To diet or not to diet

13 Jun

I am trying to lose half a stone. Thing is I’ve been trying to lose half a stone since 1989.

I’m not so sad that I’ve been trying to reach my prepubescent weight well into my 30s. My expectations HAVE changed with time and children. Which makes it all the more curious. Just why 7 pounds?

An 80 yr old family friend is similarly obsessed with her weight (if not more so). Forever mentioning it. Counting calories when we go for dinner. Lamenting the body she could have had. Should have had. If only she didn’t eat / drink so much.

My heart sinks every time.

I’m not being hypocritical. I just expected it to be different later on. That after middle age you somehow start to look beyond the physical. Rationalise things better. Re-order your priorities.

But the truth is. You don’t ever feel differently. You don’t stop caring what you look like just because you are older.

The critical voice inside your head is ageless.

How thoroughly depressing.

So, are we all destined to go through life wanting to lose an elusive half stone? Will we ever lose it? And more importantly, do we really need to?  Will we be happier when we get there? Or will we simply swap in another worry or wish in its place?

The likely truth is, if we’re forever chasing that ephemeral perfect number, we might just miss out on an awful lot in between.

21 Responses to “To diet or not to diet”

  1. Deer Baby June 13, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    oh God I hope by the time I’m 80 I won’t care! That is sad that she’s still worrying about it and lamenting the life she should have had. I am determined not to be like that. My stepgran was like that – ate like a bird, refusing treats, denying herself.

  2. notsosinglemum June 13, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    My sentiments exactly! I have struggled with my weight for some time now and although it is going down with a few stops and starts along the way, life always seems to get in the way. I’m not one of these people who will sit in a restaurant and eat a few lettuce leaves and have a glass of water, where’s the fun in that!

    I have no “ideal weight” or size that I’m aspiring to, infact when I was younger and a size 12 I was actually “overweight” according to the BMI charts – I’m 5ft 8″ so how that is overweight I will never know! I will stop once I feel happy in my own skin, not when I conform to some idea of the perfect weight dreampt up by scientists.

    • marketingtomilk June 13, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

      The thing i’m not so sure about, is whether “feeling happy in our own skin” is actually attainable. Or will we find just one more “i’ll be happy ifs”?

      • notsosinglemum June 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

        Once I’ve done the feeling happy with my weight thing Ill pick on something else like my cellulite or my stretch marks or whatever I just so happen not to be happy about at that particular time! I don’t think anyone is ever truly happy with what they have.

  3. Peggy@ Perfectly Happy Mum June 13, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Oh my god all the gorgeous chocolate we won’t ever enjoy if we constantly fill ourselves with guilt! My mum is like that, she never EVER stops worrying about her weight and it is always about how much she has lost or put on. No need to say how much she worries about me being size 14 when I could be size 10 like before… We have so many other things to worry about really, let’s start with making the most of what we have and the rest will follow…

  4. scribblingmum June 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    One of the things that I’m most happy about ‘me’ is that I truly enjoy food, it’s a big healthy part of who I am, who we are as a family and I would hate to obsess about weight, or count calories. I’m proud to say I’ve never weighed myself and if my jeans are too tight I just don’t wash them as often for a while so they bag up a bit, then cut back on the custard creams for a bit.

    I intend to just wear longer scarfs by the time I’m 80 to cover up my tummy.

  5. marketingtomilk June 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Great stuff. I suspect you might be a natural thinny though ( You know you can stop eating when you’re full? i wouldn’t be able to stop eating custard creams if the button in my jeans had popped off ;<)
    In any case, yours is the perfect place to be. Credit to you.

  6. burblingbee June 13, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Oh I’ve been having this discussion somewhere recently! I am finding it hard to accept my post-two-children body and secretly convinced that if I just reached that magic number, I’d be OK.

    I hate being shallow, my inner feminist rages against the obsession with appearance, but the little voice is still there.

  7. Livi June 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    If you want to lose weight, you will always want to lose weight. Whether you lose that half stone or not you will always want to lose more.
    You do need to be happy in your own skin, how you achieve that is different for everyone but it IS attainable. I’m happy in my own skin, sure if you gave me a magic pill that would drop a dress size for me I’d be there but it doesn’t plague my thoughts, I don’t work towards it any more. It’s nice. Freeing!
    I hope you find a way to love and accept yourself just how you are because you’re beautiful.

