I’m done dieting

*This is as raw as you’re going to get me. No editing. Just writing. Read at your own caution.* Here we go….

I’m done. I’m really done.

Do you ever hear/read stories about girls that used to hate their bodies, attempted diet after diet only to fail (or temporarily “win” losing weight… but then gaining it back, and then some) and one day just gave up? They finally gave themselves permission to eat whatever they wanted, and then (and I’m skipping a few steps here, I’m certain the most grueling and hardest) they came to accept their bodies, stopped the self-loathing fat talk and lived happily ever after even lost weight WITHOUT dieting?

Sounds like a fairy tale?

I think I’ve hit the bottom and I’m willing to give this fairy tale a go. I know these people exist and I want to be one of them. For the longest time I couldn’t give up the idea of dieting because I NEEDED to lose weight and with just a little more dedication I knew it just had to work. But you know what, it hasn’t worked for me in the past 6 months. Nope. Instead the bingeing episodes (or if I’m “lucky” just plain old overeating, with a side of guilt) became more frequent after a few days of “being good.” I’ve gained weight every other week (at least). I gained weight last week and *swore* that today I would stick to my points plus allowance to have a better chance at my weigh-in tomorrow. And then I cried because I was hungry and because I wanted almonds and then chocolates. I’m so sick of literally being on the verge of tears from just thinking about the possibility of the scale going up another week. And I’m so damn sick of putting so much emphasis on my self worth depending on how much or what I ate.

This is not an open invitation to become obese. And I’m sure I won’t. I truly believe that serious frequent overeating is caused by negative emotions and I’m willing to put in the work to deal with the cause to change the effect.

Food is very important to me and I’ve come to rely on it in good times and bad. Tomorrow I’m going out with some friends to a hot new restaurant and I’m excited. I want to eat, drink and be a little restaurant critic in my own mind. And I will. But I’ve also been eating to reward myself for “staying strong” for a few days away in Maine (I still don’t understand why I have the need for a reward when I never felt deprived… although I did stop at just one chocolate or one glass of wine when I wanted more); I’ve been eating when alone or bored or scared about my future. And I need to work on these things but guilt needs to leave the room because that’s not healing. That’s more pain.

I am still me. I love food. I will cook; I will eat out; I will share it all with you. I will also work on my relationship with food without dieting (I’m canceling my Weight Watchers membership immediately). That probably means I can stop dreaming about looking hot in a bikini come May. And that saddens me too (I will not pretend that it doesn’t). But maybe that won’t even matter by then. A bikini is so far from happily ever after. I want to be at a point where I actually believe it.

Only time will tell.

PS- the winner of the UNO’s giveaway is #53. Congrats, Natalie! Please shoot me an email (elina@healthyandsane.com) with your address.

Thank you all for “listening.”

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133 comments to I’m done dieting

  • Elina, your honesty is inspiring. I think taking a break and finding your inner happiness is what is really important.

    • Elina

      Thanks, Michelle! I’m trying to do it (look for happiness) in every aspect of my life… I guess food is a big part of it!

  • *Andrea*

    good luck elina! you are so beautiful… i hope you can find peace with your body :-) i am on a similar journey. i’ve been anywhere from 98lbs to 170lbs and at either end i was not treating my body with respect. seeing a therapist has helped, sometimes it’s not enough to do it alone.

    have you red geneen roth’s books??? they’re so great!

    • Elina

      Thanks for your comment, Andrea. It really saddens me to keep hearing about women mistreating their bodies so I’m going to work towards ending the cycle, starting with myself. Hopefully I can help someone else too by sharing my journey :)
      I haven’t read her books. Will look into it. Thanks!

      • *Andrea*

        definitely! it’s hard to keep things private all the time and i really appreciate your sharing since i can totally relate… when you’re feeling blue just remind yourself of all the things you have to be thankful of! you are so beautiful too- :-)

  • Slade G

    I can’t even tell you how much I needed this post tonight. I’ve been toying with this thought of letting go (while still being healthy) and the restriction, the constant restriction, the frustrations. At what point does it become too much? When the guilt is too much. You hit the nail on the head. Thank you for reassuring my own thoughts and giving me further insight. You are always SO honest and I’m thankful that there is someone truly healthy and sane out there.

    And for the record, you are GORGEOUS and you will look hot it May!

    • Elina

      Slade – hope this post gives you the courage to let go too! I know it’s scary but I’m sure it’s worth it!!

  • Sara

    I am happy to see I am not the only one feeling this way lately. I owe all of my weight loss to following the Weight Watchers plan but I’ve come to a point where I’m just tired! tired of counting and writing down every last bite of food, wondering if I have “enough points” for a few ounces of this or that. I have always struggled with my weight and I am finally at a healthy weight for my age/height. I would also let to work on letting go of the constant worrying to just live my life. It is hard to come to the realization that life isn’t just about worrying what we put into our mouths every day! I have been reading your blog for a few years now and will continue reading no matter what you choose to eat! :)

    • Elina

      Sara – my goal was to lose weight (most recently through weight watchers) and then start thinking of maintenance in a more intuitive way. I agree – counting/worrying your entire life is just so unnatural… and not fun! I guess I’m taking the plunge before I ever reached my goal. Oh well – I’ll look at it as just having a head start πŸ˜‰ You can do it too!!!

  • I wish you luck with this battle. I’m cancelling Weight Watchers too, but I’m going to another end of the spectrum and trying the Body For Life program which is even more diet-y. I’m actually hoping a more structured plan will help me be more in tune with what my body really needs. And I’m getting to the point where like, if it doesn’t work, oh well. I am looking forward to reading about this next step in your journey because maybe after my wedding, I’ll dare to be “done” too. Hard to imagine what that even feels like…

    • Elina

      Hmm, interesting. Why do you think that BFL would help you be more in tune with your body? Just wondering :)

      • Well I might be totally BSing myself. But it’s more about hitting a “reset button” on my sugar cravings and feelings of being out of control with my willpower. In the book, he talks about how on this program you might have a craving for a non-BFL food but “It’s just food. It doesn’t control you.” for some reason that quote really stood out to me even though I’ve heard it before. I want to separate my eating from my emotions, and I feel like by limiting my food options while still eating the healthy food I love I can focus on the emotional issues that are behind my body image junk. (I’ve started seeing a therapist for this). And if I can fix that, then maybe I can have a “normal” relationship with food when I’m done. I also want to see if I can give myself a “free day” which this program gives you but not turn it into a binge episode, like I have in the past when I’ve said “Ok I’m going to eat what I want today.”

        So we’ll see…I just want to feel good about myself at my wedding and the beach honeymoon afterwards, and I feel like if I give this program a real shot, then I can at least say I did everything I could to reach those goals. But like I said, I could be totally lying to myself and it’s going to be triggering.

