I recently lost seven kilos and boy was I smug about it. I felt triumphant, like I had finally figured out how to lose weight and keep it off – for the 700th time. All my problems were solved.
Now, I thought, I could finally move on from weight issues and truly enjoy life (as well as the occasional block of Cadbury’s pineapple chocolate, of course).
And damn you Cadbury’s for inveting that particular flavour, you motherf**kers.
It didn’t take long for me to re-gain five of those seven kilos, and I started questioning myself once again:
Why does my goal weight only last a day?
Why can’t I stop eating when I’m no longer hungry?
Then I stopped and thought; those naturally slim women who rarely, if ever, struggle with their weight are actually the odd ones out.
I am the one who science considers "normal".
I am one of the 80 percent of women who lose weight, only to put at least half of it, if not all of it, back on.
Hooray for me! My eating habits and fluctuating weight are normal.
Take that diet experts!
Behavioural scientist Professor Paul Aveyard has made his living trying to help people change their behaviours - which is apparently the key to keeping weight off - however I'm planning to take a different route.
Taryn Brumfit on the photo that broke the internet and how she went from counting every calorie to truly living. Article continues after this video.
What if we embrace those few "comfort" kilos for the role they play in helping us cope with life's difficulties?
What if we forgive ourselves for gaining weight and enjoy the process of losing it?
What if we accept that sometimes we do need to use food for comfort?
What if we just enjoy the ride, the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the Cadbury weeks and the smoothie weeks?
What if we just stop letting weight-gain and weight-loss be such a big friggin' deal?
Behavioural scientist Paul Aveyard says he knows how teach us to stop using food for comfort and shared his handy tips with the BBC:
1. Make rules and stick to them;
2. Keep control after reaching your ideal weight;
3. Weigh yourself daily;
4. Be committed to your goal;
5. Be consistent to form habits;
6. Don't keep junk food at home;
7. Get moving;
8. Spend time with healthy friends;
9.Keep trying and don't give up.
It's time we accept ourselves, and our weight fluctuations, and choose to live.
We can use food as comfort, enjoy every bite and then deal with it later without the guilt and the hate and the shame.
By allowing ourselves those normal and natural weight fluctuations we are loving ourselves instead of hating ourselves. By loving ourselves, and accepting weight-gain when it is needed, we understand that we don't need to comfort eat every day, just until the stress of whatever is happening is over.
Otherwise we end up comfort eating to comfort ourselves over our weight-gain. It's an endless cycle.
To stop this, we need to ride the wave and enjoy the ride.
Sometimes, we need to eat chocolate to feel better and sometimes we don't need to eat anything to feel better because we're okay.
Doesn't it make more sense to live this way?