How I quit dieting and reached my ideal weight
Hi, I'm Rachel and my mission this year is to help 1000 women quit those words 'I'm on a diet' and to find a real happiness with their amazing bodies, and redevelop a love for all food.
I'll tell you the story - it starts in my late teens, so well over 20 years ago.....
Now let me be really crystal clear, I have never been obese and I believe a lot of you probably are not either. I don't have a weight problem that affects my health. I've been chunky or 'stocky' as one boyfriend put it. But I've never battled more than 2 stone or gone above a BMI of 25.
Why is this important? Because this story isn't about actual weight - it's about how you feel about yourself every day, it's about how you beat yourself up and feel fat, it's about wasting life on a diet rather than loving your body, nurturing it and eating well.
If you are like me then you are pretty darn happy, you have what you need in your life - sure stuff happens but you are pretty good with life. At work, in your home life, lovely friends. So why on earth are you fretting about weight? You know what to do .... eat less & move more right? Hah. Right. It's most certainly not that simple.
For 20 years, from age 19 to 39 I dieted almost continuously - mostly I stayed at 11 stone. For those 20 years. Even though I was dieting......for 20 years. WHHHHAAAAT.
Me: 2005. 11 stone and in the heart of my obsession with weight loss. My BMI was just over 24, I worked out A LOT & I was always on a diet. Just ' good stock' as my Uncle George, a livestock farmer, informed me after patting my arms, I had huge arms!
I was obsessed. My favourite was Weight Watchers and I loved a detox diet plan. Detox Detox Detox. But did I lose any weight? No. Not a bean. I did form a long lasting love of chick peas and nut butter so there is a silver lining!
The fact of the matter was I was at my heaviest when I was dieting the most. In my day to day work as a marketing specialist, I went to work for the weight loss company I loved the most, and it was there that my eyes were well and truly opened to the paradox.
Dieting does the opposite of what it's meant to do. Sure there are some people who go about it exactly the right way, and it works for them. Usually first time. But they are a handful, a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of us.
I tallied up that in subscriptions and special food shops, I had spent around £4,000 pounds over that 15 years trying to diet.
My epiphany came as I was training to be a life coach. I have always loved being able to support and nurture the dreams of others and I wanted to grow my professional coaching ability. The unexpected flip side was that in that year of training on how to be a coach, I got coached myself - I got to see where I was killing myself and holding onto a black cloud of self loathing about my weight. I got to work through it and transform the way I felt about myself and learn how to harness my personality, my nature - to achieve what I wanted to.
Over the next 12 months, without paying for any commercial diets, by appreciating my body, and eating well, I reached my ideal weight. I stopped dieting and learned to love my body, eat unprocessed foods 80% of the time, and manage those roaring survival instincts that drive me to grab those office cakes.
2013 - I'd followed my own plan and hit what I thought was my dream weight. I stayed at my 'oh so magic' 9 stone for just a few months. I looked sallow, there was nothing to fill out clothes with my flat butt and I lost my chest completely. Not a place I wanted to stay.
My journey didn't quite end there - when I reached my 'ideal weight' I realised there was probably a good reason I'd never been less than 9 stone. I slowly gained back 10lbs as I was horribly thin. No boobs, flat butt – not good.
I’ve settled at my real ideal weight for the last 3 years and here about I stay. No fuss, no bother.
I now coach women, successful, awesome, happy women who have this one black cloud that they need to get rid of. I coach body confidence, simple eating and an understanding of how we are wired to behave.
I don't believe we should diet. I believe we should eat well. I believe we need to regain our confidence to make great choices around food. I believe we need to fall back in love with our amazing bodies and appreciate ourselves now, today and on every step the journey. It's OK to love and champion your body whilst you evolve and improve your diet.
And you never know, once you reach your magic ideal weight, you may find it was a false trophy (at 9 stone I did look a bit witchy in a dim light!) and come back to somewhere just right. There is nothing wrong with curves, be healthy, be fit and active and start loving your body.
Rachel Streek - Life Coach. Nutritional Adviser. Blogger
I work with women to help them reconnect with their amazing bodies, succeed with their ideal weight goals and throw off the guilt and failure of dieting for good.