Friday, August 24, 2007

The Last Diet

I've mentioned that I was put on my first diet at 12* because I weighed three pounds more than my mother. I dieted off and on from then until I was 16, when I went to live with my Great-Aunt Julie. Auntie didn't believe in putting girls on diets, so I was off of them until I decided I wanted to lose some weight right before I went to college. From then on, I did at least one diet a year, and as time went on they became more frequent. As time went on, they became more draconian, since I was past "needing" to lose three pounds.

My last diet was in 2000. I had been on a number of increasingly crazy diets over the previous three years, each one followed by the inevitable trampoline rebound. So, in about February of 2000, I was planning to go to California that fall for vacation, and I wanted to be thinner so I could play hide and seek with Maya more easily.

I decided that if I went on a fruit juice fast, that would take off a lot of weight and Maya and I could do lots of things that I hadn't been able to do with her before. So, there I was with a calorie counter, figuring out which juice had the fewest calories, when I heard myself think, "and if I cut it half and half with water, that will go even faster."

That was when I knew that I had lost my mind. That the idea of living on fruit juice cut half and half with water was not a thought that a sane person would have.

And that was the last time I was tempted to diet. In that moment of epiphany, it was over. In seven years, I've not done that again. Not that once in a while I don't think about it -- but the thoughts are on the order of, "too bad dieting doesn't work, because I would like to be smaller." Not once have I been really tempted to ever do that again. And, in the years since, I have become very educated about the truth about dieting and weight. I have learned the things I only wish I had known at 12, the things about bodies and genetics and depravation reactions. I've learned to see the money that is to be made by making people hate themselves and convincing them that you have the answer that will make their body, and therefore their life, just right.

* This is the before picture for my second diet, at 14.


J at said...

I'm glad you don't diet anymore. I think it can drive people crazy.

That before picture makes me want to cry. The idea of putting such a pretty young girl on a diet, especially during prime growing years...UGH. (Ugly girls, and in between girls, and boys of all kinds, shouldn't go on diets either...I'm not only feeling for the pretty ones...but you look so young and pretty and innocent in that picture)

Angela said...

Hi Maya's Granny,

Just wanted to say I'm enjoying your blog very much. Glad you gave up dieting and thank you for saving me - I was just about to go on one!!!

Chancy said...

I quit stepping on the scales about 5 years ago and I have not had a second thought about it.

Ginnie said...

Those are wise words. It's just another area where I wish I'd done it differently...and now that I am in my 70's it all seems so silly that we actually listened to all that garbage that "they" told us !

Rain said...

What we weigh is so much our metabolism. I was in a See's Candy store today-- obviously I am not on a diet-- and commented to the older woman who filled my order-- This is a fun place to work but how do you stay so slim? she said it was all metabolism and the other woman behind the counter who wasn't so slim said it didn't work for her. It is so much things we can't even take credit for that determines if we are slim or heavy no matter what we eat. Sure there are some who are slim and eat in a way that it's no surprise and likewise some who are obese and eat everything in the house, but a lot if it has more to do with genetics than diet.

Deja Pseu said...

It's such a relief, isn't it, to know that you'll never deprive yourself again. I remember I used to start all of my diets on Monday, so Sunday was either spent bingeing or throwing away all of the "bad" food. Glad to be done with that nonsense!