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Why Diets Fail and Healthy Eating Rules

I’m sharing with you a get real post today, friends. There is something that I’ve gotten off my chest before but need to write it down again.

Diets Suck.

Phew. It feels really good to say that out loud.

Why diets suck

You see, for years, I dieted. I have tried literally every single diet in the book. Since the age of twelve, I was already reading up on the Grapefruit Diet, the Hollywood Juice Cleanse (which involved drinking a HORRIBLE tasting juice for 48 hours that I snuck out to buy when I was 13, blech!), the Cabbage Soup Diet, Atkins, the South Beach Diet, Jenny Craig……… you’ve heard them all and so have I. And friends, diets really do suck.

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Why do diets suck? Because they involve starving our bodies of the essential nutrients our bodies, minds and souls thrive upon. They are the opposite of #EatHappyLiveHappy and they continue the cycle of binging and deprivation so many of us have struggled with.

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I’m writing this because over the winter, I did gain some weight. The world didn’t end, the roof didn’t fall in, but I did gain some excess weight (*and I’m saying excess because it really didn’t feel good in terms of my health physically). It became apparent to me a few weeks ago when I was digging the summer clothes out from under the bed and my summer shorts… they didn’t do up. As hard as I tried even when lying down on the bed, the zipper just wouldn’t budge. 

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And guys, we all know, that having your pants not fit… well it kinda sucks. Not as much as diets suck but that moment of reality hits you in the face like a ton of bricks and it really does suck, nonetheless.

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And immediately, my mind started getting filled with old toxic thoughts I used to have surrounding dieting and losing weight. Maybe you should do a week long cleanse. Doing a soup diet might not be the worst thing. How many calories are you eating a day? Should you go back on Weight Watchers?! How did you let this happen to yourself?!?

Winter Immune Boosting Chlorella Smoothie Ceara's Kitchen

It’s not rocket science, I gained weight over the Winter (as many of us do) because I was eating too many cookies and not enough healthy starches and greens, not moving enough and siting on my butt writing my thesis all day. 

And then, a few days later, I got the news that one of my oldest and dearest family friends whom I love dearly is in the hospital again for Anorexia Nervosa. The news took the breath out of my lungs. Here I am worrying about the superficial winter weight I gained while somebody I love so much is struggling with some much bigger demons herself.

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Friends, I honestly, got so angry and upset at that moment. Why do we live in a culture that says that deprivation and extreme dieting are OK? Why is it that we allow toxic thoughts to enter into our heads surrounding calorie counting, deprivation and starvation. Diets suck. Extreme dieting really sucks. I am not here to equate eating disorders to every diet out there but the notion of reducing and monitoring your food and calories to minuscule portions in order to lose weight doesn’t fall that far from the tree. Because that’s what diets are, they are starvation on one level or another. 

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And I digress, so there I am, on my bed and my damn shorts won’t do up. So, you know what I did? I went and cooked myself up an abundance of healthy foods to get myself through the week because I know that when I don’t have my healthy staples on hand I am more likely to over-snack, binge and miss out on some of the essential nutrients my body needs to thrive and survive!

Kitchen Sink Spring Soup

This post is a reminder, that eating healthy and getting to a healthy weight is a journey. There is no need to ever, ever, ever diet especially when our bodies can so easily flourish off a variety and abundance of delicious, healthy foods (with some treats in between). For me that means eating a whole foods, plant-based diet filled with lots of veggies, fruits, beans, potatoes, rice and some nuts. For me, that means, getting my body moving and heart rate up a few times a week.

I’ve already lost some of my Winter weight, slowly but surely, and never have I deprived myself, not even for a second. I’m writing this because, if you can relate at all to this post, I feel for you and the path after dieting does get better even though there are always ups and downs like with anything in life. 

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Here’s to enjoying an abundance of healthy foods in our life with love and satisfaction and without restriction.

Here’s to removing the notion of guilt associated with food.

Here’s to eating happy and living happy, friends!

XOXO with much love,

Ceara

(*And if my blog posts are a bit more seldom lately it’s because I am writing up my final thesis due at the end of the month – wish me luck! I’m filled to the brim with healthy Spring recipes I’m going to share with you once it’s handed in. Check back in a couple days for a delicious Spring soup! <3 ).

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34 Comments

  1. Great post! I have struggled with losing weight my entire life, and while it’s still a struggle, I’m working on just adapting healthier habits instead of focusing on the diet mentality πŸ™‚

    1. <3 That's wonderful, Michelle and I know exactly where you are coming from! Sending love your way!

  2. LOVE this post Ceara! I am definitely in the same boat with a little winter weight gain but am doing my best to put things in perspective and realise that there are more important things to worry about and not let it dominate my thoughts or to take any extreme measures. In all honesty, my body could have probably done with a couple of extra kilos! Keep smiling πŸ™‚

  3. Diets not only suck, they don’t work. People mess up their metabolic rate, lose weight too quickly, then gain it back and then some. Like you said, eating a well balanced plant based diet and exercising regularly is the healthiest way to maintain your optimum weight. We all slip up sometimes, and after this harsh winter I think most people gained a little weight. I did, and I’ve already lost it because I started moving more, not eating less or differently. I wish everyone who is thinking about going on a diet would read this Ceara. Bravo!

