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Confessions of a Yo-Yo dieter

Confessions

 

I read that confession is good for the soul; therefore it can only be a good thing to share my story and explain my obsession.

What am I obsessed with?

With how my body looks, diets and the fact I am constantly waiting for one meal to morph me into a super human health food warrior, speedy runner, wholesome living, 6 pack adorned beauty.

The reality is that sadly I am more of a worrier than a warrior.

Before I lost 4 stone, I was carefree about my diet, making choices to satisfy my sweet tooth and subsequent junk food addiction. Once I had lost the weight, my journey towards sustaining my new found shape started and hasn’t stopped since. This journey has lead me down roads of becoming vegetarian, calorie counting, living off watery soup and ryvita or scrumptious 16 calorie crackers, carb cycling and paleo.

Every time I quit ‘calorie counting websites’, I’d feel contentment and a weight lifted from my shoulders, ‘never again‘ I would cry.  Only to return a year later for another ‘experiment‘ and when I’m using ‘calorie counting websites‘, I used to cheat on a regular basis. I’m confident that ‘calorie counting websites like cheat’s, the reason being is because that is what keeps us going back?

Whenever I restarted calorie counting I would find myself swayed towards the ‘danger zone‘ of diet food. The colourful packaging luring me in with promises of sweet satisfaction for low calories (which is apparently the Holy Grail). For a moment I feel proud of my choice and then I’m whisked into a frenzy of bitter-sweet disappointment as it then takes a further 3 servings for me to feel satisfied. Which results in me sitting in guilty funk, knowing that should have just eaten the real thing or had something else.

Alongside my Instagram addiction, I find myself scouring over ‘what I ate‘ blogs, desperate to find someone with my appetite, only to feel gluttonous. All of a sudden I’m sitting at home, wondering why I’m the person who is dependent on everyone else at the table agreeing to seconds, dessert or a midnight snack.

Food is fuel; I have running personal bests to achieve and I want to feel strong, energised and able. Once I start following a certain diet I’ll convince myself that because I’m eating magical fairy dust I can accomplish all these things. Why? Because the beautiful glowing lady on the internet told me so. Then 3 weeks later I’m clinging to a lamppost, unable to keep running to then be diagnosed anaemic, picking up every cold going and unable to comprehend why I am not glowing?

Throughout my journey I have picked up some sensible knowledge, I learnt that eating less than 1,800 calories a day was not sustainable for me, I started to embrace my healthy appetite and feel good. I’d eat wholesome, balanced meals, bursting with colour and good nutrition, suddenly the world of eating well was my oyster. Then, I’d find myself in the kitchen alternating spoonfuls of nutella and peanut butter from the jar after scanning the internet for the next big thing in diets and lifestyle.

Ahhhh the next big thing, I leant about ‘cheat day’s’ which means I go to a buffet or my kitchen and behave not unlike an un-chaperoned 4 year old. However, I will have prepared for this event by calling it a ‘cheat day‘ and that was just fine by me. Anyway, have you seen the size 6 fitness model on my Instragram feed? She eats’ a 3,000 calorie flex bowl weekly and she’s still very slim, perhaps after the buffet I’ll google the ‘if it fits my macros’ plan.

Last week I realised I cannot sustain this kind of lifestyle, I need to sustain a life where I eat real food which covers all food groups, for my own fitness, health and well-being.  I need to move away from the trendy new ‘life changing’ diet, a life free from desserts made only with dates and green dust.

Maybe after all, I will be healthy, happy and thriving, I’m sure, that was just what I was looking for all along…

Katie

x

19 Comments

  1. March 16, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    Oh, I feel so connect with this post! I have some bad story with diets in the past, and it is never gone (like an alcohol addiction) but I “sober” almost all year around. From my point of view, you really need to relax for a bit and try that “intuitive eating” thing. It seems impossible at first – eat whenever and whatever you want, but after some practice you will feel better!

    • March 24, 2016 / 12:51 pm

      I love how you called it feeling ‘sober’ because it is a genuine addiction, even though it sounds mad. I love the whole ‘Intuitive eating’ idea and I think that would suit me down to the ground, a little of everything would be the key! 🙂 xx

  2. March 16, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    Hey lovely,
    It’s really good to read a post like this because it makes me realise that a) I’m not the only one, and b) there’s always something that can be done about it!
    A confession is always great – and I bet it’s a weight off to get it off your chest.
    I found personally that cheat days don’t work for me, and I just have to make a conscious effort not to buy anything treat like to keep in the cupboard.
    I’m a little bit of a clean eating IIFYM’er. Lol. If I feel like I need something a bit naughty – I make it fit!

