I’ve always hated admitting when I was on a diet. Only the people who would absolutely need to know would be told (my mom, my roommate, anyone I frequently had meals with). By telling people it not only meant that I was admitting I had a weight problem, but it also would let other people be aware when I inevitably failed.
I have failed at losing weight more times than I can count. Once you have failed so many times at something, you accept that you will always fail. I knew that every diet, even when somewhat successful, would eventually result in failure. Once you have become a chronic dieter, you understand this cycle. It’s very, very hard to break the frame of mind that comes along with so much failure.
I’ve been on a lot of diets. SO MANY DIETS. I’ve done most of the diets in the below list multiple times. There are plenty I don’t remember, too. Some were successful, but the weight always came back. And it usually comes back and then some.
I have tried:
- Weight Watchers
- South Beach
- Low carb, in varying levels of strictness
- 4-Hour Body
- HCG injections (I lost almost 20 pounds in 42 days and within a year I gained back 30. I consider this my greatest dieting failure of all!)
For the record, I’m just as bad about sticking to an exercise program:
- I bought P90X and did it one time.
- I joined a gym I have been to less than 5 times (and I’m still paying for the membership fees).
- I’ve never made it all the way through any sort of Couch to 5K program. I have the apps to prove it.
The good news about all of this dieting experience is that it’s made me painfully aware of which parts of dieting I suck at.
- I can’t do a diet that is very restrictive. I love food too much to limit my choices.
- I can’t do a diet that is totally unforgiving if I slip up. If one naughty weekend means I will see a huge surge on the scale, I usually end up quitting altogether.
- I can’t rely on just myself for accountability. I know this is going to take a village.
For these reasons, I’ve chosen Weight Watchers as my diet of choice. If it’s easy enough for Jessica Simpson, I can handle it. I’ve done it in the past and can say with certainty, it’s the easiest of all diets I’ve tried. It’s extremely flexible and you’re given enough wiggle room to enjoy certain foods. The drawback is that the weight comes off slowly. But this also means you’re really putting in the time into adopting healthier habits instead of a quick fix (I know a lot about those).
As far as exercise, the only exercise I really enjoy going to are group classes. I’ll take Zumba and other group fitness classes at least 3 times a week (so far I’ve been going almost daily!). Once I make this type of exercise a habit, I will add in strength training.
I don’t have an end goal in mind yet. For now, I’m focused on getting the first 10 pounds off and dedicating myself to frequent exercise. In the past I’ve made unrealistic or intimidating goals (lose 30 pounds in 3 months!) instead of taking it several pounds at a time.
What’s your experience been like with diet failures? What does or doesn’t work for you?