In 1992, at my heaviest weight of 90 kilograms, I decided to break every diet rule in the book – I stopped dieting. As a result, I lost 30 kilograms! By not dieting, I was able to stop overeating once and for all, and I have kept the weight off to this day.
People I meet assume I have never had food or weight issues because of the way I look now, but the truth is I spent over 15 years of my life dieting. When I was just 13 years old, a well meaning uncle mentioned that I was putting on weight and should start watching what I ate and go on a diet. I had just hit puberty, so of course my body was changing shape! But those comments got me started on my very first diet – one of many to follow, and by the time I was 14, I had memorised the calorie value of every food on the market. I’d diligently count calories, limit my food severely and would manage to lose 2-3 kilograms, but then hunger would get the better of me and I’d be hoeing into whatever I could get my hands on. I don’t think I ever actually managed to lose any weight for longer than a week or two. Every attempt I made ended up in a cycle of weight loss and weight regain, and each time I would gain a little extra.
I knew my weight was completely related to my relationship with food. As a teenager, my “large appetite” was a bit of a family joke, but after I was married I really began to pile on the weight. Always unhappy with the way I looked and felt, I would vow to start start a new diet every Monday. Every Sunday evening I’d be determined to start afresh with a new diet in the morning, but by Tuesday night I would usually be gorging on greasy chips and takeaways.
The turning point came just after I turned 28 in 1992. I jumped on some coin-operated scales at the airport and the dial registered a horrifying 90 kilograms. I was heavier than I was at 9 months pregnant! Realising this meant I was around 30 kilograms over my ideal weight I vowed to myself that very moment that I would stop making any more excuses. It was time to make some serious changes – not just for a week or two – but for life.
I jumped off the scales and at that very same time I jumped off the diet treadmill. Eight months later, I’d lost 30 kilograms and my husband, Paul had lost 20 kilograms.
To this day I am still 30 kilograms lighter. I feel confident, I can wear any clothes I like, and I am proud of my body! Now I wake up in the morning and think about what I am going to do, not what I am going to eat or what diet I should start.
Losing the weight took longer than it would have with a quick-fix, but the result has been permanent. It wasn’t easy at first. The “diet mentality” was ingrained in my head for some time and it took quite a while to rid myself of it, but eventually I learnt that I could trust my body to let me know when I was satisfied and stop eating before I felt uncomfortably full. I was able to teach myself to understand and feel what true physical hunger felt like again, and respond to it by eating, and stop eating when I feel satisfied (not full). I realised that as soon as I felt true physical hunger again, I could respond by eating again. I now also realise that I had often eaten for reasons other than to satisfy true physical hunger. I now recognise that I often ate when I felt tired, bored, happy, excited, frustrated or lonely, and whenever I was procrastinating.
I had to learn to recognise and deal with these situations and emotions, and to satisfy my needs in other ways rather than with food.
I will never go back to my old ways. I have easily kept my weight off. No dieting, no counting, calories, points, or carbs, and with no deprivation. I eat with total trust in myself, and no feelings of guilt.
I’ve done it, and you can too.
It is my absolute passion to help you change. Contact me to find out all the information on how you can achieve permanent weight management without dieting.
I have authored three best-selling healthy eating books, and I have appeared numerous times on national television and radio stations. Our story and work has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines over the years.
I am so grateful that dieting didn’t worked for me long term. Otherwise I wouldn’t have sourced out a better way! I wouldn’t be able to eat whatever I want and effortlessly maintain my slimmest weight since high school!
I am deeply passionate about helping women to eliminate the dieting mentality, end emotional and habitual overeating, to find peace with food, and discover how to lose weight once and for all – without dieting.