  • I did WW and lost 50 lbs in a year and ended up regaining 30 … then I discovered clean eating and being vegan (I was vegetarian) and now I never count anything (noteven calories) and I eat whatever I want, whenever I want and how ever much I want (because I’m eating all whole and healthy vegan foods so it’s nearly impossible to be overweight when you eat 100% plant based) Maybe you need to look at what you’re eating and let go of that stuff.
    I’m down 17 lbs with another 8 to go.

    • Elina

      Congrats, Shelly, on finding what works for you. I’m hoping that through this journey something will click for me too. :)

  • alicia

    this is GREAT elina! i know this may not mean a lot coming from a stranger (but i have lurked on your blog for a long time, hahah, and thus followed your journey) but i truly believe that this is the best course of action you could be taking. you are NOT overweight, you ARE healthy, and you ARE beautiful. you’re a strong and successful woman with a husband who loves you no matter what. it may take some time but i’m almost positive that letting go of negative emotions and the pressure to be “good”/”stay on track”/not go overboard will help you on your journey to stop overeating. and when you’re active, healthy, and a “normal” eater…who can ask for anything more???

    • Elina

      “Normal” eater. Definitely what I’ve been striving for. Thanks for delurking! Hope to hear more from you in the future :)

      • This was a great comment. I want Alicia to read my blog and snap sense into me when I’m feeling down (not that I even really blog anymore, haha)

  • Laura

    Hi Elina,
    Just wanted to say you are so brave to “give up the struggle.” I truly have faith that you will find your path to healthy, intuitive eating, and that I will too.

    Marianne Williamson’s book: A Course in Weight Loss has really helped me on this spiritual journey. I think that our distorted relationships with food put us on a spiritual journey. And it’s spectacular to see how beautiful we really are underneath all the food nonsense. I wish you all the luck in the world as you embark on this journey. Trust and accept wherever you are today. I’m sure it’s perfect.

  • Elina, It’s so hard looking in to understand why you feel the way you do – you are such a beautiful and inspiring woman (it was you and Shannon that inspired me to start running!). Life is too short to be worrying so much about one tiny tiny tiny part of it all the time and having it ruin your days – I know you can find your inner peace and we’re here to support you in that journey. *hugs*

    • Elina

      I know, Kerstin. I feel the same way… in theory. I don’t understand why this “tiny” part of my life has been ruling me for so long. Hopefully abandoning all the rules will be therapeutic and I’ll be able to just be. Thanks for your support (I think we’re overdue for drinks, no? πŸ˜‰ )

  • Audrey

    Dear Elina,
    I’ve never read your blog before tonight, and I couldn’t have started at a better time. Right now, I am, also, beating myself up over weight gain, and the thing is I’m cutting calories left, right, and center! When I was eating more and focused on being healthy and recovering from Ana(rexia), I was losing weight, and now that I’m eating 300 calories less a day, nothing! It’s gone up every frickin week! I’ve been driving myself crazy over this, and then I stumble upon your blog, and it is like a wake up call. I don’t want to go to restuarant and only be able to order a small salad with no dressing, I want to live my life! Thank you for your post, you may not realize it, your honesty has helped someone get out of a dangerous relapse. And good luck with accepting your self too :)

    • Elina

      Audrey – so glad this post has clicked for you and made you realize that you were not treating your body with respect. Take a commitment today to honor your body. Cutting calories is likely not the way.

  • You are wonderful and perfect just the way you are =). I know what you mean with the bingeing… I’ve got the same issues. But you know what? As long as you are healthy and feeling vibrant, you are living your best life! I appreciate your honesty and the brevity it takes to put your issues out there. I’m a firm believer in releasing emotional weight in order to realease physical weight as well – let it go, let it out… write it, scream it, bake it… just let it go =). It’s all part of the process.

    I’m excited to hear all about your progress!

    • Elina

      Haley – I’ve been feeling “healthy and vibrant” only on days when I stuck to my (eating) plan and exercised enough. I’m hoping that I can remove those labels with time and feel my best every day. Here’s to that! :)

  • i don’t often comment but i have been following your blog ever since meeting you at HLS a long time ago, and i also wanted to say that i appreciate your honesty and realness on your blog. sharing struggles isn’t easy and i know what it’s like to fear judgment from others, but it can also be so therapeutic and helpful to those who read it.

    i don’t have a lot of experience with true ‘dieting’, but i think your new approach makes sense. i think that working to address the issues that are making you struggle rather than focusing on the food itself (band-aid?) is the way to go. i also think that embracing yourself NOW and focusing on health is so important (i’m struggling with this myself, and it’s showing me how important it is!)

    we’ll all be rooting for you! and not just to lose X pounds, but to build a happier life and relationship with . . .yourself. <3

    • Elina

      Hi Sarah! πŸ˜€ (I remember meeting you at HLS!!) Thank you so much for such a heartfelt comment! I hope to start focusing more on foods that make me feel my best and healthiest. That of course will include treats in moderation, because well – treats make me feel good mentally and I think are definitely a part of a healthy life :) [Overdoing it will make me feel uncomfortable, though. So I think that’s going to be my new emphasis – I won’t eat bazillion brownies because I’ll feel sick tonight or even tomorrow… not because they’re too many calories. That’s how I’m interpreting “focusing on health”!]

  • I think if you can leave the food guilt behind, not dieting will be so peaceful for you.

    I love honest posts :)

  • Thanks for being so honest here! You are so brave to post all of your ups and downs and emotions on the blog. I really think that you can get to a point where you will be happy with your body and will lose the sense of guilt when it comes to eating!!!

    Just so you know, I thought of you a couple weeks ago when I felt a binge coming on and it really kept me from bingeing. You are inspiring me to cut out the emotional eating from my life.

    • Elina

      Yay, Lauren!! This is why I write these kinds of posts, even at times when I feel like a crazy person for going back and forth about what I believe in. SO happy one of my posts helped you fight the urge to binge!!!! More of these strong moments and you will establish a new automatic (and healthier!) response. Yaaaay. :)

  • Jessica

    I’ve had a difficult relationship with food since recovering from an ED in high school, and I can relate to your feelings about just being “done” with it all. It sounds like your struggle with food has strong emotional ties. It may be beneficial for you to talk to a therapist about these underlying issues, if you haven’t already.

    The problem with programs such as Weight Watchers is they treat the symptoms, not the cause of the problem for many people. The people that are successful on Weight Watchers are those who probably don’t have many emotional struggles surrounding eating, but are simply unaware of things such as nutrition and portion size, and need to learn how to properly fuel themselves. For someone like you, you already know all about proper nutrition and how weight loss technically works, but need to tackle some tough issues before you can put those principles into practice.

    Definitely try to go talk to somebody, it’s tough to deal with these issues alone. You can do it! :-)

    • Elina

      I really agree that WW is more effective for people that just need to learn about nutrition and structure. I think you hit the nail on the head (and I’ve known this for a while but still kept fighting it) that WW (or dieting in general) is just not right for me at this time because I’m dealing with so much more than being unaware of proper portion sizes, eating unhealthy foods, etc.

