I thought I knew IE as I have read numerous articles and read through the principle list.
However there is a lot more to it that can't be fully explained in a short article or paragraph.
I am still near the start of the book but I am really enjoying it so far. Here are my favourite parts so far:
Yes, make peace with food, and eat what pleases your palate. Yes, give yourself the freedom to eat unconditionally, and eat as much as you need to satisfy your body. But, eating whenever you feel like it, without regard to hunger and fullness, might not be a very satisfying experience and might also cause physical discomfort. Attunement with your body’s satiety cues is an important part of this process.
Yet, in spite of the fact that 90 to 95 percent of all diets fail—you tend to blame yourself, not the diet!
Call a truce; stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing. When you finally “give in” to your forbidden foods, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating and overwhelming guilt.
“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savor it.”
I loved this book when I reread it (thanks to you sharing the YouTube video). I highlighted and quoted it to pieces. I thought there was a thread for it, but now I think I may have posted that whole discussion in my own journal. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.
Looking forward to everyones thoughts on this book too, I have read it in the past and I had some trouble with either a) finding a way to make it another "diet" with strict rules about the only eating when hungry/stopping when satisfied or b) letting the "eat whatever you want" get too far out of hand. There has to be a happy medium.
Thanks, Zamin, for bringing this book up for discussion.
Something weird is happening. I'm reading the original Intuitive Eating book (2012 revision) and it's not giving me a rage attack. In fact, I'm thoroughly enjoying it, highlighting it up, and nodding in agreement. Weirder, I took the "Are You an Intuitive Eater?" quiz and aced that thing. I give myself unconditional permission to eat. I eat for physical and not emotional reasons. I rely on internal hunger/satiety cues. And yet this book, even though I've been familiar with it for like 20 years, is not what got me there. This book made me crazy initially. So, I guess I'm reading it with fresh eyes and looking for clues about where the original disconnect may have occurred.
Clearly, I wasn't ready for these concepts at the time I picked up the book. Either that or the book wasn't able to meet me at that particular level of diet madness and baby step me back to trusting myself in a safe way. Going from total restriction to total freedom was a bit like learning to swim by being thrown in to the deep end of a pool face first. It didn't go well. I ended up traumatized, 10+ pounds heavier, and doubting myself more than ever. My first brush with intuitive eating sent me RUNNING back to dieting.
Now, I'm reading this and my thoughts are, "Yes, of course. So true. I agree. Yep. Mmm-hmm."
My mission to figure out where things went wrong is complicated by the fact that there have been so many revisions to the book. For example, they took out almost all numbers because they didn't want people comparing or obsessing. They've apparently added details about how approaching intuitive eating with a diet mentality or an expectation of quick weight loss will go really wrong. Maybe that would have been helpful to know back then. I didn't approach it as a learning process. It was my new (non-diet) diet. I tried it. It didn't work. I blamed it for sucking and making me fat, and hurried on to the next diet. Ugh.
I'm still reading Intuitive Eating and I'm almost embarrassed at how much I'm enjoying it. After all my years ranting and raving against it, I'm not finding anything that irks me. Even the dreaded "hunger discovery scale" is barely mentioned, certainly not presented as law. How had I blown that up into such a huge deal? And nowhere does she suggest overeating cookies until you explode, or only allowing yourself a few bites, or stopping at barely satisfied. It's ALL about satisfaction and eating to feel good, whatever that may be for you. No rules at all, not even non-dieting rules. So weird! Boy, that book made me angry at one time! Why was I so threatened by it? I'm still sorting it out. I'll keep reading and get back to you.
I originally read Intuitive Eating in the 90s. After Zamin linked to that funny and engaging lecture by the author in the Intuitive Eating thread, I decided to give it another read and picked up the 2012 revision of the book. I really like it! That's so funny! Maybe it was Geneen Roth who enraged me and not the original Intuitive Eating authors. I don't know. Clearly I wasn't ready for "intuitive" anything at the time. It made me so angry that I tried it and felt awful and gained weight! I didn't grasp the part about it being a process, or owning my choices, or eating to feel good. I probably also didn't grasp that coming off of a bodybuilding contest diet, I was going to gain weight no matter what I did.
