I've been writing online for about six years now. And in that time, I have made it a rule not to talk about weight or diets. Apart from a Sunday Life piece I wrote in 2002 entitled 'Thin Body Fat Brain', I have never gone there. Ever.
You see, Lana and I had one of our little on-camera chats and we got to talking about diets. And the thing is, I am fervently anti-diet. I have been for the past 16 years. But - as Lana points out in the video - people don't like hearing a slim person talking about weight issues. Because, you know, SLIM. What can I know if I'm slim? Only overweight people can understand weight struggles, right?
Except that I was overweight. For a long, long time. Not the kind of 'Happy At Any Size' overweight. I really didn't want to be overweight. I wanted to be slim. And I dieted and lost weight and then regained it and dieted and lost weight and regained it and so on and so on ad infinitum until I was 31 years old.
And then I stopped dieting. Forever. And I lost about 10 kilos and have never gained it again. I dealt with my food issues, not by following some kind of restrictive eating plan that tells you what to eat and when and makes you crave all the things you're not 'allowed' to have, but by working out how to eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full and not eat for reasons that have nothing to do with physical needs. Reasons like boredom. Frustration. Anger. Sadness. Celebration. Depression. Or simply Because It's There.
It was a process. It took a while. I did a lot of work on myself and my relationship with food. And I got there. And now I passionately believe that diets don't work.
Except I'm wrong, in a sense, because diets do work. All diets do. If you stick to a weight loss regime, you'll lose weight. And this is easy, if you're a person who doesn't actually have issues with eating. If you've gained weight on holidays or during pregnancy, for example, but fundamentally have a healthy relationship with food, you'll lose weight on a diet and probably keep it off.
But most of us have issues with food. And certainly the vast majority of overweight people who struggle to lose weight have issues with food. And so diets aren't going to work long term unless we fundamentally change our relationship our food.
Anyway. You can watch Lana and I argue about it here. And you can decide for yourself.