  8. jfb57 June 13, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    I contemplated exactly the same thing here

    I just wish I could listen to myself!

  9. Saffy June 13, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    About 5 years ago I went through a serious low carb phase and dropped a LOT of weight. My clothing tags were small, I got quite a few questions about how I’d done it etc etc but I still.felt.fat. Still felt that I could lose ‘a bit more’. I want to go back and shake myself for not realising that actually I was fine. Like notsosinglemum I’m tall and although I was wearing a small size, I was still near the top of the supposed Weight Watchers range. Go figure.

    Now let’s just say, more recently, I’ve been following a higher carb lifestyle :p Yes, I need to pull my finger out and do something about it, and I will. But not calorie counting as such. That, for me, sucks any pleasure out of food. I think I’ll be more of a moderation girl. I know that I can do that.

    All the best with ditching that measly half stone! 😉

  10. Harriet June 13, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    Oh! I’m exactly the same. I used to be quite a lot bigger, and lost about two stone back in 2000 or thereabouts. I’m happy with myself at the weight I was then (so I disagree with Livi, you can be happy with yourself after a diet) and I’ve pretty much stuck to it….

    Apart from the fact that I got happy. I put on half a stone on honeymoon, and three babies later, have constantly bounced back to that same point…. I’m actually now within three pounds of it and totally obsessed! Although not to the point of not eating biscuits, cakes, ice cream and crisps…. which may be the problem….

    I so need to get over myself.

    But having said that i am immensely proud that i took off that weight and I have, essentially, kept it off. My mother is a yo-you dieter who cycles between a size 10 and a size 22. To be stuck at a healthy (if obsessed) size 12, despite two pregnancies (including twins) is, I think, a small achievement.

    • marketingtomilk June 21, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

      M-A-S-S-I-V-E-A C-H-I-E-V-E-M-E-N-T!
      now get over yourself ;<)

  11. Simone June 14, 2010 at 2:47 am #

    Ahhh Henri. Such a nerve you have touched upon here 🙂
    I keep trying to tell myself that I AM happy in my own skin; that my kids and hubby like the way I look, so I should too.
    I’ve stopped checking the scales; I go to the gym but not obsessively. I try to be more active but I don’t deny myself -that 80-year-old lady makes me SAAAAAD!
    Like you, I was hoping that as we aged our appearance just wouldn’t matter as much any more.
    There goes that theory!
    I comfort myself with the fact that I would rather be a cuddly old granny than a stingy bony one. My kids (and future grandkids) will enjoy sitting on my lap and snuggling up to me. My hubby can enjoy my curves, which resemble those old renaissance paintins, you know, the heavy-thighed, ample-bottomed ones; that must have been desirable at one time!?!
    Lucky my hubby thinks it’s still desirable… AND plumper women have less wrinkles. An ample bosom makes a great pillow. A well-padded butt is more comfortable to sit on.
    And well-padded bones are much more huggable.
    That’s what I tell myself.
    And try not to care about the extra half(er… whole??) stone I’ve gained since having kids.

  12. Simone June 14, 2010 at 2:48 am #


    • marketingtomilk June 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

      same thing? ha
      you know, it’s probably not the weight i’ve gained, but the fact it hangs apart from my body, void of any muscle to hide it discretely away ;<)

  13. the dotterel June 14, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    Green tea is the answer (apparently)… Can’t remember the question but I read it somewhere only this weekend. Helps metabolism and burns off fat from (wait!) the waist area. Tastes ok, too. I just wish cider did the same thing.

  14. Andrea June 14, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I’m exactly the same. Been trying to lose 7lbs for years and I just cannot get below my current weight. Whether I eat and do no excercise or only eat salads and run 3 times a week I stay the same! Very depressing that at 80 years of age I will probably still be trying to lose 7lbs!

    • marketingtomilk June 21, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

      well you see i’m convinced a “natural” body has its own ideal weight and will try to maintain things that way if it can. some bodies are meant to carry more weight, and some be super skinny. Battling against that is a thankless task.

  15. 21stcenturymum June 14, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    I’m always trying to lose a couple of pounds (and probably will until I’m 90), but I never actually get to my goal weight, mainly because I have no will power. Unfortunately the weight I am at the moment is the weight my body wants to be and probably should be. (My BMI is near the bottom of the range of the ideal weight, so I guess I should be happy).

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