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Stages of Crash Dieting for that Spring Break Bod

Spring Break is just around the corner, which means it’s time for a deluge of fitness and weight-loss ads. Do you want to lose 10 lbs in an absurdly short period of time? Do you want to buy this new super pill that’ll cut out all the fat (also your kidneys, but we don’t talk about that)? Do you hate yourself in some way? 


We all fall prey to this, and as someone who has struggled with self-esteem issues in the past that occasionally resurface from time to time, these ads can seem extremely attractive. A magic solution that will have you looking like Kate Upton within a week? Sign me up. 


And lo and behold, year after year, many of us (myself included) go through the same pattern, falling for the rhetoric, hook line and sinker: 


1. You find your “fitspo” through ads, films, magazine covers, etc. Most of them happen to be VS models, tbh. 


2. After vowing to lose those 10 lbs, you make a detailed plan of all the food you will not be eating and all the ways you’ll burn calories over the next few weeks. 


3. You wake up, bright and early, on Day 1 to work out and feel the sins of the past leaving your body and Health entering. That killer workout playlist you made is blating away and you feel like Beyoncé herself (or at least one of her back up dancers…)


4. After the workout (which you totally crushed), you stick to your food plan, which is basically liquid foods for a week, and feel like a superhero. Health personified. 


5. Mid-afternoon cravings strike but you resist.


6. Later down the line (perhaps Day 2…) every time you step onto that treadmill, you regret everything. 


7. The ‘food’ tastes like nothing and your stomach wants something more substantive. 


8. You spend most of the days tired and/or cranky. 


9. When you finally give into your cravings, it’s not pretty. 


10. But honestly, who gives a damn? As long as you’re healthy and happy, you’re beautiful and you know it. Fad diets will come and go. Your strength and true worth are here to stay.  


11. Sooner or later, you learn to accept the body you’re in and to treat it with care and respect. You learn that a healthy, balanced lifestyle is far better than crash dieting or falling prey to the latest “health” scam. You learn to talk to yourself the way you would to your best friend. 


12. Haters be hating. You’re better than them all. Go get ’em, gorgeous. 


I am an American medical student at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. I have been an avid writer for several years, focusing mainly on creative writing. But I hope to be more involved in our university's culture, particularly by bringing interesting information to all of our students!
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