5 dumb things I’ve done to lose weight (and I bet I’m not alone)

So if you are like 99% of the people I’ve known, you’d like to lose weight.  Maybe you really are unhealthy, or maybe you’ve been conned by the evil fashion and diet industry into thinking emaciated = beautiful.  I don’t know your story, but I do know that I somehow got it into my head from a very early age that my body was too big and if I was to be considered beautiful / lovable / acceptable then I had to make my body smaller.  I actually smile writing this because a) it sounds ridiculous and makes me laugh now and b) I don’t believe it anymore.  But I also know many, many people who do.  As I reflect on the things I’ve done over the years to lose weight some of them make me really sad and this is not a sad article so I won’t talk about those ones, but some were just downright silly.  So here they are:

1)    Magical salts to make me eat less
I won’t tell you the brand name, but the idea was you sprinkle these on your food. There were some for sweet foods and some for savory foods and you were supposed to put them on everything you eat.  The salts didn’t taste like anything but were supposed to trick your brain into feeling satiated.  Bottom line  I paid a few hundred dollars for ‘magical crystals’ that I couldn’t taste or smell but that would make me less hungry.  Weight loss = 0 pounds.

2)    Magical rain forest compound to speed up my metabolism
Thank you very much Dr. Liar (you know who I’m talking about) but Gingko whatever and Green tea so and so did NOT magically make the pounds drop off.  However, the fake free trial where they tell you you have a month to try it but you only have 2 weeks to cancel your order did set me back $198.95 for a free trial.  Weight loss = 0

3)    Core Rhythms
This was not a diet supplement, but an exercise thing.  I was to learn how to dance like a Latina Goddess and magically transform my lower body into Shakira’s.  Now, this might have worked had I actually been a Latina Goddess but unfortunately, my Polish Peasant is predominant and I couldn’t shake it shake it shake it to save my life.  Sigh.  Weight loss = 0

4)    1,577, 614 hours of ‘cardio’
Now this one kind of pisses me off, actually, because I spent a LOT of time at a big box gym in the cardio room because THEY told me that prolonged low-impact cardio was good for fat burning. Liars liars pants on fires.  What tipped me off mostly to this one was the other woman in the gym doing the same thing, who month over month accrued more and more tensor bandages as she sustained repetitive stress injuries but did not change noticeably in any area.  That, and learning about high intensity interval training from the best trainer in the world (that would be Tony).  Weight loss = +3, -3, +3, -3 ad infinitum.

5)    Abstained from an entire food group
First it was fat.  I think I might have gone 2 years without eating any added fat in my diet.  That was the Season of the Carrot.  I ate so many carrot sticks I actually turned orange.  After that was Atkins where I didn’t eat any carbs.  That didn’t last as long (because abstaining from carbs kind of meant abstaining from wine which was not a desirable option at the time).  The point was that abstaining from an entire ‘macro’ would magically allow me to shed pounds without feeling hungry.  Net weight loss = 0

I’m probably not the only person who has wished and even paid money for a ‘magical’ solution….i.e. one where you can attain a goal (that may or may not be possible for your genetic type) without going through any discomfort to get it.  I didn’t get lasting change until I got reasonable goals, realized that if you don’t change something, nothing changes, and accepted that discomfort doesn’t kill me.

There is also a dark side to the story that many have experienced that’s not a laughing matter. If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder there is help. People die from this and it’s tragic.  Often, shame or embarrassment keeps people from reaching out for the help they need and I would implore you to pick up the phone and make a call if you are worried that your ‘dieting’ is out of control!

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