  • Deena

    You go girl!!!

  • I am right there with you! I’ve been having the same struggles and it helps just to read your blog and know I’m not the only one in this boat! I hope taking the focus off of food and just enjoying yourself relieves some of the pressure and I wish you the best of luck!

  • thank you for your honesty. It is so inspiring. I think that you have points in your life when you can follow a diet to a T and then points in your life when you are overwhelmed and you just CANT. thats how I am anyway.

    I really am sending good luck your way because you deserve it. I know what works for me is picking up a hobby outside of Exercise and Food to make me happy. For example, I love to draw – and even though I am not good (at all!!) it is still really fun and entertaining to me. It completely takes my mind off when my next meal will be.

    Is there any hobby you could take up that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with exercise or food?

    • Elina

      Yesssssssssss. I keep thinking about all the times I dieted successfully and it’s obvious that I’m just not there right now. I love the suggestion of a new hobby. I actually just read about cross stitching the other day and remembered how much I loved it as a kid. Already started looking into getting some patterns :)

  • WOOT WOOT! What an awesome and exciting post, and what fabulous comments! Honey, you are SO going to rock this out. If you haven’t yet read Intuitive Eating (Tribole and Resch) definitely get your hands on a copy. I’m sending you so much love and light. XOXO!

  • Good luck Elina! I think you should abandon everything. Don’t read Intuitive Eating or any other book. Listen to yourself, don’t follow any rules, diet books or plans. Trust your instincts and you’ll stop thinking about what you’re “supposed” to be eating, not eating and what portions. Rock it out girl!

    • Elina

      Just reading this suggestion made me feel so liberated. I like the way you think, girl! πŸ˜‰ [And yes, I’m going to do just that!]

      • I’ve been trying “Intuitive Eating” for a while now and it stressed me out even more than dieting. I felt like I was always thinking about food, whether I was full, if what I was eating was what I truly wanted. I’ve been just doing whatever and exercising and I haven’t gained 20 pounds or keeled over dead yet. So far so good!

  • Aw. I’m sorry to hear this has been such a difficult process. I think you’re right to listen to your head and heart and give yourself a break. I, too, realized that I am not a good dieter. I love food. It is a huge part of my life. So, I just need to work out a little extra, end of story. Everything in moderation.Good luck and keep up posted!

    • Elina

      I already love working out. I hope that with letting go of the food struggle, I can just even it all out and live a healthy (especially mentally) life! I’ll definitely keep you all posted :)

  • I’ve seen you fight against your body for years now (even when, IMHO, you never needed to wage that kind of war against yourself), and I’ve always admired your strength and commitment to feeling comfortable in your own skin. But this post is the strongest I have ever seen from you.

    I think it’s important to remind yourself of this line in particular: “I’m so damn sick of putting so much emphasis on my self worth depending on how much or what I ate.”

    Your weight is so far from who you really are. You’re not a bad person because the scale says so. You’re a good person because everyone around you says so. You’re a good friend, an amazing wife, someone who shares her pain and triumph, and someone who listens and offers tips and advice to others. Never, ever connect the great things you do and are capable of to an arbitrary number, because then you limit yourself so much.

    <3 Awesome post! Kick some butt and take some names today :)

  • Brianna E.

    Elina, I discovered your blog last summer when I was googling something along the lines of “breaking free from the Weight Watchers mentality”. The fact is, I had some moderate success with WW when I was in college, but, looking back, it probably had more to do with the fact that I lived in the gym and was too busy with full-time school and part-time job to really have time to give food much thought. I lost about 20 pounds then.

    Cut to now when I am about 75 pounds overweight. And all this time I’ve been doing WW off and on. I simply refuse to do it anymore.

    I am currently participating in a clean eating challenge that my employer offers, which includes cutting out sugar for 21 days, eating whole grains, 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day and no alcohol. The only hard part for me has been to eliminate sugar (you’d be amazed at the things that have sugar listed in the ingredients. Not to mention my sweet tooth…)

    Anyway, it’s been refreshing to just focus on those few small things and getting more exercise. Very freeing. The no sugar thing has admittedly been hard, and, when the 21 days are up, I may in fact have a bit of chocolate. But I’m hoping to continue down a clean(er) eating path. There’s also a book called The Skinny that role models healthy eating and no counting of anything. Good insights. I also like Geneen Roth’s books. Best of luck making the switch out of the dieting mindset, and please know there are plenty of us out there that want to be on the same path back to sanity!

    I too believe in the “fairytale” that doing away with the diet insanity can possibly lead us to our natural weight. *Cheers*

    • Elina

      Small changes really do add up if we make them part of our lifestyle (I know I cannot live without exercise and healthy foods – whether i’m trying to lose weight or not – it’s just part of me now)!
      Warning: I’ve done the no sugar challenge last year and it definitely back fired on me. Be careful! I know it’s definitely an interesting exercise in learning more about what’s in your food (like you said – sugar sneaks into so many things) but that’s about it.

  • N

    Elina — I am a longtime reader (years!) but never commented until now. I just wanted to say how proud I am of you for making such a positive choice in your life. I know it was a hard one to make, and it’s definitely not going to be easy going forward… but it is SO MUCH more important to love life, to forgive yourself, and to be happy than it is to look a certain way or eat a certain way. You are absolutely right that if you just give yourself a chance, you’ll find a balance that’s right for you. And with plenty of support from friends and other loving individuals, I am 100% sure that you’ll come to a place where you will love your body no matter what. You’re gorgeous, inside and out. And you deserve to be happy regardless of shape/size/food/exercise or any number of the other hoops that women in our day and age feel that they have to jump through in order to earn their space on this planet. You are so right: enough is enough.

    I know from years of reading your blog that you truly love healthy food and you truly love physical activity of all sorts. You’ll keep doing those things because you genuinely want to, not because you feel like you “have to” do them. In setting yourself free from all of those constraints and rules that you had outlined for yourself (and so many of us women outline for ourselves), you are actually acting as a really positive example for all of the women and men who read your blog. Thank you for being brave enough to share this important step on your journey… I have never been more inspired by you — nor more excited to see where your blog goes!! — than I am right now. Please keep writing, keep it real, stay strong. You’re doing an amazing job.

    • Elina

      Thank you for such an incredible comment!! I am even more inspired now. πŸ˜€ [Please comment more, you have a talent for it πŸ˜‰ ]

  • You are so amazing, Elina! I am behind you 100%!!!

  • Julie Ryan

    I always go back to a quote in the book “Eat Pray Love”.

    “I came to Italy pinched and thin,” and we find that while leaving Italy, she had filled out in waist and soul.

    When I look back at my “skinniest”, I see a girl lost and miserable and fighting the food demons. Now I see myself as carrying a little too much weight, but enjoying life. I have to remind myself of the soul I’ve gained along with the bigger waist line.

    All I can say is that it is a battle and I applaud you for being so open and honest. Day after day of getting on the scale and damning yourself aren’t worth it, right? It’s hard though, we’re all right with you.

