The problem with dieting is that it doesn't actually get you anywhere, at least not for long. On the wagon, off the wagon, whatever, it doesn't matter because the wagon isn't really going anywhere – it just goes round and round and round in the same circle. A few pounds up, a few pounds down; up, down, up, down, round and round and round she goes...
So the next hardest thing I had to do in recovery – after the “love yourself” thing, which I'm still working on – was to walk away from the wagon. Not just get off of The Diet Wagon (no problem, I've done that a thousand times) but turn my back on it and leave it behind.
Wait... No more diets? Ever? That's crazy talk! How am I supposed to lose weight?
Well, come to think of it, have you ever actually “lost weight” on all these diets you've been doing? I mean, really lost it, gone forever, never to be found again?
Ummm.... no. Haven't you noticed, I do weigh almost 300 pounds. Diets aren't helping me. They are, in fact, having exactly the opposite effect of what I intended. I'm fatter. Every year I just get fatter. Perhaps it's my fault. I'm a failure, weak. I can't stick to a diet.
Really? What about all that “love yourself” stuff you've been going on about? You're strong, capable, you have a successful marriage, you finished your degree, your employers love you because you work hard and exceed expectations. Your friends and loved ones know that they can count on you because you do what you say you will. Straight A student forever (except for that pesky Astrophysics thing). You get shit done, girl.
Nope. I ain't buying it. You could handle work, school, home, homework, and still went to the gym three times a week for two hours a day. What really happened?
What happened? Pain. Pain happened.
Sadness. Unbearable sadness. Hate. Anger. Fear. Emptiness.
Ah... emptiness. How do you fill the void? Dull the pain? Drown the anger the hate and the fear? What do you do, what have you always done?
I stuff it. I fill it up and cover it over with food. Until I can't feel it, until I can't move. Until I don't care.
Until you don't care about what?
About how I look. How people treat me. The things strangers say, like they have the right. About how far I still have to go, how fat I still am, how fat I'm gonna get. About how miserable I always feel, and hungry and frustrated and angry and scared. About how no matter how much weight I lose I'm never going to feel good again, I'm always going to be ugly and weird and frightened inside.
So dieting doesn't make you thin, and it doesn't make you happy. In fact, it makes things worse. It makes you FEEL worse. You keep getting on this wagon and going off full speed, trying to hang on, but then you fall off and you're still in the same damn place. It's like it always drops you off at the all-you-can-eat binge cafe, no matter how long you managed to hold on this time. No matter how far away you try to get on that wagon, you always come back.
Maybe it is time to turn your back on the wagon and face the real problem. Stay on your own two feet, keep your balance, and begin to deal with these things you are afraid of. Food doesn't do it. Diets don't do it. Only you can do it. So fuck the wagon... stand up and fight!