Most people ring in the New Year by setting goals for themselves. These often include going to the gym more, losing weight and eating healthier. My New Years Resolution for 2018 was to stop dieting. After seven months of counting calories and exercising to burn off as many as I could, I realized that losing weight had gone beyond a healthy choice and had truly become an obsession.
Here are some things that I noticed and that convinced me to change my eating habits:
1. You don’t want to go out to eat
Not knowing how many calories were in my food at a restaurant was one of my biggest fears while dieting. My friends would invite me to dinner, and the first thing I would do was go on the restaurant’s website to see if they had nutritional information to make sure there was something I thought I could eat. I also caught myself making up excuses so I didn’t have to go.
2. You distance yourself from your family
My big reality check hit me at our family’s Christmas Eve dinner. Every year the spread includes appetizers, seven fishes and garlic bread, salad, lasagna and two tables full of desserts. I only ate appetizers and the fishes before I realized I had gone over my calorie count for the day. I missed the last three courses of dinner and went on a four-mile run. I was so disappointed that I let my diet take away one of my favorite holidays and the only time my entire family was together all year. Christmas day I made my resolution to change.
3. You feel badly when you eat unhealthily
I caught myself feeling sad or aggravated every time I broke my diet. I had become so obsessed with the number of calories I had eaten that it correlated to my mood. Since I’ve ended my diet, I am much happier and have a lot less anxiety when it comes to eating or drinking.
4.The gym feels like a punishment for eating that slice of pizza
Before starting my diet, I loved working out. I enjoyed the rush of endorphins after completing a long run or strengthening exercises. I also loved to go to the gym with my friends. One of my biggest changes in my routine was that I cancelled doing things that I enjoyed in order to have time to go to the gym or run at least once a day.
5. The number on the scale defines you
While dieting, I weighed myself when I woke up, before and after every meal, and before I went to sleep everyday. I was obsessed with the numbers and calculating how much I still wanted to lose. I had an unrealistic goal weight and when I was unable to maintain it, I made myself miserable.
There are healthy ways to lose weight, and I highly encourage anyone considering a diet or lifestyle change to consult with a doctor or health professional before doing so. Healthy is beautiful!