Diets don’t work; lifestyle changes do


From the time I was 14, I’ve associated the word “diet” with gross, rabbit-worthy food and running nowhere on the machine of death some people call a treadmill.

All through high school when I started to feel a little heavy, I would make myself miserable for a few weeks by dieting, losing a couple pounds and then giving up on my endeavour entirely.

When I dieted, my whole idea was restriction, restriction, restriction. Don’t look at that pizza. Don’t think about chocolate. Don’t eat those carbs. My head was filled with don’ts, and that depressed me.

When I was 16, I realized I could either continue being miserable on a diet, or I could love my body and what I ate and be happy. I chose the easy route and didn’t diet anymore.

I am a happy person. Most of the time through high school, I never hated my body. I was happy in my body and my circumstances. I didn’t let my weight define me or control me.

That’s why I grew up to be 200 pounds.

I almost couldn’t believe the scale when I saw it. I’ve never been one to define myself by a number on a scale or the size of my pants, but, for some reason, that number hit me harder than I wanted it to. I didn’t want to be 200 pounds. In my theory of “living life how I wanted,” my eating habits diminished, and I lost control of my weight.

As I stood vulnerably on that bathroom scale, I wanted to change, but I dreaded the impending misery that would follow with a diet, knowing I would gain it all back. Then I had epiphany.

Diets don’t work. I had to make a lifestyle change.

And so that’s how my 2016 began, an epiphany on a bathroom scale. I told myself that this was the year I was going to get my life under control in every way. I didn’t want to look at myself as a “thick girl” anymore. I was done looking at old pictures of myself and thinking I couldn’t achieve that. And so I decided to change my life for good.

Socrates said “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Now my mindset isn’t so much restrict, restrict , restrict, but build, change and grow.

Changing your lifestyle is hard. But aren’t all the best things in life hard to achieve? No one has ever accidentally won a Nobel Peace Prize, an Oscar or American Idol.

As with any goal, we have to keep the end in mind. I wasn’t going to lose 55 pounds in one night, no matter how many Pinterest weight loss tricks I found or how many salads I ate out of a jar. This goal is going to take a long time.

I still slip, and that is OK. Sometimes I can’t resist a piece of Little Caesar’s original or a chilly DQ Blizzard. That is OK. Just because I fell short of my goal today doesn’t mean I can’t succeed tomorrow.

“If today you are a little better than you were yesterday, then that’s enough,” said Elder David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Let us continually be better in living out our New Year’s resolutions and recommiting ourselves to them, even when we fall short.



'Diets don’t work; lifestyle changes do' have 2 comments

  1. February 2, 2016 @ 4:49 pm Emdy Koh

    4 years ago, I went on a total vegan diet. To be pure vegan, I cut out non-veg protein food such as meat and also stop taking milk based products such as bread, cakes, chocolate, air cream, etc.

    What I have eaten is, nuts, rice, vegetables, fruits, potatoes, sweet potatoes, wheat foods, etc. Actually there’s lots of vegan foods.

    Guess what, within 2-3 months, I lost almost 5-6 inches off my belly. I was 38 inches, after going on pure vegan, my belly gone down to 32 inches. For that, I didn’t exercise but if I do, I would slim down much faster.

    Sigh…, then after gotten my perfect 32 inches, when I thought is safe to stop my vegan diet, now I have return to my 35 inches. Haha…

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  2. February 8, 2016 @ 1:08 pm Nugget offers 'lifestyle diets'

    […] Diets don't work; lifestyle changes do From the time I was 14, I've associated the word “diet” with gross, rabbit-worthy food and running nowhere on the machine of death some people call a treadmill. All through high school when I started to feel a little heavy, I would make myself … Read more on BYU-I Scroll […]

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