    It’s time to just live.

    • Alice

      Amen sister. When I was at my thinnest (25 pounds lighter than my current weight), I still thought I was fat. You could see my rib cage, and I still wasn’t happy with my body.

    • Elina

      Not worth it! I just told my husband that for the first time I feel like maybe everything will fall into place if i just let it. I’m going to try to savor this feeling and really *live*.

  • Alice

    ELINA! You absolutely rock. I 100% agree with everything you are saying. I just moved to another country and am not working at the moment – so the past few weeks have meant my partner and I are eating out a lot, trying new foods, while we explore our new city. Yesterday I wanted to have a day of “good eating” to “make up for” the past few weeks (even though I’ve actually lost a couple of pounds due to walking about 5 miles a day!) Things were fine until lunch. I broke down. I didn’t want to do it. I felt like throwing a tantrum. I didn’t want to count calories. I didn’t want to input my food into an online calculator. I wanted to live.

    By nature I (and you!) are pretty healthy eaters. We exercise, we like healthy food. We have to remember that letting go and not planning, dieting, etc. will NOT make us obese. It’s when we start to obsess when things get bad.

    Love your blog, and I applaud you for posting such honest things like this xox

    • Elina

      Exactly! I feel like I’m naturally inclined to do “the right things” – it’s when my head gets in the way I get in trouble. Sounds like you’ve been doing just fine before you started placing rules on yourself too. Let yourself just be!

  • I so went through that this fall. I was on a low carb diet and it literally made me crazy. Like, I was mental and obsessed and not a nice person. Is it so wrong to want to eat an apple? Seriously? So I decided to listen to my body and try intuitive eating.

    Yes, I gained a bit back. Am I happy with where I am yet? No. Am I crazy and denying myself? No. It is really hard to listen to your body after so many diets. It is really really tempting to do a quick diet to lose 5-10 lbs that are bugging you. But I found that dieting doesn’t make me sane. Nor does a number on the scale. Or pants fitting (though that is just kind of depressing).

    It is funny because I was considering another diet when you posted this, and it snapped me out of my haze. Yes, I am holding onto a bit of pudge. I’m bloaty and feel like crap today. But am I willing to be so menally exhausted? Maybe I need to sit down and make sure I’m eating what my body needs instead of denying it things it should be able to have in moderation.

    Thanks for the reminder. For me moderation is the key. I have house guests this weekend and already feel like I blew that plan, but really I was just setting myself up for failure. Now, just take it one bite at a time. Listening to the queues.

  • yana

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a very long time. I love your spirit and relate to you a lot as I am of Slavic origin also. I have struggled with anorexia in the past and for 3 whole years i was skinny as can be… but i remember the self hatred, the dread of going to the beach. Two years later I am at my heaviest ever, but i don’t hate myself for it. I’m not thin, I am curvy, and that is way God made me and that is the way i will be. Relax, Breathe and be happy – the sun will come up tomorrow. I hope you find your happily ever after soon. (I KNOW you eventually will)

  • i still count calories very regularly. and use them as a barometer to decide if and when i can have something else to eat in my day. it’s really frustrating. i believe in being accountable of course, but i just wish i could do it naturally without the constant calorie counting. good luck to you elina, it sounds like you have embraced the right attitude for this next phase.

    • Elina

      I’ll let you know how “doing it naturally without counting” works for me. I’m very very hopeful, more than ever!

  • Lara (Thinspired)

    I adore this and I adore you. This is basically exactly what happened to me when I stopped blogging. We will find our way…I just know it. Enjoy your special dinner!

    • Elina

      Have things gotten better? I want an update email!! πŸ˜‰
      Thanks! I’m SO excited about the dinner – it’s going to be awesome!!

  • My heart goes out to you, Elina. I 100% understand where you are coming from because I live it myself. One day, in the future, looking hot in a bikini is not what is going to matter most to us. It’s going to be our family, friendships & life’s experiences that will make up our memories. Don’t let not looking a certain way hold you back from these experiences. I’m trying to do the same. I leave for Mexico next week and battle the thoughts of wishing I looked a certain way for the beach. It seems that outsiders are kinder to us than we are to ourselves….they don’t pick out our flaws the way we focus on them. You are beautiful, kind, loved and intelligent. That’s what the rest of us see. {{HUGS}} :)

    • Elina

      You’re so right, we are so hard on ourselves, much harder than others. I have no one to impress but myself (my husband is already happy πŸ˜‰ ) so it’s time to focus on impressing myself with things other than looking hot in a bikini. Enjoy Mexico!!!

  • Elina, I’m so proud of you for throwing the diet out the window! I’ve been reading your struggle with dieting and losing weight and I believe it’s most important for people to be happy with their bodies and the way they look. It’s not just about the numbers!

    And look at what you’re eating and cooking–it’s all healthy and good for you, and I think you’re totally right–you will be healthier if you’re happier with yourself, and just counting points and calories and always stepping on the scale seems to be discouraging you.

    Good luck with everything! I look forward to reading more posts :)

  • Hang in there. I think everyone loves you at your most raw so you of course always have our support. Have you ever considered seeing a therapist just to try it out? Seems like there is a lot of emotional stuff going on that maybe they could help you sort through.

    • Elina

      I’ve seen therapists before. Right now I’m talking to a coach – while she’s not a certified therapist, she is really helping me through this, questioning my “stories,” focusing on self-care and helping me build new (non-food related) coping skills.

      • She sounds perfect. I think it’s less about having someone who is certified and more about having an objective third party who can help you sort through things in a non-judgemental and safe environment. I love talking to family and friends but sometimes it’s nice to have someone with a completely different perspective.

  • Hey, I’ve been following your blog for a while now, but I rarely comment. This will sound weird but I was actually excited (and quite surprised) when I read the title of your post. I never wanted to say anything, because it’s obviously your choice what you do with your body, but in my opinion food should NEVER ever be about earning points (just think about how ridiculous that sounds?) and counting. Nor should your self-worth depend so much by the number on the scale. I wish you all the best and I hope you’ll truly be able to let go of diets, calorie counting and weigh obsession! It probably won’t be easy, but believe me, life will be much more beautiful once you stop caring about the numbers and healthy/happy ”weight” (body!) will come naturally.

    • Elina

      I’m not 100% there with believing that food should never be about counting calories/points – it doesn’t sound that ridiculous to me since my whole life I believed that in order to lose weight, I had to limit my caloric intake. Obviously we’re at different levels at this time. Hope to be where you are soon enough :)

  • Congratulations on such an incredible breakthrough! I loved the raw honesty of this post. I was recently listening to a lecture by Geneen Roth (one of my favorite writers on the topic of breaking free from emotional eating) who said that scales are for fish, not for women!

    I too am a former WW lifetime member who walked away from the insanity of obsessing over points, measuring food, and defining myself as “good” or “bad” based on my food intake. The truth is that all food is medicine and it’s up to us to decide how best to use it.