I did read in the Intuitive Eating book about what probably went wrong in my case. They talk about the uncomfortable feelings of guilt occurring in tandem with the physical discomfort of eating without attunement. I didn't recognize hunger or respect fullness. I still felt bad/guilty/unhealthy about all of it, like it could never work and I'd probably have to go back to dieting. So, no wonder I felt horrible and ate like a maniac.
I mentioned recently that I wanted to reread this book (I first read it back in 2012 when the third edition came out) after loving multiple podcasts with the authors. So far, I'm up to chapter six. I highlighted things in pink that stood out to me or resonated with me and things in yellow that were more related to research, etc.—and often astonishly sad. Here are my highlights:
"Intuitive Eating embraces all three parts of the human brain."
"As we grow older, thoughts and feelings often play a part in our decisions about eating. As we often tell our clients, our bodies are not just composed of the tongue and the stomach, but also the mind. We have often heard someone say, “I thought that as an Intuitive Eater, I could eat whatever I wanted. So, now I eat whatever I want and as much as I want, whenever I feel like it!” This comment actually distorts the premise of Intuitive Eating. Yes, make peace with food, and eat what pleases your palate. Yes, give yourself the freedom to eat unconditionally, and eat as much as you need to satisfy your body. But, eating whenever you feel like it, without regard to hunger and fullness, might not be a very satisfying experience and might also cause physical discomfort. Attunement with your body’s satiety cues is an important part of this process."
"...you will be storing information in the memory “files” that you create and house in your brain. When you feel hungry, you will need to pull up several of these files, while deciding what to eat. You will evaluate how hungry you feel and then think about what foods might satisfy your hunger and your taste buds. You might even go through a series of sensual imaginings of the taste and texture and temperature of different foods. You also may open the file to reflect on past eating experiences. You might ask yourself whether your present eating choice has worked out for you when you’ve eaten it in the past. Did it sustain you long enough? Did it make your blood sugar crash? Did you end up with indigestion? Or did you thoroughly enjoy the food and want to have it again? Your emotions may also come into play when you have the desire to eat. Might you be upset and are craving food to comfort and soothe yourself? Or are you bored and thinking about eating as a distraction? Considering these possibilities might inform your decision of what to eat, or even whether to eat at all." Such a gem!!
"Intuitive Eating is truly about trusting that you will be able to access all of the information you need to have, by using all of the aspects of your brain— your reptilian instincts, your limbic connection with your emotions, and your rational thoughts."
“Sometimes I get angry, because food has lost its magic. Nothing tastes quite as good as it did when it was forbidden. I kept looking for the old thrill that food used to give me until I realized that my excitement in life wasn’t going to come from my eating anymore.”
“With permission, comes choice. And making choices based on what I want and not on what somebody else is telling me, feels so empowering.”
"Dieting had made her more preoccupied with food. Dieting had made food the enemy. Dieting had made her feel guilty when she wasn’t eating diet-types of foods (even when she wasn’t officially dieting). Dieting had slowed her metabolism."
"While most experts and consumers accept the premise that fad diets don’t work— it’s tough for a nation of people obsessed with their bodies to believe that even “sensible dieting” is futile." I still feel conflicted about this (which further proves their point!)...because books that I love and have found extremely helpful (like Skinny Jeans and Lean Habits) are still focused on weight loss.
"...between 1973 and 1991, commercials for dieting aids (diet food, reducing aids, and diet program foods) increased nearly linearly."
"It is no surprise that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) attributed an increase in smoking by women to their desire to be thinner. Sadly, we have heard women contemplate in our offices that they too have considered taking up smoking again as a weight loss aid." (!!!!!)
"Around the country, children as young as six years old are shedding pounds, afraid of being fat, and are increasingly being treated for eating disorders that threaten their health and growth. Societal pressure to be thin has backfired on children." :( :( :(
"You can’t fight biology. When the body is starving, it needs to be nourished."
"Imagine, for example, taking an asthma medication, which improves your breathing for a few weeks, but in the long run, causes your lungs and breathing to worsen. Would you really embark on a diet (even a so-called “sensible diet”), if you knew that it could cause you to gain more weight?"
