Thursday, October 08, 2009


Reading Shelley's blog about diets not working (sorry cant link to it) brought back a flood of memories of my diet history. It started when I was in year 6 at school and already a bigish girl. We were doing gymnastics in PE and I jumped onto the ??? horse (cant even remember its correct name) and broke it. If that wasnt embarassing enough my slim, young, blonde and very attractive teacher made fun of me with a comment about having to diet and the seed was planted.

My first attempts at dieting were to drink big glasses of water before meals so I wouldnt eat as much. At a very young age (probably under 14) my mum took me to my first diet clinic and I was on a diet as such. I remember eating my prescribed meal for lunch and being hungry an hour later (I was a growing girl with a good apetite). I couldnt stick to it and I lost no weight (maybe even gained some) and was chastised when I had my weekly weigh ins.

My problem was that I was a great eater with a healthy appetite but I did no sport and was quite inactive. I have very poor hand eye coordination and was just basically not good any sports. My parents didnt nurture or encourage me in any so any semblance of weight management was going to be an uphill battle.

My teens were a struggle of losing a bit of weight and then regaining it but I cant remember how I did it. All I know is that I knew jack shit about good nutrition or the importance of exercise. Being in a European family where poverty had been well known, eating heartily and being a bit overweight was highly desired. Thin was definitely NOT in.

In my early 20s I joined Weight Watchers for the first time back in the days when their program was very basic and you ate a certain number of serves of the various food groups. Ironically the simplicity of this diet meant it was pretty clean as there was no scope of extra processed crap. Needless to say I lost a decent amount of weight but never hung around to learn maintenence so it always came back.

I have been on a diet just about every day of my life bar a few instances such as post comp (but by 4 weeks later I was trying to lose weight again) and that small window between giving up a diet and then finding all the weight coming back with a vengeance. In my uneducated days I believed the following at different times:

1. Meat was fattening so I would eat vegetarian quiche.
2. Anything low fat could be eaten in any quantity I desired. Hence low fat muffins and biscuits became my best friends.
3. Sugar was nowhere near as bad as fat.
4. Fruit juice was better than soft drink so I drank heaps of it.
5. Starving on one meal a day was the ultimate diet.

When you read that now you wonder what chance I had of ever getting lean and maintaining it. But I discovered aerobics and fell in love with it and at least I had movement in my life on a regular basis as I taught it from my mid 20s until this year. I also tried weight training back then but just couldnt warm to it.

So over the years I think I did Weight Watchers about 3 times, the Israeli Army Diet, the soup diet, the body wraps that sweat your fat off, the go to the gym and use the vibrating belt for exercise, the Magda diet, the whatever else I could get my hands on to try, give up, yoyo and be forever frustrated and unhappy with myself. One time in my 20s I managed to get my weight under 60kgs and have some scary photos of me in a size 8 dress looking almost skeletal. Gee I thought I was shit hot then.

So fast forward to more recent times. I now know so much more not just about food but about the psychology of diets. I've done it tough on a comp prep diet and got my body fat down to 12%. Not something that I could or would even want to maintain. But in the process I've also taught myself about clean eating and learnt what works for me both on the physical level and on the emotional one as well. One benefit of getting older is getting wiser (there arent many I can tell you LOL) and then waking up to the fact that there has to be a better way.

A way where there is freedom to enjoy the food you love without guilt or shame.
A way where you listen to your body and feed it when it needs it, not when the clock strikes 3 and its time to eat.
A way where every waking moment is not spent anticipating what the scales will say at the next weigh in and then having that number determine what sort of day you have.
A way where life is lived and not spent weighing, measuring, preparing, portioning, logging and analysing every morsel that passes your lips.
A way of life that promotes calmness and internal happiness.

Whats your diet history? I'd love to know.

:-) Magda


Anonymous said...


Carolyn said...

O...M....G.... yet again, we have a LOT of similarities.
My (skinny) mother trotted me off to Weight Watchers when I was about 12. She really didn't understand being overweight - she really didn't eat much. I call her the 70's woman - she lived on 1 meal a day, Bushells coffee and Peter Stuyvesant ciggies. She was thin as a rake (some things do come around though, she's now put on a fair bit since she's in her 70s and it irritates her enormously. I think her metabolism is f*&ked actually).

