When we started thinking of where we are at now in our self-love journey, it's still crazy to think we both came from a world where dieting was celebrated. Extreme diets were given trophies. Fast forward 3 years, and we now help women reach and maintain a healthy weight without dieting, without supplements, without detoxes or cleanses, all while promoting body diversity, self-love, and fun!
But this week when we were thinking about our dieting past, we couldn't help but compare it to the movie Mean Girls. With dieting being the ultimate Mean Girl, Regina George.
First, let's take a look at the cast:
Gretchen & Karen: Diet Rules
Tina Fey: Amanda & Ander (that's us)
At first you didn't even know you needed a diet in your life. You were happy. You went on with your business. Your life was pretty dang awesome. You were even a healthy weight, ate when you were hungry, and just lived a more stress-free life.
Until out of freakin nowhere, with no warning sign at all, Dieting walks in.
You’re curious. Who is this DIET PLAN that everyone is talking about? It looks so shiny and says all the right things. It seems like the cool thing to do.
So you decide to take a seat and learn more about this Dieting. I mean, what's the worst that could happen?
STAGE 1: The Perks
Companies spend billions of dollars a year to catch your eye and make you need to go on a diet. And if you've never been on one, then it's very rare.
First, they'll make you feel out of the loop if you haven't tried their specific diet.
"So you've never been on a diet before?"
You will first learn of all the wonderful things this "healthy lifestyle" will do for you and how great it will make you feel. Some diet plans even have some pretty awesome incentives.
Dieting doesn't seem so bad. Next thing you know, you're in.
STAGE 2: The Rules
Now that Dieting's got you, it's time to go over all the rules of dieting. This isn't to make you feel deprived or anything, it's to help "set structure." #smh
READ: You can't eat carbs after 7PM.
READ: You can only have a glass of wine on Fridays.
READ: You can only have treats (aka cheat meals) once a week.
*First dose of shame*
READ: Now if you break any of these rules, you will start to feel like you don't have enough willpower, that something is wrong with you, and mentally feel "not part of the plan".
STAGE 3: Meal Plan + Restricitions
By the end of today, you'll be so confused about what food is healthy and not healthy that suddenly your willpower and time that used to be spent with friends, family, or working on that project at work, will now be spent trying to perfectly calculate your daily macros. Heaven forbid you go over on your fats or carbs.
NEWS FLASH: If you're following any type of prescribed meal plan (unless you have a medical condition), YOU ARE ON A DIET.
You'll also receive your list of "approved" foods. This is to "help you out." So that Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream that you would occasionally have, is now off limits. Don't worry, they'll give you a "skinny" version of it to help with cravings.
STAGE 4: Body Shaming
Now that you're hyper focused on your food, what's in your food, what goes on you food, what color your food is, etc., it will now be a lot easier to suddenly start nit picking things about your body.
Dieting often uses body shaming as a source of creepy and incredibly ineffective “motivation." So get ready for that.
STAGE 5: Obsession
By this point, you are in full dieting mode, girl. It's all you can talk about. You pin every skinny recipe you ever see. You download every new workout program. You join every new 30 day challenge.
But it doesn't seem like a big deal. I mean, everyone you surround yourself with these days is talking about dieting/Regina too.
STAGE 6: Deprivation
You just had a long day at work, still have to put the kids to bed, and all of you want to do is curl up in bed, watch a movie, and enjoy a small bowl of your favorite Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. But wait, you can't. It's Wednesday. It's not cheat day yet and you already ate brownies on Monday when Susan brought them to work.
You try and enjoy a "healthy" substitute. But all you can think about is Ben & Jerry's.
The shame, “I can't do it" mentality comes screaming back, and you're left trying to convince yourself that the protein ice cream you just made tastes just like your Ben & Jerry’s.
STAGE 7: The Crash
After months and years of trying to stick to rules of dieting, trying to body-shame yourself thin, sooner or later, you snap.
A different way of living
That's where we come in. For us, we can read everything above and realize how ridiculous we were then. We also read everything above and realize how sad it is that so many women still have no idea that they are stuck in a diet mindset.
After researching the side effects of women who go on diets, we were done.
We’re no longer a slave to the rules or the obsession. We’re free to eat whatever we want and be healthier, happier, and no doubt easier to be around people.
But if you read everything above and it feels eerily similar to where you're at right now in life, then please know that you are NOT alone.
It's time to ditch diets for good.
It's time break free from all the rules and unrealistic (and yes, unhealthy) expectations dieting has put on you.
If you're sick and tired of Regina (aka DIETS) and ready to live a life without rules and food obsession, then sign up for our newsletter here. You'll be the first to know about new anti-diet research, blog posts, eCourse enrollment dates, events, and more!