    I hope you find your way through this – you definitely will!! Keep us all updated xxx

    • March 24, 2016 / 12:53 pm

      Hi Sweetheart,
      Thank you for your kind comment, I do feel so much better for sharing with everyone!
      IIFYM does look fun as it allows you to enjoy carbs (aka energy!) without feeling any guilt – Whilst I don’t think I could cope with tracking macros again I most certainly will work a treat in when the mood takes me!
      I will update soon 🙂 xxx

  3. Sarah Anne
    March 17, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    Oh, I totally related to a lot of this! Willing other people to want dessert, inhaling the contents of my kitchen and having cheat days…well, weekends, actually. I’m facing up to my yo-yoing, and while I’m not happy with my weight at all right now I’m focusing more of healing my relationship with food rather than cutting the calories to drop weight quickly. It’s a learning curve…

    • March 24, 2016 / 12:55 pm

      I think you summed up my current situation perfectly by saying ‘healing my relationship with food’ and I need to work on the emotion connections I have with food such as ‘guilt’ or ‘joy’ 🙂 It certainly is a learning curve 🙂

  4. March 17, 2016 / 10:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing Katie.
    I think that you need to find your “why”. Why do you want to look a certain way? Why do you want to train or perform a certain way?
    I have had to apply this to food but certainly to training and finding my “why” I want to run faster completely changed things for the positive for me.

    Good luck xx

    • March 24, 2016 / 12:57 pm

      You made a really interesting point here, when I think about my ‘why’ I think about my physical appearance issues stems from previously being overweight/being bullied at school/wanting to ‘fit in’. I think I need to work on my relationship with food and stop pinning certain emotions on it such as ‘oh this will make me happy’ or ‘oh this is naughty’..
      Hopefully by working on my ‘why’ I’ll find perfect balance 🙂 xx

      • March 24, 2016 / 6:10 pm

        Keep digging deep, it’s a revelation once you find your “why”

  5. March 19, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    I totally relate to this. I used a calorie counting website for a bit and it helped me lose some weight, and get used to smaller portion sizes, but near the end it didn’t work for me and I ended up standing in a supermarket trying to decide which ryvita to buy because one had 2 less calories but the other had 1g more fibre or something stupid. Just choose the one you like woman!!! (Was what I ended up telling myself!). I also had all those low sugar cereal bars- Alpen made 60 calorie ones but then the list of ingredients was actually terrifying and so I decided to stop.

    • March 24, 2016 / 1:00 pm

      Oh Maria – Those Alpen bar’s (covers face) I have to eat 2/3 of those to feel any satisfaction and they just don’t hit the spot! I have also stood and studied which Ryvita to buy and that’s not something I’m particularly proud of, I also did the same with chocolate bars, energy bars, natural bar’s..everything really!
      Balance is key…
      Along with cake…that makes everything better 🙂

  6. March 20, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Great post Katie.

    I have dieted on and off for the past twenty years. Last Autumn, about 3-4 months after I started running, I realised that I was wasting my time and had not lost any weight in 20 years. I now try to eat clean 80 percent of then time. The other 20 percent is still pure dirt, but the 80% is getting easier and the 80:20 ratio is gradually going more towards the clean side. My figure’s better and I have lots more energy.

  7. March 24, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    This post so sums up my thinking – I spent my teen years not eating lunch then binging at dinner, my early 20’s were spent on salads and soups, denying my passion for baking and love of afternoon tea. When i first discovered running I ate what I wanted to and when I wanted to, eating instinctively and learning what fuelled my body. I then started to what the lean instragram fit model body so started to macro count – it made me miserable, it gave me results but I didnt want to go out in case i couldnt eat one of my carefully planned meals. Now – I am following healthy eating principles, eating what fuels my body and treating myself when my emotional/mental wellbeing needs it. I am happy, not the slimmest I have ever been but I can alter my training to accomodate this.

    I think it is so brave to be honest about this especially as a fitness blogger. Great blog post!!! xxx

    • March 26, 2016 / 11:54 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment, it’s so wonderful to hear that so many people have felt the same way. Being happy is so much more than a number on the scale and it makes me so very sad that we appear to forget that so often. I couldn’t face the idea of counting macro’s again, it becomes tiring and just kept taking the enjoyment out of meal times. A happy balance is worth so very much more than a ‘banging body’..xx

  8. Running terri
    March 25, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    Katie,

    Thank you so much for sharing. This made me smile so much as I am so similar but it also made me think we are normal. Sounds weird but we are all searching for that perfect diet and plan. But your sum it up so well that only we truly know our bodies and we need to listen to it more. Great blog thank you xx

    • March 26, 2016 / 11:55 am

      If it made you smile then it was a blog worth writing 🙂 We do need to listen to and love our bodies more! 🙂 xx

  9. April 23, 2016 / 11:57 pm

    Your honest and uncompromising blog is always such a great read! I’m not sure why I haven’t read it until now but I loved this post! I struggle so much with body image, changing diets and everything in between. Maybe it’s time for us all to stop, breathe and start to make peace with our bodies. ❤️

  10. July 16, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    I actually very rarely follow proper diets but I do try to count calories and… it’s horrible. You forget that drinks contain calories, so drinking a cup of coffee takes away 100 calories and it’s just ridiculous, I end up feeling starving hungry at the end of the day! To be fair, I’d never actually thought about eating 1,800 calories, because the dieting websites always tell you to eat 1,200 or 1,400 and if you’re trying to do a lot of exercise, you’re so right, that’s not sustainable, you’ll feel knackered! As long as you make the right food choices and don’t worry about the occasional treat you’re more likely to stick to it!

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