"Teenage dieters had twice the risk of becoming overweight, compared to non-dieting teens, according to a five-year study (Neumark-Sztainer et al. 2006). Notably, at baseline, the dieters did not weigh more than their non-dieting peers."
"Ted clearly did not see himself as a dieter, merely a careful eater. Yet it turned out that he was an unconscious dieter. Although Ted was not actively dieting, he was undereating to a level where he was nearly passing out in the afternoon. The reason— he had always been unhappy with his weight!...By suppertime, his body would be screaming for food. Ted was not only in a severe calorie deficit, but also carbohydrate-deprived. Evenings turned into a food fest!" This resonated with me big-time. I seem to always gravitate towards the side of restriction, even if it's unconsciously.
"We see this all the time, the hangover from dieting: avoiding certain foods at all costs, feeling out of control the moment a “sinful” food is eaten, feeling guilty when self-imposed food rules are broken (such as “Thou shalt not eat past 6 P.M.”), and so on." Feelings of guilt and shoulds/shouldn'ts are still a lingering issue I find cropping up from time to time.
"Unconscious dieting usually occurs in the form of meticulous eating habits. There can be a fine line between eating for health and dieting."
"What’s wrong with this? Aren’t label reading and assertive restaurant ordering in the health interests of some people? Of course! The difference, however, is the intensity of the vigilance and the ability to let go of any guilt in regard to your eating choice. Careful Eaters tend to under eat and monitor the quantity of food eaten."
"The Careful Eater can spend most of his or her waking hours planning out the next meal or snack, often worrying about what to eat. While the Careful Eater is not officially on a diet, his or her mind is— chastising every “unhealthy,” fatty, or sugary food eaten. The Careful Eater can run the fine line between being genuinely interested in health, and eating carefully for the sake of body image." The Careful Eater was me for years. It wasn't until about two or three years ago that I really started to shed this. It's hard because to many who knew me then, I'm still the "healthy eater." I'm happy to be rid of that identity, but everyone else doesn't know that it's not me anymore (especially since we live abroad and I don't see a lot of these people regularly). That can be weird at times. I'll also still see the tendencies pop up here and there. The difference is that now I can question and dismiss the thoughts.
"This is because with each diet the inner food rules get stronger. These food rules often perpetuate feelings of guilt about eating even when you are not officially dieting. Also, the biological effects of dieting (as detailed in chapter 5) make it increasingly difficult to have a normal relationship with food."
"Intuitive Eaters march to their inner hunger signals, and eat whatever they choose without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma."
"When we’ve described the basic eating traits of the Intuitive Eater to our clients, it’s amazing how often we’ll hear the response, 'That’s how my wife eats.' or 'That’s how my boyfriend eats.' When we ask how that person’s weight and relationship to food are, the response is, 'No problem!' " YEP! I've totally experienced this with my husband.
"Consider toddlers. They are the natural Intuitive Eaters...A landmark study, led by Leann Birch, Ph.D. and published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that preschool-age children have an innate ability to regulate their eating according to what their bodies need for growth. This holds true, even when, meal by meal, the little tykes’ eating appears to be a parent’s nightmare. Researchers found that at a given meal, caloric intake was highly variable, but it balanced out over time."
"The more you go to external sources to 'judge' if your eating is in check, the further removed you become from Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating relies on your internal cues and signals." I need to remember this again and again!
"One food editor, Joe Crea, of a major metropolitan newspaper, the Orange County Register (California), noted that in a six-year period (1987– 1993) his stories on nutrition increased fivefold. Of nearly eight hundred food stories, two hundred were on health-related issues. While there is no doubt that what you eat can have an impact on your health, the exponential media coverage has served as a conduit to building food paranoia in the consumer, especially the dieter." So sad!
"We have found that establishing nutrition or healthy eating as an initial priority in the Intuitive Eating process is counterproductive. In the beginning we ignore nutrition, because it interferes with the process of relearning how to become an Intuitive Eater." I think this is part of my stumbling block at times (especially with my past as an orthorexic, careful eater). It would be better if I knew nothing about nutrition and could just be that toddler again...because then I could discover for myself things like, "Oh this food makes me feel better and is more satisfying!" etc.