    For me, everything began to shift when I started to do yoga. It helped me connect with my body in a healthy way and begin to develop self acceptance and awareness that has made me realize that when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.

    The path to freedom from emotional eating is not a straight one, but what you learn about yourself is SO WORTH IT!

    I look forward to checking in and cheering you on:-)

    • Elina

      Pretty clever with that scales analogy πŸ˜‰
      I really do need to bring yoga back into my life. I used to love it and it really did remind me to be kinder to myself!

  • julie

    I think I am the exact place you are. I used to be so thin; I ran ALL the damn time to maintain it though. Once I stopped, I gained weight and it made me so upset. I have gained at least 30 lbs in the past 2 years.
    Some days I’ll look at myself and think “ew” others I’ll think I look okay.
    I’m just tired of hating on myself and thinking I’m too big…I like myself better now than I did when I was thinner, so maybe this was meant to be?

    • Elina

      You’d never say “ew” to your friend, would you? So sad how nasty we are to ourselves! Hope today you can tell yourself how fantastic you are!!! :)

  • Elina;
    I am so moved from the responses from this post. You have quite a following, and respect from your online world. They are with you day in and day out, some feeling your “pain”.
    As likely one of the oldest commenters on this post, I hereby grant you leniency from Diet Land. Poof, it’s gone, and it’s gone because of you! You may be too young, but Richard Simmons (yes, the curly haired crazy man) once said, “it’s not a Die-it, it’s a Live-it”
    At my age, diet doesn’t matter, a job doesn’t matter, its spending time with my family and laughing, that’s what truly matters.
    Find what matters to you, and Live-it!

    • Elina

      Thanks, Kathy! I really agree that family, friends and laughter are really what should matter. I’m off to live-it πŸ˜‰ [and yes, I know who Richard Simmons is, lol.]

  • Wow, thanks for your honesty. I think it’s sometimes an illusion when it seems like people have suddenly turned around and stopped obsessing about dieting and then lose weight. I mean, it CAN happen, but the acceptance part is such a huge undertaking that I doubt it truly happens often.

    So I was at my worst… well, I guess starting at the end of high school. My parents were commenting on my weight and I was feeling discouraged trying on prom dresses. In retrospect, I wasn’t even that hefty… just wearing the wrong clothing. And yes, let’s face it — my frame isn’t tiny. It was at that time that I journaled about feeling fat but not really doing much besides skipping lunch or things like that.

    In college, I think being around the Los Angeles glam just seemed to mandate me losing weight even more. Again, I really wasn’t that big, just maybe 5 pounds that showed a lot on my 5″1″ frame. The first year, I was eating and exercising normally, but as I continued to wonder why I didn’t have the social life I wanted, I started blaming it on the weight (plus more comments from parents). So by my sophomore year in college, I started to eat minimally and dropped those few pounds. People noticed. And then I had amennorhea, which baffled me because it’s not even like I lost the weight all THAT fast and not even that many lbs. I relaxed these habits and then recovered, but a year later, I started journaling and restricted to 1000 calories a day and beat myself up/was disgusted w/myself if I went over. Well, that didn’t work. I ended up eating the extra calories I needed– and then some. So by the time I started my desk job and attended grad school for 2 years with less time to workout, my weight was at its highest ever. I got scared every time I went to the doctor and used the scale. My BMI was inching toward “overweight.”

    I’m down just about 10 lbs since then and am relatively satisfied. I got there slowly, just becoming more aware of what I was doing to my body (nutritionally) and becoming more consistent and challenging myself with exercise. I’m certainly not perfect and occasionally binge/overeat, but I think as I surround myself with more people, I do that less. That insecurity I have about my body… well, it’s still there, but I have had to fake confidence and realize that there’s more to life than appearances. I try to focus on things that are going well and find the whole negativity thing so counterproductive and pointless. Getting myself out there and being active has done a lot for my self-esteem and is an outlet for boredom.

    So in short (sorry for the long post), I think you’re taking a step in the right direction. You are very aware of your weaknesses, and that awareness is so important. Instead of the bikini, think about YOU — you’re already doing a good job at stopping after one portion — that takes a self-awareness that I’m sure will be very helpful to you in your journeys.

    Also, know that you don’t have to “reward” yourself for “being good.” Your reward is there, just a bit delayed. By “being good,” you are being good to yourself — not the people you think want to see a thinner you. “Being good” and “being bad” are all parts of a normal lifestyle, and know that both will happen and really don’t impact the bigger picture.

    • Elina

      Julie – It sounds like you’re making some really good progress. Yay! Thanks so much for your comment, I appreciate all the input and support :)

  • It is so interesting that life gives you just what you need when you need it! I woke up with this thought about my relationship with food and my body just this morning. I wish all of us luck in this particular journey.

  • Piper

    WOW! Look at this response! How sad is it that women have to define themselves by how much they weigh! I too have been struggling with weight since I entered my freshman year in HS. I have been up and down for over 20 years now and just this week came to the same conclusion as you, Elina!

    Just enjoy life. Exercise and eat happily. I always give myself a few pounds of wiggle room.

    You are gorgeous anyways. AND you are not at all heavy. I think it is so healthy to open up like this. I wish men could do this same thing! I believe women uplift one another and we all deal with the same struggles on one level or another.

    YOU are helping many women with your honesty and frankness. Good luck to you and to all women on their road to happiness and health!

  • Girl- you are going to be living my dream. I can’t wait to see you succeed beyond your imagination!

  • Jeff

    I’m a man and I think you are hottt and I think all you women in general should stop fretting over weight! MEN just want a warm body next to us and if that body has some extra stuffing and a little plumpness all the better in my book!

    • Elina

      Hahaha, Jeff. You hear that, ladies? Apparently plumpness is appreciated. How come “plump” girls don’t get hit on at the bar? I’m obviously not trying to be picked up, but just wondering… [PS-Adam said he like you… I’m guessing that means he agrees with you :) ]


    I hate to be the one to say this but it just sounds like you are absolutely giving up on something that you really want and this is not the Elina from the blogs I have been reading for over 2 years =( I think you look fantastic just the way you are now and if you are truly happy this way then give up BUT you are clearly not happy and you have chosen a path that will either keep your situation this way or make it worse and then you will regret it later when its 10 times harder to lose.
    It all really comes down to calories not the food you eat or the points you count. (Another thing is that the new points plus program has terrible reviews and does not work). You dont have to let your diet ruin your life and you really can eat whatever you want. I know you understand moderation but from your blog it looks like you freak everytime you eat something that isnt “right” or you go over some calories. This used to be me, and i agree it has made me INSANE! I think before you give up you should try eating your faves but just count the cals. You can eat cookies almonds or whatever just count. You dont have to have a healthy day with a sane snack, you can also have a day where you eat all brownies or cookies as long as its in your cals. I believe this is really easy and it has worked for me. I never have cravings, if I want 10 brownies I eat 10 brownies. If I go over my intake one day I eat a lil less or workout the next day and i lose.
    Sorry this is long but all i am saying is do not give up!! I have given up so many times and all it did for me was a gift of another 5,10,15 pounds more to lose when I get depressed again and start to diet all over and it only gets harder trust me!!!

