The diet is over!! Hurray, the diet is dead.
Let me fill in some blanks...
Why was I on a diet?
Bottom line is that it was an experiment. I wanted to feel what it was like to be on a diet. I've never been on one in my life you see. I wanted to experience what so many people who come to see me experience everyday in terms of the mental pressure or not that goes with one of these choices. (At the end of the day for the vast majority it is a choice in terms of what you eat.)
I've decided, at the end of my quest, that there is pressure when dieting. There is a lot of pressure and that pressure causes so many things to happen in almost an avalanche of emotions at times. It really isn't easy being on a diet, and that has nothing to do with the food.
You see I'm soon to kick off some work with a group of people who are led by diet rather than exercise in the management of their ongoing issues. Exercise is not a part of daily life for them. But the view of myself and others is that it can and should be. So I did a diet to see what it is be like them for two weeks.
What diet did I do?
It really isn't that important to know the ins and outs of it other than that it is a government backed approved diet that saw me cut my daily calorie intake by over two thirds. It was extreme but I wanted to feel consumed by what I was doing. Boy was I not disappointed!
If you read the updates you'll know that I came off the diet last weekend as I had some big training miles to get in and then went back on it again Monday just gone. Regardless of what I was doing I was sensible. I wholly believe that this diet is anything but sensible.
The other reason I don't want to publicise the diet is simply down to the amount of private messages I had asking for the details of the diet. I was shocked by how many people took the time to message me because this diet could be "the one".
There really are better ways to develop your relationship with food. I will talk about that next week. Please believe me that dieting isn't the answer, it merely makes you miserable.
What did I learn on this diet?
Most importantly I learned that I love food and I love eating and I love the process of sitting around a table talking whilst eating (not with my mouth full!). I don't believe that the diet culture allows for this. If you're dieting, eating becomes a transactional process and nothing more. I'm really glad it is over so that I can reconnect with people who matter who I've shut out because of a food experiment. That this can happen has really shocked, saddened and annoyed me. I disconnected with food and eating processes and through that I disconnected somewhat with people who matter. Towards the end I was eating alone as I didn't want to share my misery or watch others enjoying food I couldn't have. I'm sure this is going on in houses all over the UK but are the diet companies feeling any remorse about that? Unlikely.
Similarly I totally see how people make poor food choices when they come off diets. The disconnect when on a diet is so big that I can see how one would over eat and also choose the wrong foods when the diet is no more.
I noticeably had less energy, considerably less energy. Food is fuel and we need it to power our bodies to move. We are not sedentary creatures. We should be moving.
I learned that if you diet and you stick to it you lose weight. (You knew that!) I also learned that when you come off that diet you put weight back on again. (This happened last weekend when I came off the diet for the weekend so I could run and attend a show and guess what? - You knew that too!!)
So with that last point in mind, rather than live an unsustainable lifestyle that sees you getting bigger, why not live a sustainable lifestyle that sees you happy and healthy and fit for purpose? When you say it like that it makes you wonder why anyone would diet.
If we just stopped thinking about losing weight and started thinking about gaining knowledge rather than being led the possibilities are endless.
The fitness, nutrition and even the rehab industries are full of people telling you that you need them to achieve your goals. You don't. We should all be able to fix ourselves and I intend to help you get there. If you want to help me continue my quest to make myself redundant watch out for the post next week on how to make yourself and your weight your choices ongoing.