"If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating."
"HONOR YOUR HUNGER...Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for rebuilding trust with yourself and food."
"Now that Nancy is an Intuitive Eater, she eats whatever appeals to her at the restaurant (and elsewhere). She no longer restricts the foods she likes, nor does she overeat and feel guilty. She discovered that some of the foods that looked wonderful didn’t even taste good! Nancy has made peace with food and loves the freedom that comes with it."
"Linda’s breakthrough came when she discovered how to Challenge the Food Police. Linda learned to talk back to the inner critical voices that tried to restrict her food choices. She learned to give herself nurturing messages and make nonjudgmental decisions about her eating. The voice of the Intuitive Eater was allowed to reemerge once the Food Police were silenced. Linda is guilt-free about her eating, and her weight has stabilized at its natural level without dieting." This has made a huge impact for me! Questioning and challenging thoughts was a game changer.
"FEEL YOUR FULLNESS...Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you’re comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or snack and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what your current fullness level is."
"It was easier for Jackie to honor her body’s satiety signals when she truly knew she could eat again if hungry (even within the hour) and eat her favorite foods...Jackie made an interesting observation while feeding alley cats during one of her out-of-town parties: The starving alley cat will eat until the bowl is licked clean, unlike finicky cats— they know they will be fed again, so can easily turn up their tails and leave food in their dish. Finicky cats can honor fullness because they know they will eat again."
"In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence— the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience."
"When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content." Yes! This had definitely been the case for me.
“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savor it.”
"These women discovered that food never tasted as good or was as satisfying when they weren’t really hungry, or hadn’t figured out what they really wanted to eat, or bolted food down without respecting fullness." So much yes!!
"Accept your genetic blueprint."
"Respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical of your body shape."
"Once Andrea stopped comparing herself to every other woman she knew and started to respect and honor her body, she began to eat less, and to take better care of herself.Andrea became an Intuitive Eater, took pride in her achievements, and stopped trying to have the 'perfect' body!" This is still a struggle for me. I know logically that it brings no good, but I still find myself falling into it sometimes.
"Only when Janie began to focus on respecting her body and its inner cues, rather than external forces (what other people look like, what other people are doing) did she make a significant breakthrough."
"She discovered that by reframing the purpose of exercise from a weight loss tool to feeling good, she began to actually enjoy walking. For the first time in her life Miranda has consistently exercised, and enjoys it. She also knows that she will continue to be consistent, because she enjoys the payoff, which includes feeling better about herself." Yes!! I truly love my ZGYM time each morning!
"HONOR YOUR HEALTH— GENTLE NUTRITION...Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel good. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency, or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. Progress, not perfection, is what counts."
"When Louise realized that she was using nutrition as a dieting weapon, rather than as an ally for health, she began to change the way she chose her foods. Louise honored her taste buds and listened to her body with respect to how food made her feel. When Louise was finally able to relax her eating, to eat with less rigidity, she discovered that it was possible to honor both the pleasure of taste and her health. And by doing this, she was more satisfied with eating, and her binges ceased."
"Was this detour a waste of time? No! Similarly, on the path to Intuitive Eating, you will take many turns and experiment with new thoughts and behaviors. You may even find that after making noticeable progress, you go back to old ways that are uncomfortable and unfulfilling. But like taking the “wrong” path on the scenic hiking trail, you’ll discover that excursions into old eating patterns can be used as learning experiences. (Most hikers would not chide themselves for being unsure of which path to take; instead, they’d be grateful for the discoveries of nature that a blocked path offered.) It’s important to be kind to yourself and appreciate the learning that comes out of the experience. This process involves coming from a place of curiosity rather than a place of judgment, so whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up mentally!"
"As with any process, it’s important to stay focused in the present, and grow from the many experiences you will encounter. If, however, you focus on the end result (which for many people is weight or the amount of pounds lost), it can make you feel overwhelmed and discouraged, and end up sabotaging the process."
"If you focus on weight loss, it will interfere with your ability to make choices based on your intuitive signals."
"However, if you continue to focus on weight loss as the goal, you’ll get tied up in the old diet-mentality thinking, which does not serve you."
