In this exercise, I’m to write about the various diet plans I’ve tried. Thankfully, the only time I was ever subjected to a for-pay diet was this Daddy/daughter thing I was forced to participate in between 3rd and 4th grade. I think the only reason they thought I lost weight was because I grew three inches over that time period. Basically the entire program was a combination of fat-shaming and indoctrinating girls to believe they should feel slightly hungry or starved all the time.
It was bullshit.
And, as I learned when I finally did lose a significant amount of weight in high school, it didn’t matter what I did. Before weight loss, my mother: “So what, you’re too fat and lazy to do x?”
After weight loss: “So now that you have a waistline you’re too stupid to do x?”
My family is composed of horrible people. Not just decent people who are sometimes awful to the ones they love, but honest to God, consistently horrible people. The kind who make a big show to those outside their household of how much they love their family. Then the front door closes, and the dark night begins.
I will say that this particular bit of nastiness prompted me to understand that the issues about my weight were my mother’s issues with controlling me, and I realized that not only did she have no right to my body, my ability to change it caused her enormous amounts of fear. If she couldn’t control my body or my body image, what else in me was beyond her power?
As it turns out, ALL OF ME. My body is mine. My spirit is mine. And she can stake no claim, right or privilege over my body, my life or my choices.
This meant that in college I began to try other diets. I did successfully cut out red meat for a long time. I’m not averse, terribly, but I don’t digest it well and the regular childhood meals of “pick a meat and plan around it” just never appealed to me as an adult. I have a steak once a month, give or take, because iron pills just don’t cut it.
For awhile I did go vegetarian, but when I tried out veganism I began spontaneously seeing auras, so I worked the dairy back in.
I tried SlimFast to spectacular failure right before my first wedding.
Now, I accept that I truly enjoy food. It’s not just about being not-hungry (you rarely need to actually be full) it’s about a simple, enjoyable experience. I give that to myself best when I cook for myself. And I’ve found little ways to cook for myself and save time. On Sunday nights, I prep some meals for the week: in summer, I pre-make salads and fruit/yogurt smoothies that I can grab as I go. In winter, canned soup is fine, but I may boil up some brown rice to throw in a pan with lemon juice, and I’m looking ahead to a few more plan-ahead meals for fall and winter, especially since I now have a squash allergy. It’s all about the simple passion of enjoyment. I like pleasures throughout the day, not just food, but it’s a good place to start.