off and in my opinion, now left me looking very sick. I was always lightheaded and tired. These behaviours continued until I hit rock bottom in the twelfth grade. I knew that I needed to tell someone. I needed help.
And all of this was just because I started a “diet”?