I do. I was in Grade 9. It was 1989. My volleyball coach told our team that he’d lost a bunch of weight using this awesome thing called SlimFast shakes. I have no memory of how I bought the shake mix, but I do remember having it, hiding it, drinking it and being embarrassed that I clearly needed it.
I was 13-years-old. I was not overweight. What in the world was I doing on a DIET???
I’d just moved to the city from a small town. I quickly learned that my permed mullet wasn’t going to cut it in the city. I saw stuff I had yet to see in my small town: girls obsessing about boys, their clothes and their weight. Maybe I was a late bloomer but, I barely knew what a name brand was, never mind the size of the jeans my Mom bought me. In my small town there wasn’t an “in” or an “out” crowd; we were just a crowd of kids who’d been together since kindergarten.
My 13-year-old-small-town self couldn’t have pinpointed it then but I was searching for acceptance through making my body and my personality smaller. I tend to be excitable and passionate. I was a class clown…sooooo not cool with the city girls. The cool city girls wore mini skirts on Wednesdays. They were reserved, spoke in whispered tones and used abbreviated lingo. I was more of a Here I Am! What’s Happening? type of gal.
I remember showing my friends how much weight I’d lost because my jeans were so much bigger on me-but they weren’t. They were actually just stretched out from not washing them for a while.
I remember begging God for my boobs to grow, for my waste and thighs to shrink and for my Mom to buy me $110 Esprit jean overalls like Leanna M. had. Because if all those things happened I would surely be OK.
I remember going to Burger King at lunch hour and ordering a salad and choking down my crappy shake in the bathroom when all I really wanted was to eat a cheeseburger too.
And so Grade 9 was the beginning of almost 30 years of ignoring my desires and my appetites in order to have a smaller/acceptable personality and a smaller/acceptable body.
Do you remember your first diet? Maybe you see your story in mine. Maybe your story is like many of my clients wherein your Mom-doing the best she knew how- took you to Weight Watchers, to a dietician or to your family doctor to lose weight when you were around 13 years old. And so it began for you.
Think about when you first started disapproving of yourself and your body, about the first time you thought a diet was a good idea. What was going on in your life at that time? What did you think you would gain if you could just get smaller?
You need to make peace with this story as you leave behind crappy diets that I would bet a million dollars haven’t worked for you in the past 30 years either.
I’m more of my pre Grade 9 self these days. I grew out the mullet but I’m still excitable and passionate-I still have no idea how to speak in whispering tones. I dress how I want. Most importantly, I also eat how I want. I learned to approve of myself and my appetites for life.
What’s your diet story? I’d love to hear it. I’d love to get you off those crappy diets and back to the gal you were before you started believing you weren’t OK.
Hit reply. Let’s book a time to chat.
All My Love,
PS. Don’t wait until the New Year. That’s a bad idea.
It seems The Universe sent you into my life at the best time. I’m continuing to put your skilled comments and methods to use as I meet my next challenge. The weight continues to gradually com off! Thank you.