    Prayers to your friend.

  4. I 1000% agree with you! I’ve never had any pressure to diet before, but since having Kai, I am definitely not as confident with my body…it’s a really crappy feeling. I’ve given myself a free-pass for now because I have full-time school, a blog, and a baby. There is no time for exercise right now, but some day there will be. For now we are eating a balanced diet and that’s that. Thanks for the post, Ceara!

    1. Can I just say, you seriously ROCK, Denise! The blog, baby and school is A LOT to take on. I don’t even have a baby and it’s hard to keep track of everything, LOL! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  5. Brilliant post – loved every word of it. I have been on yet another diet! and yes I have lost a lot of weight but at what cost my head is shattered and I feel constantly guilty if a naughty crumb passes my lips πŸ™ so this week I decided to hell with the diet I am going to fill myself with lots of healthy and nutritious food. I have had a great week so far and even lost a couple of pounds. Your post has convinced me that I am on the right track.

    1. <3 Thank you for sharing, Lorna! I totally hear you - ridding the association of food with guilt has been SUCH a big step for me to overcome. Making the switch and focusing on nutrition rather than numbers was HUGE for me. I Wish you all the best in your journey towards health!

    1. <3 I couldn't agree with you more, Dannii!! Make small, healthy changes makes SUCH a difference in the long run!

  6. This was beautiful Ceara! I love your perspective <3 It has taken me a while to get to this point, but I absolutely agree with you. I restricted and fought my body for long enough to know that it doesn't get you anywhere mentally or physically. Thank you for the inspiration and positive vibes XOXO

    1. <3 Thanks for the feedback, Natalie! The support means a lot! Sending positive vibes your way as well girl! #EatHappyLiveHappy

  7. Wow. This was EXACTLY whatv I needed to hear today! Thank you so much!!! My summer wardrobe just does not fit! I’m keeping in mind that most of it is from two summers ago (since in Normandy last year I didn’t really wear/need shorts all that much) but at the same time… ouch! Winter weight + relationship weight (S and I’s love of food tends to lead to VERY generous portions and we nearly always go for seconds) It got me thinking about dieting alot and honestly? No way! Not doing that to myself again!

    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed the post, Isabelle! I always hesitate before sharing such personal posts like this one but share them nonetheless in case someone can relate πŸ™‚ I am happy that you are coming to a place that is free of dieting!! It was such an epiphany for me when I realized I just want to focus on filling my body with nourishing foods that I love and crave rather than following the latest fad diet. XOXO and looking forward to seeing you and S this summer and having an amazing BBQ! <3

  8. It’s breaking my heart to read your text because it’s my story too (I kind of wrote the same words a couple of months ago on my blog). I hurt myself so badly with all these diets for such a long time that just thinking about it or reading about similar experiences awakens the vivid memory of the pain. I healed myself through a slow yet powerful process of understanding -like you did- that food is your best friend, not your enemy. It started with cooking natural products obviously, that’s definitely the key, I rediscovered taste, smell, hunger and satiety and everything slowly started to fall into place. I later became vegan because my body (and my soul too) craved for it and for once, I listened to what it had to say and it completely changed my life and brought happiness in it, which was kind of a new feeling too… I hope you are happy too and that you are proud of yourself because it takes a tremendous amount of courage to escape from the horrible trap that society has been dictating. Thank you so much for sharing such personal thoughts, it’s very touching and I have absolutely no doubt that it helps other people who are still struggling. Cecile

    1. Hi Cecile,

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your story. I am glad that you have come to a much healthier and freer place in your life with food! I have a similar experience in terms of healing from my past of dieting and feeling so much happier by focusing on an abundance of nourishing plant-based foods (with some sweet treats in between). I hope you are proud of yourself as well and how far you’ve come! <3

      XOXO Ceara

  9. Fully agreed. Nobody should follow some short-term weight loss program at the worst damaging their health, at the least taking fun out of their lives. Ideally, everyone will find what is their individual happy diet. One that includes a bit of everything they like and makes them feel good. It’s a much overused term but I think eating intuitively and worrying less is the key to finding that balance we’re all striving for in life. It sounds like you were at a good point with that in yours.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Miss Polkadot! I agree. What works for one person in terms of eating and feeling your best might not work for another. It’s all about finding what works for you. I do like the notion of intuitive eating and think it works very well for a lot of people πŸ™‚

  10. yes very true Ceara…diets such..I am glad I have never tried any..my mantra has always been to eat everything in small portions and exercise regularly… that’s how it should be in my opinion.. deprivation will lead you nowhere and I have gained little weight too in the last month since I injured my knee and wasn’t moving but it’s not the end of world…! πŸ™‚

    1. I’m very happy you enjoyed the post, Manali! I always hesitate sharing such personal posts like this but some things just need to be said! I love your mantra πŸ™‚

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