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The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating Acceptance and Self-Care

Lynette's Voice

Thank you for inviting me to tell my story. It is not very dramatic and I am happy that the dark side of it has closed. I am happy to close the chapter of constant dieting.

I started dieting as a teenager. I was 62 inches tall and weighed 100 pounds. I was gorgeous. People told me so and for some reason I did not believe them. I thought that I was fat. I dieted. Everyone dieted. My older sister and mother dieted. I also exercised to burn calories but it was never enough. Whenever I looked in the mirror, I was unhappy. As was the natural course of events, however, I did not lose weight but continued on a normal growth pattern for my age. That is, I gained weight up to a normal 115 pounds by college. I was beautiful.

When I was 25, I stopped dieting. I matured and smartened up and concluded that dieting was bad for you and that I should accept myself as I was. That actually worked very well and I managed to snag a nice husband and several years of self-imposed happiness and determined self-satisfaction reigned. I weighed 140 pounds.

Then, somehow I got sucked in to the Slimfast craze and decided that I just had to lose 10 pounds. That was easy. Unfortunately, the weight kept creeping back and I began to yo-yo between 135 pounds and 145 pounds. I was still beautiful. People told me all the time but I did not believe them. My mother had always told me to reject the advice of others, that it was not reliable. She probably meant the bad advice. Somehow I managed to transfer that to compliments, which in retrospect were quite sincere.

I managed to avoid dieting through two pregnancies and two periods of breastfeeding; however I still restricted intake intermittently and my weight would fluctuate. Then, after a few years of this, I got stuck. I could not lose weight and I continued to gain because I got into a pattern of restricting and bingeing. From 2001 to the present I was nearly constantly on a diet and gained 20 pounds because I would intermittently restrict and binge. I never lost more that 5 pounds at a stretch. It was profoundly frustrating. I would start a diet every morning and be off the diet by the same night. I repeated this pattern over and over. I thought constantly about my weight. I was consumed. I neglected my family. It was piteous.

Finally, I have come to terms with the fact that the dieting and restricting caused me to binge and gain. Since reading the book Diet Survivor's Handbook, I have stopped dieting and restricting. My appetite has greatly diminished because I know that I can have the previously "forbidden" foods anytime that I want. Food no longer controls me and my every thought.

I still have a little problem with wasting food. It is hard for me to throw it in the garbage, but I think this one will be a little less difficult to overcome. This is a throwback to lean times.

I also have a bad habit of cleaning my kids' plates. They are so sweet when they offer to share their food that it is hard to say no. Also, when I am invited to share a meal at a social event, I have difficulty because sometimes I am not hungry at the time that the food is served, and I feel rude by not partaking of the food with everyone else.

Well, that is my story and thank you for allowing me to get it off my chest. I plan to be a proponent of your philosophies and to teach them to my children.

Lynette
Stuart, Florida