I did the egg and grapefruit thing as a 15yo, and a few other crazies, then joined WW again when I was around 21. I've been on a diet or gaining weight for years - I've always had weight issues, even as a child. I've lost the same 15kg with them, oooh, 3 times? Ended up being a leader with them in my 30s. Also before I discovered training, I put on 30+kg, and tried Jenny Craig until I got sick of being constantly perched in front of the microwave. Then I discovered IBO and training, and things changed a lot from there. Shed lots of weight, finally got a body I like. I still struggle to keep the weight off (and mine is up 10+kg at the moment from 3 months ago, and a good 12kg above my 'happy weight'). But like you, I keep on trying.
Great post - I really relate.
Carolyn xx

Kek said...

Good lord....primary school kids on diets? Thankfully, that crap never entered my consciousness till I was well into my teens and even then I never could be bothered. LOL. Twenties? That was a whole other thing...

Kristy said...

Thanks for sharing your story Magda. I had a slightly simialr story with Mum taking me to weight watchers with her when I was in year 10 as I wasn't happy with my weight back then and I have been on and off weight watchers since then, but I never managed to lose more then 3 or 4 kilos before giving up, until recently like the last few years I had never really done much with exercise, but now I love it and most recently I am now at a weight I am loving... I just need my mind to catch up with my body though :P

Hilary said...

Isn't it funny (not) when you think back on all your old beliefs! I have tried many diferent "diets" - such as Herbalife where you eat one "food" meal per day, the rest of the time you are having herbal tablets instead of food! Or the soup diet, atkins diet, grapefruit diet etc!

I was always really active when I was a kid, competitive ice skater, gymnastics, and I danced jazz ballet and tap until I was 21. I used to be able to put away enormous meals, and not put on weight. The family used to call me "hollow legs", I was always hungry. Until I stopped dancing at 21 - then the weight stacked on because I'd never had to bother watching what I ate before. And I didn't really know how to eat healthily, and was a complete carb junkie!

Its sometimes been a challenge to keep on eating healthy whilst pregnant and not doing so much exercise, and watching the scales go up instead of down!

Hilary xx

Magda said...

Thanks for sharing guys. It seems like we all have histories peppered with the good and the bad.



Pip said...

I grew to my current height of 1.71metres, arriving there at 12 years of age, - at that time weighing 54kg by memory before the fill-out! Always a slim to medium relatively tall very active kid, - not a fine build or skinny though.

My mum and Grandma have old fashioned hardcore values, - even more so back then as they have now mellowed somewhat! Mum didn't like crop tops, bright colours or bikinis or skirts above the knee or pierced ears and cause of that I wanted all that stuff much more haha! All the 'popular' girls had that stuff and were shorter and finer built. Mum said they could wear that stuff cause they were fine built, - me 'well covered, a good doer' were words to describe me that I didn't like haha! So I should wear dark colours, long loose cover up tops and skirts past knees and always a skirt over shorts, - till I protested at about 14! I remember dressing up for a school social asking Grandma how my hair looked. She went into a big spiel about how I was a very plain girl, should have plain hair, plain ponytail and plain dark clothes. I think by that she meant I was a bit of a tomboy, and not a delicate blonde feminine girl with perfect curls which is her description of pretty!
I reached 64kg, 10 stone at 14 which I thought was fat and disgusting and Mum had 'never' been 10 stone. I was a pig when yummy food was made then and I made up my own plan of an easy/moderate eating diet and a training plan in some 3 week school holidays and lost 3kg I was stoked with. I kept that up for a bit, then when got annoyed, - binged and's continued. Currently 80kg at 29.

Esme said...

I posted about being on a diet for the last 20 years on my blog recently. Over it. Done them all. And Kek I read a very alarming story recently about all kids being checked for BMI and note being sent home to parents telling them to take them to diet cliniccs - this was primary school!