Folding Down the Diet Myth-Part 1-Lessons from 34 Years of Dieting

SCAN0097Do you recognize me?

In the past 34 years I have learned a thing or two about dieting.

Ugh, just thinking of dieting sends chills down my spine.

You see I was 11 years when I consciously remember dieting, it was to be the first of many diets that would span the next 34 years to this point in my life.

It was an ad in the back of the Sunday tabloid that my dad had delivered, he was a working man who made his fortune and never read The Times or business papers, he liked his tabloid paper.

And there nestled between the back page ads for all kinds of girls was the little advert for the newest diet craze. The shake diet.

It was called The Cambridge Diet, the ad said it consisted of shakes available in chocolate or vanilla, just three shakes a day and see the weight vanish.

I still don’t know “how” I got the diet in my hands, I had to order it, I didn’t have a bank account, I was 11 years old and it was 34 years ago. Somehow I paid for it and had it delivered to my school (thankfully some there were boarders and they handed out mail at assembly every morning).

I do remember the Head Mistress thinking it strange that I, as a daily and not a boarder, received a piece of mail but somehow I got past that hurdle too.

Then I had to get the box home in my satchel without my mum seeing it, not easy, this woman is a hawk and sees everything, especially a guilty face!

And thus began my other journey of guilt and shame at needing to diet, possibly one of the most negative side effects of dieting is this guilt and shame, more on that in later posts.

But I got it past her and into the depths of my closet. I was going to be thin. And all I had to do was drink 3 shakes a day, all the nutrition I needed was in that sachet, that’s what the marketing materials said.

And this act of being able to surpass all those hurdles at age 11 to get my hands on a diet product is proof of how far we will go when we are desperate to lose weight.

And the truth of the pudding is in the tasting…

YUCK! It was so gross I cannot even tell you how nasty that stuff tasted.

So the Cambridge Diet was a flop for me yet it started a journey that even I could not have foreseen would last more than three decades.

I had entered the Enchanted Forest of Dieting. A deep and dense forest that lures you in with promises that you want to hear and as you get deeper into the trees the forest continues luring you with promises such as…

Lose 20lbs in 30 days

Flatter belly with no push ups

New sculpted body is less than 5 minutes a day….blah blah.

Thing is that the gatekeepers of the Enchanted Forest, namely the marketing departments, know exactly what to say at exactly the right moment. They know we are weak when we feel the full burden of the weight we carry.

They know we have already tried many things and will try many more, just to find that one that works.

And in doing so we spend upwards of $4bn a year on dieting, yep dieting has become an industry and a big one at that.

So with all that money you might think dieting has come a long way since my first sip of the coolaid (aka the nasty shake).

WRONG!

As an industry, yes it has grown, and as a population, so have we, to the tune of obesity and overweight rates tipping 66% of the nation…

Do you see the dichotomy here?

$4 BILLION spent by dieters to fail. 95% of people who lose weight will fail to keep it off more than a year. Let me say that again, $4bn spent on dieting and 95% of those people fail to keep the weight off, if they lost any at all.

WOW, give me $4bn and I am sure I could get higher stats than this.

Here’s the thing, the diet industry is failing each and every one of us that has reached the end of our tolerance with our bodies and yet we still keep pumping money into this machine.

The funny thing is I look back at photos from school and I wasn’t even fat, but I already had the mentality that I was because I wasn’t as skinny as those around me. Again more on this in later posts.

At 15 I tried starving myself and then when I started eating I tried throwing up. Neither worked very well for me though I had friends that did it and it seemed (we now know better) to work. Today am happy those strategies did not work for me, I could have a whole host of problems if they did.

It was not until I realized through my journaling that I needed to try something different, dieting was not working for me.

Chances are it is not working for you either.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing more of my weight release journey.

In the meantime I would love to hear your experience, have you been to the Enchanted Forest, are you lost in there or did you find a path out?

It is time to fold down the diet myth and try something new. If you are ready to try something different we would love to speak with you, click here to book a spotlight session where we can talk about strategies to free you of the diet chains.

Live. Love. Be Loved.