Snack Girl is always reading other websites looking for insights into the world of losing weight. I was seriously thrilled to find Kelsey.
Kelsey writes the The Anti-Diet Project on a hip website called Refinery29. I don’t know if this means you have to be under 29 to understand it – but my 44 year old brain likes it.
Kelsey has tried a bunch of diets and finally decided to give something called “intuitive eating” a try. I like her because she is eating healthy to lose weight and I think this is a strategy that is going to work.
As I read of her struggles, I wonder if she knows how beautiful she is RIGHT NOW. You’re a babe, Kelsey!
Snack Girl: What is the Anti-Diet Project?
Kelsey: The Anti-Diet Project is a series that follows my journey through diet-deprogramming, learning to eat intuitively, and develop a healthy relationship with food, fitness, and my body.
Twice a month I write a column on different Anti-Diet challenges and triumphs — things like the social factor, diet myths, finding a workout you don't hate, last-supper eating, and emotional eating. Rather than a diet column, this is a no-bs series that aims to illuminate the real issues and thoughts we all face in this area, tackling it with humor and honesty.
Snack Girl: Are you attempting this for a health reason?
Kelsey: Mind and body health, certainly! I've been on a diet my entire life and it only led to loathe my own body, mistrust my own instincts, and hate exercise.
For the first time, I'm not focused on losing fifty pounds by Christmas or being a size 8 by my birthday. I just want to feel good and stop torturing myself with this unnecessary diet nonsense.
Diets lie — they make you think they're the path to better health, but in reality, they almost always fail. For me, the more I dieted the more weight I gained back when I inevitably went off it. For the first time in my whole life, I'm no longer yo-yoing.
Snack Girl: What has been your biggest realization since you began?
Kelsey: That I can trust myself around food. That, if given the option to eat pizza whenever I want, I won't actually eat pizza all day, every day. Once it's off the Forbidden Foods list, the allure is gone.
That's the magic of Intuitive Eating. Pizza isn't an evil temptress calling to me from every Dominoes — it's just pizza! Sometimes it sounds good and sometimes I'm not in the mood! It's absolutely amazing to discover that food isn't actually out to get me.
Snack Girl: What are you finding the most difficult?
Kelsey: Well, as much as I've embraced Intuitive Eating it is hard to really get those old diet thoughts and habits completely out of my brain. I still find myself looking at a food in terms of Weight Watchers points sometimes. I still have a voice in my head that says "You don't really want the chocolate covered raisins, right? You'd be fine with just raisins."
And, I have to address those thoughts with consciousness. Being conscious and in tune with my thoughts and desires is both crucial to the process and very challenging. When you're on a diet, you just eat when and what the diet says.
Now it's just up to me to really listen to my body and find out what it wants, when it's full, and which food makes it feel good and fueled. It's an ongoing process, but the more I do it, the more it becomes instinctive.
Snack Girl: What would you tell your old pre-Anti-Diet Project self to encourage her to have a new relationship with food and/or body image?
Kelsey: Oh man, it's so hard to think about that! I know that I only got here because I really hit a bottom with dieting and with my body. Of course I wish I'd done this earlier, had this realization earlier.
But, the fact is, I needed to try and fail and try and fail over and over again in order to get here. So, I can't very well look back at old me and say, "You're doing it wrong." I was, but it's all that doing-it-wrong that led me to this path. So, I'd just tell her, "You're doing just fine. You'll get there. Just you wait."
Snack Girl: What is your favorite snack?
Kelsey: Dry-roasted, salted almonds are mandatory. I always have them in my desk. But, the funny thing with Intuitive Eating is you go through these food phases as you rediscover your own tastes and preferences.
I recently went through a major green-bean phase. I just wanted raw green beans every day. Then it was broccoli. Now, I'm really into pita with dips like guacamole, taramasalata, or roasted eggplant.
The aforementioned chocolate-covered raisins are also mandatory. When I want a sweet that's almost always the sweet I want.
Thanks, Kelsey! I am sure this project will be a great success.
Photo credit: Harry Tanielyan