Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's All About Balance

The whole reason I decided to get a lap band was because I had finally realised that diets don't work. I have been on a diet since I was 5 years old and have succeeded in getting fatter every year until I was morbidly obese. The problem is that even when I got the lap band I stuck with the old diet mentality of thinking I had to be hungry and deprived to lose weight. This was mostly because I wasn't 'working' my lap band by having enough restriction in it due to my employment situation. I was also pushing myself to do exercise I didn't enjoy and I wasn't achieving the balance I wanted in my life. Basically, weight loss was still a huge bloody effort.

I read a lot of weight loss surgery blogs and what I have noticed is that a lot of the people who have been successful in losing weight and living a balanced life are the ones that stopped dieting when they had their surgery. They listen to their bodies and eat when they are hungry and eat foods that sustain their bodies. I haven't been doing a very good job of listening to my body, both in forcing myself to be hungry, and also over eating.

I seem to constantly be putting a lot of pressure on myself to get to a certain weight by a certain day, which only encourages my starve and binge mentality. As with any diet, you can only sustain the behaviour for a limited period of time before you come undone. That is the point I am at now, but I feel strangely calm about it all of a sudden. I realised on the weekend that if I don't lose another kilo for the rest of my life, that would be OK. I would actually like to lose more weight, but accepting that I am OK as I am now and I don't have to hate myself has been a huge relief.

Of course it's not as simple as just saying that and erasing 25 years of bad behaviours and self-hatred... I think it'll take a lot of work to achieve the balance I am after, but that will be my new goal from now on. Instead of striving for a particular number on the scale or a size on my clothes, I just want to feel good about my body and my health. I want to eat food I enjoy and that makes my body feel good and I want to do exercise that puts a smile on my face. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't love to squeeze my arse into a pair of size 10 jeans or see 65 kilos on the scales one day, but I am not going to define my self-worth on these factors.

I must admit that this isn't the first time these thoughts have crossed my mind, but I am determined to work harder on putting these thoughts into practice. Life is just too short to diet.


  1. Hi Tully. Great post. A life coach I went to long ago tried to teach me "resistance is persistance" so if we resist our bodies it will persist in its current form. However, if we embrace and accept it and learn to love it we are then giving ourselves permission to change, kind of letting go and removing the power our body image has over us.

    What I understand that to mean is dieting and a crazy exercise plan is just a way of resisting our bodies and who we are which is always doomed to fail because its unsustainable and will cause more anguish that it does good. Whereas, if we do as you said, eat food we like that makes us feel good, do exercise we enjoy, then we are embracing and learning to love our bodies and as such allowing for change to come.

    I don't know if this makes sense but it kind of goes to what you've said.


  2. Wonderful post!

    I am one of those that started right out from surgery with a balanced approach. But it's slow going this way and there are times I wonder if I'm doing it "right". Nonetheless, I want something I can sustain for the long haul and this approach feels very real and natural to me. If I never get to goal, whatever. I'm half way there and I've enjoyed each and every day and each pound lost. I just hope it keeps up.

  3. Very insightful post. Thank you for sharing :).

  4. This is a great post, Tully -- there must be so, so many people out there that need to hear this.

    It's good to hear that you want to focus on achieving a balance -- and work hard at it, rather than being a slave to the diet/starve/deprive mindset.

    You're doing so great -- it's not just about the weight loss, it's about the healthy attitudes and relationships (with yourself, with food, even with others) and you're kicking arse everywhere.

  5. Tully,

    You look AMAZING! I know you can figure out the whole no dieting thing. I have struggled for years, but I'm now finally able to eat moderatly and it isn't a struggle. Just knowing that I can have whatever foods I want, in appropriate quantities, is key for me.

  6. WELL done Tully love. Very positive. More of this attitude please.

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Awww thanks so much for the comment!