Fad diets don’t work.
There. I said it.
I’m only 29 years old and yet I’ve known this since I was a little girl skipping down the driveway (and back up again since I wasn’t allowed to leave the house alone). How is it possible that I’m in possession of this AMAZING information that so many people never seem to learn?
I watched my mother then and I watch her now. And while she never seems to learn, I am taught this lesson over and over again.
A few weeks ago, when I flew into Melbourne from Toronto, my mother enthusiastically told me all about this new diet that was going to help her shed all her excess weight. All 6lbs of excess weight. What was this AMAZING eating plan? It was a 7 day extreme detox/weight loss plan devised for obese heart patients who needed to lose weight before surgery. It involved eating vegetable soup all day and then different foods every day for 7 days. No protein until Day 5 when you were allowed 3 pieces of chicken over the whole day. Day 4 involved soup and 6 bananas. Day 3 involved packets of tomatoes. Day 6 involved tons of steak. And always the soup.
As soon as she told me about this GREAT plan, I rolled my eyes. She quickly told me about all her friends who had lost TONS of weight. It helped that they had tons to lose. She wasn’t stupid – she wasn’t going to do this for more than a week … at a time. I got so frustrated – could she not see how ridiculous this was? How nutritionally devoid of anything healthy this was? How does a woman reach her 60s without realising that your body needs nutrients and depriving it is not going to achieve results?
I told her what I thought and then I spent the week biting my tongue as she told me that she’d lost a pound. Then, on the last day, she came home from playing bridge and her face was white. She’d almost fainted and had to eat something OFF DIET while she was there. She was genuinely surprised (it seemed) that this diet had not been good for her body. And the next day, when she weighed in and discovered that she’d lost absolutely nothing in the week, she again seemed really surprised.
I held back on the famous foud words I was dying to say … I.Told.You.So.
I’ve watched her try every single diet out there (even the ones she’s forgotten about): SlimFast, cabbage soup, green soup, detox, WW, Jenny Craig, SureSlim, you name it. Every diet was designed to help her shed those lost pesky 10lbs and every diet was abandoned when it didn’t work overnight.
I know that I have 6lbs to lose to get back to my best weight – my healthiest, happiest weight. I know that those last few pounds will take me time to lose. I’ve done it before and I know what to do but I also know that it’s a tough process, without immediate gratification which makes it so demoralising sometimes. But I know it’s doable.
I just wish my mother would learn that too.