    • Elina

      Sveta – I’m not looking at it as giving up on dieting/losing weight but rather reevaluating where I am today and giving up things that no longer work (my track record over the past year has shown that dieting is just not right for me at this time). I admit that your comment definitely shook me up a bit because I AM afraid that if I just let go, I’ll balloon up only facing a larger struggle to lose weight in the future. BUT, I’m willing to give it a try, especially since the alternative has not worked to date. We’re all so different so what worked for you may not be the right thing for me, at least not right now.

      • Sending you some love and light, Elina. You can do this. If I can, anyone can.

      • Sveta

        I understand what you are trying to see. I hope my comment did not come out mean or hateful I was just saying something that I feel is true from past experience.
        I have that same crazy fear that if I let go I will ballon up more and thats kinda what always ends up happening with me in reality so I just thought I would share.
        I hope you find a path that works for you in the future but in all honesty you really do look good now and you shouldnt be struggling like you are so much!
        You dont know me but I loveeee your blog and I wish you luck on your journey!

        • Elina

          No worries, Sveta. I didn’t take offense at all. I appreciate every comment unless it’s just mean and completely unproductive.

    • I have to say that I respectfully disagree with this last commentor’s response. I believe that some people can count calories, lose weight, and be healthy forever. But I believe that most people cannot. A calorie is not just a calorie. Certain foods nourish and fill you more than others. I have had a similar struggle as yours Elina and I have found that using IE is best for me. But you are not me and no one can make this decision for you, not I , not the commentor before me. I’m a little sad that the words “giving up” are used here. “Giving up” doesn’t have to mean that you throw moderation to the wind. “Giving up” can mean giving up using a system that builds and tears down your self esteem based on a point system or a net calorie system. And correct me if I’m wrong but what you truly want is to be healthy and happy, am I right?. Losing 5-10-20 lbs. is not necessarily going to bring you happiness and health. If you think IE is more likely to bring you to your ultimate life goal (not weight goal), then I think you’re making the right decision for you. IE is not easy and it doesn’t come to you overnight when you stop dieting. But I truly believe everyone can learn to do this. It’s one thing to be mindful of calories in the foods you’re eating, but it’s another thing to let a calorie tally dictate your life. Whatever you do, do what’s right for you. If you’re true to yourself, then no one can ever accuse you of “giving up”.

      • Elina

        Thank you, Kelly!! I needed this reassurance :)

      • Sveta

        I was not accusing her of giving up I said it sounds like she is. Ofcourse the point i sto be healthy and happy and like I said, if she is happy where she is than thats great, but from reading all her blogs she clearly wasnt happy and at the time the main goal was for the pounds not just “healthy and happy”. With that being the case I just shared from experience that letting go of a system when you are not at a happy weight will only lead to gain and the cycle will start over again when you regret letting go and are not happy anymore.
        I was not telling her what to do or what should work for her, just sharing an opinion.

  • I love this post. Good for you. I don’t believe in dieting either- I believe in balance. Work out hard, take some days off, eat healthy when you can but don’t beat yourself up if you want a piece of meat or extra chocolate. Its always hard when you want to lose some weight but you also Love cooking and eating! I hear ya. I try to cook 2-3 vegetarian meals a week but when I go out to dinner, I go OUT. No limiting myself. Thanks for this post. I’m convinced you will get to a happier weight now. You don’t need to diet- just be passionate about your workouts and coking healthy foods : )

  • I tend to thrive on structure but I think this approach is very healthy. Listen to you body but don’t stop there- actually follow through with what it’s telling you. If it says “feed me” then go for it, but if it says “I’ve had enough”; respect that and stop eating. I’ve put on a few pounds this winter and have been trying to drop them but I was stuck for a while. As soon as I started tuning into what my body really needed the weight came off. I don’t know if you practice yoga regularly but it really helped me learn more about myself and want to nourish myself on so many levels: mind, body and spirit. Best of luck! Your readers love you and you should too πŸ˜‰

    • Elina

      Yoga seems to be a common thread here. It really is wonderful, isn’t it? I really need to squeeze in a weekly sesh, for my mind more than my body. Thanks for your sweet comment! πŸ˜€

  • Brace yourself for one long-ass response. First, thank you for sharing this with all of us. Second, I know you can find what you’re looking for in a healthy lifestyle – but, just like a soulmate, it’s hard to find.
    All I can do is offer my own insight. Approaching “health” from a weight-loss perspective is a slippery slope that’s guaranteed to end badly. Did I just say that? Yes, it’s true. I’ve finally learned how intricate and complex health is. Losing weight is not a guaranteed path to “health,” especially if we consider holistic (mind + body health. There are so many biological and psychological factors that go into what defines our health. Reputable studies have shown that weight-loss from calorie restriction adversely affects the metabolism (biological) AND adversely affects the psyche (psychological) making participants actually FEEL hungry and crave food even when the biological cues are not there. And, the adage that weight-loss is all calories in versus calories out is bogus. A recent reputable study showed that our bodies metabolize processed foods and unprocessed foods differently, more effectively metabolizing whole and unprocessed foods. That being said, I’m certainly not trying to give you additional anxiety about what “should” or “shouldn’t” go into your tummy, but encourage you to really think about food as fuel and as a tool that affects social progress. I used to hate when people would tell me to see food as fuel, esp. as an emotional and social eater, food is so much more. But that IS part of the problem. However, if you start to see food as that which is necessary to fuel your body (and properly) and also as something that affects progress (i.e. is the food organic, ethical, etc.), it becomes easier to take the focus from food as tied to self-image and transfer it to seeing food as tied to capability and progress. I’m still working out the kinks in my own approach (therapy has really helped). I find that I, like you, still have that annoying voice that tells me that a “good day” is a day that I ate and exercised in a manner that would fuel weight loss. But I’m able to step back and realize how my feelings of self-worth and my happiness are not contingent on my weight. I’ve been 127 pounds and miserable and 280 pounds and miserable. We still have the same mind at both weights that fuel the negative self-talk and if it doesn’t manifest in one way, it will manifest in another. I hope you really spend some time thinking about what it is you’re seeking from your diet — what activities and sentiments do you want your body to enable? What is it that you think you really will get if you lose weight? What does that bikini REALLY mean to you and how valuable is that desire in accomplishing a positive and lasting self-image and true holistic health? I hope you learn to love and respect yourself as you are in every moment. You deserve all the happiness in the world!