"...hyperconsciousness is different than obsessive thinking. Obsessive thinking is pervasive and is characterized by worry. It fills your mind during most of the day and keeps you from thinking of much else. Hyperconsciousness is more specific. It zooms in when you have a thought about food, but goes away when the eating experience is over. And just like the steps required to drive a car become autopilot for the experienced driver, Intuitive Eating will eventually be experienced without this initial awkwardness."
"The more satisfied you are when eating, the less you think about food when you are not hungry— you will no longer be on the prowl." Yes!! The satisfaction factor is huge for me. It makes everything different!
"Dieting is often the trigger for overeating."
"FEAR: I will be out of control.REALITY: Control is not an issue in Intuitive Eating. Instead, you will be relying on your internal signals, rather than on external factors and authority figures (whom you’re bound to defy). Nobody can be the expert of 'you.' Only you know your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. You will learn to trust your internal wisdom and will learn to listen to and honor your inner cues (both physical and emotional), all of which feels empowering."
"For many people dieting has been a way to cope with life, from filling up time, to serving as a symbol of control over your life." Yep, yep, yep. For me, the roots of my food issues are pretty much always in control.
"And so begins the familiar chronic dieter’s plea: Just let me lose the weight now, and after I lose the weight, I’ll figure it out. But as long as you cling to a small hope that a quick little diet will turn your weight around, or jump-start you into a new person, you won’t be free from the tyranny of dieting. Giving into just-one-more-diet is one of the biggest traps, because it doesn’t face the reality— diets do not work. So how could another diet truly be part of the solution?"
"The problem is that dieting thoughts usually translate into diet-like behaviors, which becomes pseudo-dieting or unconscious dieting."
"While cutting back sounds innocent enough, it’s amazing how often this gets acted out in the form of unconscious undereating. Remember, under eating usually triggers overeating." I think this was what was happening with my ravenous hunger about two weeks ago. After letting go of tracking, I was cutting back here or there...it didn't feel like restriction at all...but, I do think I was unconsciously undereating. It can sneak in so easily!
"We are struck by the number of clients who profess they know of the importance of consuming this form of fuel, yet eat an inadequate amount of carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, rice, etc., because they are afraid they will gain weight."
"Second-guessing or judging what you deserve to eat based on what you’ve eaten earlier in the day, rather than on hunger cues." This is my main challenge right now. I definitely still struggle with this!
"Just because a meal or snack does not fit the 'standard' portion size from your dieting days, it does not mean you are overeating!" See above: this is still a struggle for me. It's definitely the current restrictive layer that I'm peeling back.
"Chronic dieting teaches the body to retain more fat when you start eating again. Low-calorie diets double the enzymes that make and store fat in the body. [!!!!] This is a form of biological compensation to help the body store more energy, or fat, after dieting."
"Increase risk of premature death and heart disease. A thirty-two-year study of more than three thousand men and women in the Framingham Heart Study has shown that regardless of initial weight, people whose weight repeatedly goes up and down— known as weight cycling or yo-yo dieting— have a higher overall death rate and twice the normal risk of dying of heart disease." :(
"Cause body shape to change. Yo-yo dieters who continually regain the lost weight tend to regain weight in the abdominal area. This type of fat storage increases the risk of heart disease."
"Forget about willpower, being obedient, and failing."
"While no doctor would expect a patient to 'will' blood pressure to normal levels, physicians frequently expect their overweight patient to 'will' their weight loss by restricting their food..."
"Willpower does not belong in Intuitive Eating. As Marilyn became an Intuitive Eater, she found that listening to her personal signals reinforced her natural instincts, rather than countering them. She had no one else’s proscriptive rules to follow or to rebel against."
"Remember, nobody can be the expert of 'you.' Only you know your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. No one could possibly know what’s inside, unless you tell him, by inviting him in."
"What diet or diet counselor can possibly know when you are hungry or how much food it will take to satisfy you? How can anyone but you know what texture and taste sensations will be pleasing to your palate?"
"While food guidance may come from elsewhere, you should ultimately be responsible for the when, what, and how much of eating."
"With Intuitive Eating there will be no need to rebel, because you become the one who is finally in charge!"
