At one time or another, many of us have had medical tests that required fasting, and my turn came again last Monday. I don’t usually mind missing meals, it’s really not a big deal to skip a few meals. After all, I’ve been an AIM Eater for decades now, and I’m not easily triggered — or so I thought!
Sunday morning came and I was allowed tea and clear liquids, which was fine until about 10 am. Then pantry and refrigerator were suddenly on my mind – at a time of day when I usually wouldn’t be eating much of anything at all yet, and I wasn’t hungry. I smiled at myself, poured another cup of tea and retreated from the kitchen. Then it happened again, and again. By Sunday evening, I was feeling thoroughly deprived and had started looking forward to my next meal which would be sometime after 1 on Monday.
By the time I actually DID get to eat, around 2:30 Monday afternoon, I was feeling thoroughly resentful — a totally irrational response, I know, but that was the feeling! It brought back to me how crazy dieting can make us: those feelings of deprivation and resentment are just a few of the ways we subconsciously respond to efforts to control our food. If I had been trying to restrict my eating for a long time, as dieters do, it would have taken massive amounts of willpower and concentration to do it. That can happen both when we cut back on quantity or when we don’t allow ourselves certain foods. And my body hadn’t even gotten into the act yet — after days and weeks of calorie restriction, the body itself will begin to trigger cravings and eating impulses too.
I am grateful my deprivation only lasted a day-and-a-half, and that I knew better than to blame myself for the irrational thoughts. They’re simply part of being human, and they are just one of the reasons my diets always failed in the long run. These things happen to most dieters and cause untold frustration and misery. My answer many years ago was to STOP DIETING. I discovered a whole new way of thinking about food that lead to gradual, steady weight loss and long-term stability. My path led me back to normal eating habits and normal weight, things everyone has a right to! It’s evolved now into the AIM program and I’d love to share it with you…