    • Elina

      Annabel – I’m definitely not at a place where I can see food as merely fuel. Can you view it as that and still really enjoy it? I do believe in ethical eating (and of course the definitions may be different for many people) and I do think that having nutrition in mind when choosing the best food is important so that you can feel your best! The mental aspect of it (and really evaluating WHY I have this need to lose weight and WHY I eat when I do) is the most difficult and I believe is absolutely the key behind a healthy (or broken) relationship with food. Thanks for your comment! :)

      • Yes, Elina — that’s the craziest thing! I used to scoff at the idea of seeing food as fuel, but I now truly enjoy food especially when knowing that it’s going to benefit my body. So, in other words, my enjoyment has shifted from seeing “restricted foods” as enjoyable to seeing “what my body needs and truly craves” as enjoyable. Again, it’s all about the mental work that’s gone into my journey. Anyhow, I’m here if you ever need me!

  • Aimee

    Elina! I really want to encourage you.
    Letting go is so so so difficult. In December I was following Atkins… trying to lose those last stubborn 10 pounds and I got down to 137 pounds from 142. I was pretty happy with the fast weight loss but then cam christmas and I wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted. I went crazy that day and ate so many cookies I wont even say how many.
    The next day I tried to go back into diet mode but I just couldn’t.
    A few days passed.. I started counting calories, tracking everything I ate.. my mind was obsessed with when will I eat, what will I eat, how many calories do I have left.. if I eat x amount now I can eat x amount later… etc.
    I felt so trapped and just scared. Food was ruling my life.
    Then came January 1st. My goal was to do a hardcore strict diet for all of January and just finally lose the weight.
    And then… I realized that I just couldn’t. I was just tired. Tired, tired, tired of counting, thinking restricting, binging, and everything that goes along with a diet.
    I made a new resolution. To stop dieting and just love myself.
    I started doing things that made me feel good. Got a haircut, bought some great clothes, laughed with friends.
    Then when I was hungry… I ate whatever I wanted and stopped when I was satisfied.
    First couple days I ate pretty unhealthy stuff that I had been restricting from myself… and then after that I stopped craving so much junk food.
    Its been about two months since I’ve started this and I have lost about 2 pounds.
    I dont want you to see intuitive eating as a way to lose weight, but it helped me to know that what I was doing would probably aid in weight loss.
    But I want to share with you what helped me the most.
    Eat when you are hungry.
    If it’s 10 pm at night and you feel hungry dont get that happy feeling that you are hungry and probably losing weight. Instead all you will do is think about everything that sounds good to eat- and naturally thin people dont think about food like that. they eat when hungry and then they concentrate on other things throughout the day.
    Also. Do not count calories… how did I stop counting? I literally would do things like chant songs in my head… make myself think about other things… I wouldnt use measuring cups or anything like that.
    and why do you need to stop counting? because when you count and for example its 8 pm at night and you still technically have 300 calories left but you are not hungry you may eat because you have 300 calories left, truth is sometimes the body its less on some days and more on others.
    in the end though it all balances out.
    i hope this encourages you.
    you will lose un-needed weight (if you have any)
    and be much much happier letting go.
    so please, let go, life is so much better.

    • Elina

      Agreed – I’m banishing calorie counting all together. I will just focus on healthy whole foods, I think my body will appreciate them! Appreciate the encouragement :)

  • KellyB

    I just read Portia De Rossi’s book about her journey about coming to terms with being a Lesbian but most of all it was coming to terms with her weight issues. It’s an incredible book and at the end she does just what you describe, where she just eats what she wants and doesn’t diet and she is now right where she needs to be. I won’t give you any clues in how low she got or how high, its what makes the book so interesting, but its worth picking up at the library, I read it in 3 nights.

  • Jen

    I don’t usually say “Oh, honey!” but when I read your post I immediately thought “Oh, honey- I hear you! I know exactly what you mean!” And I really do. I hate depriving myself of the all the delicious foods I love to eat. I hate when I have binging episodes where I eat amounts that only Olympians in training should be eating! The best I can do is keep up with my workouts, so that while I don’t see myself really losing much weight, I can at least try not to gain anymore. By the way, I really love this blog AND Russian Bites. I even made the chocolate kielbasa, and my family loved it. (Told you, I don’t deprive myself of stuff like that :)

    • Elina

      Yay. I love it too. Maybe you can make the gorka cake or the poodle cake next? They’re my all time favorites! :)

  • I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and as always, I appreciate the honesty in your post. The fairytale you speak of- I’m not sure that there is any woman in the world without a little bit of food guilt, but I believe you can find it.

    I used to calorie count and abuse myself with marathon exercise sessions. I have settled into my ‘natural’ weight now. It’s a healthy weight and I’m not stick thin (probably 5 pounds up from my thinnest when I was knocking myself out and unhappy), but I can indulge from time to time and I treat my body well. I really believe that yoga has helped me get to this state.

    Also, it sounds like you have a supportive husband who loves you just the way you are- lean on him and on your HUGE online network (almost 100 comments, girl!) and remember that people are rooting for you! GL Elina.

  • I think one of the things that really stood out to me when we met last fall was your inner beauty. You radiate with kindness and grace. I’m glad to hear you separating your self worth and identity from your size. It’s not something easy to do. Last year when my dad died unexpectedly, I gained weight and as my wedding approached, I decided to slough off the need to feel like I should lose it when really I was wracked with grief and just trying to get through the day-to-day. For me, I separated my self worth from my size and recognized that getting down to a weight that is healthy is something that will take time, small changes to become bigger ones and can’t be fixed overnight. I’m sending you a big hug Elina because I’ve been there too and am coming out of it by not dieting but watching my portions and loading up on more veggies and water. It’s helping albeit one step at a time.

    Hang in there! :)

  • Hey good luck on your journey. Sometimes the fact that we aren’t focusing on food by dieting keeps us keeping from thinking about it all the time. I’ve been a gluten free vegan for a while and recently decided not to put any labels on myself. It’s been liberating and I don’t have to feel guilty when we eat out and something might have a non vegan ingredient.

  • Your honesty is inspiring. And actually, your story at the beginning of the post reminds me of what geneen roth wrote in her book about how she broke her dieting cycle. it’s never fun to feel so guilty all the time and I hope you are able to rid yourself of it soon!! good luck!

  • Alison

    I found that the only way I was able to stop binge eating was to stop dieting. Dieting always triggers my binge eating. Since I stopped dieting, I rarely think about food (at least not in the obsessive “when can I eat next and how much and I know I shouldn’t overeat but I want to” way). I almost always eat until I’m satisfied and don’t feel like eating more after that.

    That being said, when I did stop dieting, I *did* gain about 10 pounds back – went from 145 to 155. Now I’m around 151 and holding steady. I’d love to be under 140 (which is ideal for my height), but I know if I start to diet again, it will trigger my binge eating eventually. So it’s just not worth it. And it’s not like I’m very overweight at 150ish. Could I look better in a bikini? I guess so. But it’s not worth the mental anguish that dieting would put me through.

    Just felt like sharing my experience. I know you can do this… good luck to you!

  • Great post and I really think this is going to be the right plan for you.