"You can’t fail at Intuitive Eating— it’s a learning process at every point along the way."
"To lose ten pounds of fat in one week requires an enormous energy deficit. The sad reality is that this person is losing a lot of water weight, usually at the expense of muscle-wasting. Muscle is made up of mainly water (70 percent). When a hungry body is not given enough calories, the body cannibalizes itself for an energy source. The prime directive of the body is that it must have energy, at any cost— it’s part of the survival mechanism. The protein in muscles is converted to valuable energy for the body. When a muscle cell is destroyed, water is released and eventually excreted— there’s your precious weight loss. The whittled-away muscle contributes to lowering your metabolism. Muscles are metabolically active tissue— generally the more muscle we have, the higher our metabolic rate."
"The scale does not reflect body composition— just like weighing a piece of steak at the butcher’s does not tell you how lean the meat is."
Teacher friends (and any friends who are interested!), you can follow along with my thoughts as an educator on my professional site and on Twitter. I also love to cook and even used to keep a food blog. Feel free to check it out at NomEatNom.
Wow! I enjoyed reading all those notes and quotes. There is so much good stuff there. I'll resist the urge to re-quote the quotes but the part about low-calorie dieting doubling the fat storage enzymes in the body. Well, that explains some things! The part about intuitive eaters marching to their own hunger signals without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma. This is the thing that's new and exciting to me. By new, I mean like new in the last year or two, perhaps since I started baking?! No guilt. No judgment. No "bad" foods. I can enjoy my chocolate truffles with every meal lately and it's just truffles. It's just Christmas. I don't worry that I'm turning into a hopeless sad truffle monster, or that I need to start a new truffle-free diet on Monday.
I've had the strange experience of going back to books that I found extremely helpful as a recently restrictive dieter and finding my non-dieting self repelled by the advice and tone. I had intended to reread Cake & Skinny Jeans but found that I couldn't. It doesn't resonate anymore. I'm scared to look at Naturally Thin and all of her advice about scooping bagels, only eating the frosting, or only having two bites. I was able to disregard her miniscule portion suggestions and brush over the constant "skinny" chatter when I first read it, but now I understand how it could foster some very unhealthy and unhelpful thinking.
Lean Habits worked beautifully for me, but looking back, maybe it's because I disregarded probably three quarters of the book? LOL, sorry, Georgie! :-) But you know what I mean. Because I wasn't trying to lose weight, it was clear to me (through the writing and through my conversations with Georgie) that I wasn't the target audience for some of the suggestions, that every person isn't meant to apply every habit. I don't feel hunger for 30-60 minutes before eating, or track my treats, or count grams of anything. I don't minimize liquid calories, or eat gobs of vegetables. I literally ONLY took what worked for and applied to me personally right now, which is like zero of the fat loss habits. I eat meals. That was major. I'm often hungry for the meals, but just getting hungry, not "my stomach has been growling for an hour" hungry. I prioritize satisfaction, getting enough sleep, and feeling my emotions. Those concepts are SO important. I was grateful to have them explained and reinforced. But if I had come across the book when I was in a more restrictive mindset, I would have tried to apply all of the habits like new diet rules and it would have gone horribly awry.
Then I ask, which came first, the "happy" weight or the non-dieting? Did I achieve this weight and level of fitness because I stopped dieting? Or did I stop dieting because I had achieved this weight and level of fitness? My hunch is actually the first one. I achieved this weight and level of fitness because I stopped dieting. God knows I had achieved it many, many times before on diets but had been unable to hold onto it for more than a day or a week without rebounding. The weight cycling didn't stop until the attempts to lose weight stopped. So, now when I read that any weight loss focus is counterproductive, I'm inclined to agree, but that's my own experience, not some kind of blanket truth. My own experience has (very slowly, kicking and screaming) brought me around to the Health at Every Size philosophy of taking great care of yourself, treating yourself with kindness and respect, and eating to feel your best without any kind of weight loss angle. You can't go wrong (at any weight) by focusing on being happy and healthy, by prioritizing self-care, and by meeting your true needs. But as soon as you throw "deliberately eating less for the purpose of weight loss" into the mix, things get crazy.