At 5”1 and 223 pounds, I consider myself a diet almost-expert. Yes, you read that correctly. I say almost-expert and not expert because I’ve been on almost every popular diet, but not every diet. Some of these diets I’ve even repeated 3,4, 5 times!
Sometime in college I discovered the South Beach Diet I noticed that my best friend’s skinny older sister had gotten even skinnier. “You should read this book” she told me. I bought it that same day I’m sure, for I usually by a new diet book the same day I find out about it. Two days later I was grocery shopping for every single ingredient in phase 1 and most of the ingredients in phase 2. I would go on to lose about 25 pounds and fit into a size 6, my version of skinny.
In grad school I saw a poster about the HCG diet. It seemed a little extreme but I thought surely a diet that involves injecting yourself with a hormone daily must work like magic, why else would anyone do that? Well, I was thrilled to find out that the HCG plan starts with something called a fat loading phase. You basically eat anything and everything you want for a day. That was definitely my favorite part. In fact I loved that phase of the plan so much I repeated it about 5 times, I would find an excuse to “start over.” Needless to say, the HCG plan wasn’t magic. It did however help me get over my fear of needles.
The summer before my wedding I walked into a Medifast office. I knew nothing about Medifast other than there was an office right next to my place of work at the time, so it seemed convenient. The lobby was filled with before and after posters that gave me great hope. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if I could jump and make my heels touch my butt too? That was all I needed to hand over my credit card. After months of pre-packaged mashed potatoes (taste almost like the real thing) and chili (not even close to the real thing) I was down 25 pounds and back to being “skinny”, a size 6!
I also dabbled with Weight Watchers, Advocare, Shakeology, the Abs diet, calorie tracking apps, and diet pills where which once helped jumpstart a 50 pound weight loss. One of the most memorable diets however, remains the Master Cleanse AKA The Lemonade Diet AKA What-Beyonce-Did. When I started that diet I was around 190 pounds, young, and desperate. For those of you that aren’t aware, it involves chugging down salt water in the morning and drinking cayenne pepper-infused lemonade throughout the day. During this time I got really good at keeping my head in the sink while my butt on the toilet at the same time. Lemonade will never be the same again.
What I realize now is that is that nothing is really wrong with those diets individually. If you can you be consistent and stick to any one you will “get there”. Instead what was wrong was inside of me. I have now developed diet brain. If I wasn’t on a diet then I was ordering a pizza. That’s right, one whole pizza for me only. I was eating a Whole Foods desert every night, and if it was Friday, I was probably having two deserts. I gave in to every little and big desire, and even if I didn’t desire it I would eat it anyway thinking it might make me feel better.
So a lifetime of diet brain has brought me to this day. I’m 5”1 and I weight 223 pounds.