If not dieting, then what? AKA The one where I overshare about my food issues

I have just started a book called If not dieting, then what? by Dr Rick Kausman. I randomly picked it up in Brunswick Savers because the title is kind of catchy, and seriously, I think this book will changed my life.

Since I was about 13, I have been on countless diets. Weight Watchers (twice), Atkins (constipation!), gluten-free (gross), vegetarian (oh hell no), vegan (for about 3 hours until I realised I couldn’t eat cheese, chocolate or bacon #veganfail), paleo (missed bread too much), juice fasts (missed chewing too much), raw foodism (WTF) the Michelle Bridges one (ain’t nobody got time to exercise for an hour a day), the I Quit Sugar one (Sarah Fucking Wilson) and some bizarre thing where I ate a lot of cottage cheese and spring onions and had to have monthly blood tests… and the weird thing is that besides my student exchange to France in Year 11 where I put on 12 kilos due to basically eating cheese and butter for several months, I have hovered somewhere between 65 and 70kg since I was about 17. For a 175cm woman who has had two kids, I am not overweight. Rationally, I know this. I even mostly like my body – it has made two incredible humans and allows me to do all sorts of cool things.

I am a rampant feminist and get such rage when I see magazine covers and advertisements that are aimed at making women feel like shit. I know that weight is just a number and that scales should be banned. I know that exercise and eating well should be about feeling good and being healthy, not being ‘bikini ready’ – whatever the hell that even means.

I’ve always had this feeling that if I just found the right diet, the right way of eating, then I would feel better. I would be able to calmly eat dessert without spiralling into a pit of guilt. I wouldn’t automatically calculate calories in my head when assessing a menu. I’d be able to enjoy my food more and be disciplined and resolute and glowy. After getting halfway through the first chapter of this book, I had a huge light bulb moment. It isn’t food or fat or diets that are the problem. It is my relationship with food, and eating more broadly.

I kind of had an inkling of this a few years ago when I went to see a nutritionist who specialised in eating disorders and appropriate eating habits. I ended up in tears in the first session and was so affected by the experience that I never went back. It brought up all my feelings about food and I realised just how deep this stuff goes.

Anyway, I’ve only read the first chapter so I’m sure there are many more truthbombs to come. There are loads of resources about mindful and positive eating on the If not dieting website.

Here’s an article by Dr Rick about the realities of weight loss. Mind blowing stuff.

And another one about how a healthy relationship with eating is more complex than just ditching the diet.

I know this is a pretty personal post, I just needed to write it out. And god knows I’ve shared everything else on here, so why not my weird eating angst ?!

xx

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5 thoughts on “If not dieting, then what? AKA The one where I overshare about my food issues

  1. Hi Emma! This is so wonderful – honest, funny & reflective. I bet loads of people can relate. Thanks so much for your generous link to my blog on Body Positive, and I really wish you all the very best in your pursuit of a more peaceful relationship with food and your body. PS You’ve got the right book there – Dr Rick does indeed rock 🙂
    Fiona

  2. I wonder who we can get as a podcast guest to talk about pre/post preg body issues… a dietician? Weight loss therapist? Hmmm…

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  3. Spot on. I read the book years ago and have found peace (most of the time) with my relationship with food. Like anything it takes time, persistence and love to change a long standing relationship but hey, it’s worth it. Thanks Emma,

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