    I have this thing for the past maybe 4 years since I’ve lost the college weight and got more healthy. Every winter I gain about 7-8 pounds and every summer I lose it. Every winter around this time of the year I’ll freak out that I’ve gained so much weight and try to “diet” or at least restrict myself… it never EVER works and I just end up doing exactly what you were doing- overeating and then feeling guilty. I usually give up around May/June and soon later the weight just naturally comes off. AH. This year I finally figured out the pattern and so while I am yet again up about 8 pounds or maybe a bit more since Thanksgivingish… I am not going to freak out about it this time, it’s just wasted energy. Even if it doesn’t come off in June, it’s not going to kill me.

    So… in conclusion, I think you are smart and I hope this works well for you.

  • Sherry

    Elina, I’ve recently come to the same “breaking” point and have attempted to break the obsession with food/weight loss. I go through cycles of limiting myself to 1000 calories a day whilst excercising a fair amount only to, of course, eat more than I should on other days, which then leads to days of ‘fasting’, which of course leads to more overeating, etc. It’s exhausting and just makes me feel worse about myself than I already do. So, I am still attempting to lose weight (I’ve lost fifty pounds and am hoping to reach my goal weight with losing about twenty more), but the obsession that comes from counting calories and worrying about every single food item that I put into my body just has to stop. I enjoy the whole intuitive eating thing and, like one would expect, when foods were no longer ‘forbidden’ to me, I don’t feel the overwhelming urge to eat them in crazy amounts. I love to eat healthy foods, so limiting how much avocado or whatever that I allow myself to eat is really unnecessary. Listening to my body works like a charm (imagine that). Of course, I have to make the ever-important distinction between an emotional urge to eat and a physical urge to eat. All that is to say, good luck with this change and I hope you find yourself experiencing more peace with your eating and general daily life. While it has certainly been a struggle to make the switch myself (after years of obsessively counting every calorie I put into my system) and I am still adjusting, intuitive eating has lifted a massive burden from my shoulders. Good luck and have fun!

  • You are such a beautiful and charming person, Elina! I truly believe that by letting go of ‘dieting’ and making your happiness a priority you will find that happy place with your body. Food is meant to sustain us, to nurture us, and to fuel our bodies with energy, it is not meant to control us! I am learning as well, how to not let what I eat affect how I feel about myself. Thanks again for your honesty with your readers!

  • Hi there, I’m back now that I’m on a laptop and not an iphone that’s impossible to type on & leave comments :-)

    I just wanted to add that I think what you are doing is absolutely wonderful. I also feel that if you ever find that it’s not working for you, you should always feel that you need to do whatever is working for you at the moment.

    I’ve been where you are. And sadly for me, I was not able to keep my weight in a happy place without keeping track of my intake & exercise. Realize that I do NOT limit my calories, but there’s something oddly satisfying for me to know where I stand in the scheme of things. It seems to help me to make better choices and keep the BLTs down (bites licks tastes). sometimes I record everything in a cute journal. Right now I’m on daily plate. As I said, this is me, and only me. I seem to be watching everyone around me be able to toss their record keeping and live happily ever after. Not me. I hope that you are not like me! :-) Fingers, toes crossed for you to absolutely rock this new way of living.

    By the way when i did Weight Watchers, I HATED it and lost no weight, and was over my calories every day and it sucked. But then again, that was me! :=)

    (See, I never leave long comments on my iphone hehe)

  • Wow! You have sparked quite the discussion here. I can really related to giving up on dieting. Even as a personal trainer, I struggle with emotional eating. My saving grace is my exercise. Best of luck with finding peace with yourself and making it work.

  • I agree, deprivation/diets just do not work.

  • […] of my favorite bloggers, Elina from Healthy and Sane, recently announced that she’s done with dieting. While I can’t know what’s going on in Elina’s heart and mind, I have a feeling […]

  • Good for you! And thanks for such an honest post!

    This is something that I struggle with and am currently struggling with so its very helpful to read someone elses experience. I was obese my entire life and then 2 years ago committed myself to a healthy lifestyle. (Ok it started out as a healthier type of diet and then I realized that if it was going to stick it would have to be a lifestyle not a diet). 2 years and 80 lbs gone but I still struggle with those negative thoughts and frustrations… plus I have a messed up metabolism because even doing it healthy your body doesn’t like to lose weight.

    I think you’ll do amazing as long as you keep healthy in mind and allow yourself to do what feels natural. Then there’s no guilt!

    Congrats on your decision and I’m excited to hear about your journey.

  • Elina, I am happy to see you come to this conclusion…I don’t want to see you upset over not being able to lose a few pounds. I know how hard it is, and eventually everything will click for you but initially taking the stress away from constantly thinking about points or calories, will be wonderful for you!

  • you go girl! i am in the same boat, and i think i am going to ditch the scale for good. ive had enough!

  • Giving up dieting is SO hard! My blog is all about the intuitive eating journey and how difficult it can be. However, I think giving up dieting has been the very best thing I’ve ever done for my physical and mental health!

  • You go girl!!! πŸ˜€


  • […] β€œDo you ever hear/read stories about girls that used to hate their bodies, attempted diet after diet only to fail (or temporarily β€˜win’ losing weight… but then gaining it back, and then some) and one day just gave up? They finally gave themselves permission to eat whatever they wanted, and then (and I’m skipping a few steps here, I’m certain the most grueling and hardest) they came to accept their bodies, stopped the self-loathing fat talk and lived happily ever after even lost weight WITHOUT dieting? Sounds like a fairy tale? I think I’ve hit the bottom and I’m willing to give this fairy tale a go” [post linked here]. […]

  • Hi Elina,

    I am one of those girls that you described. This is not to brag because I went through 10 years of hell, including 2 hospitalizations and binge eating so much that I couldn’t leave the house for days. Just like you I would be “good” for a few days and then break down. I was starvin, desperate and could not think about anything other than food and my weight.
    Its been 4 years now that I have been completely recovered. I call myself just a normal eater. I eat things that I like, I know when I am hungry and I have not had the urge to binge, purge or diet. Yes there was a whole process involved – I have written an ebook about it, but I just wanted to share this message that it IS POSSIBLE to achieve this sort of freedom and still enjoy food, go out, etc. Just without all the guilt and obsession.
    Good luck on your journey. Just remember if you can see it and believe it, it will happen.

  • […] in peace with my food choices (healthy or indulgent) in a long time (maybe ever?). The decision to quit dieting and choose diet free living has never felt more […]

  • […] following week). It was frustrating trying so hard and getting no where, which of course led me to the decision to stop dieting for good (thus the diet free living series where I share my challenges and successes of this […]

  • […] treat myself, don’t trust my body to know what’s best for me. I realized that when I said I was done with dieting, I meant it. It doesn’t work for me. It’s been proven. There is a better […]

  • […] back on the dieting band wagon. At least for a little while. I know I said I was done with dieting for good and maybe I forgot the struggles and ups and downs associated with restrictive measures (and need […]


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