Guys. I found the best diet. It’s made me happier, healthier, stronger, more confident, and less worried about my body image. I get to eat whatever I want with one small change that is a little hard to get used to at first but is so worth it once you do. I feel lighter, brighter, and breezier. My pants fit better, and I even have a date next weekend. This one is the one to beat them all.
Don’t worry, I’m sharing my secret: it’s no diet at all!
I’ve had a pretty tumultuous relationship with dieting for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s cyclical. Start a restrictive diet, get obsessive for a few days, go crazy, binge, say “f*ck diets” and order Domino’s for dinner, put on a swimsuit and feel insecure, google restrictive diets again, and it all starts again. I’ve been through this too many times to count. Even after receiving treatment for an eating disorder, I struggle to find a balance between eating healthy and not getting obsessive about it. It’s like I don’t know how to eat to fuel my body — I only know how to eat to control something, whether it’s my body or my emotions.
I’ve had a pretty tumultuous relationship with dieting for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s cyclical.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve spent a huge majority of my day thinking about food — and not in a cheeky, cute, “foodie!” way. I’m constantly thinking about what I’m eating and if it’s enough or too much or too healthy or too unhealthy or will make me fatter or skinnier or how it can soothe me. I worry more about my eating habits than I do with anything else in my life, and it is truly exhausting. I’ve always thought, “Why can’t this be easy? Why can’t I be normal?”
I follow a lot of body-positive women on Instagram (because that’s what inspires me!), and I saw a ton of them talking about this book, The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner. At first, I thought, “Oh, no. They’re reading a DIET book! I’m going to have to unfollow everyone I love!” Then, once I looked more into it, I immediately ordered it on Amazon.
The F*ck It Diet is basically a diet to end all diets because it isn’t a diet at all. I’m not going to go all “it’s a lifestyle” on you because it’s not that either. It’s all about your mental and emotional relationship with food rather than what you’re actually eating. The book focuses on how food became an issue for us in the first place, but it gives a solution to how it can be actually easy instead of all-consuming.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve spent a huge majority of my day thinking about food — and not in a cheeky, cute, “foodie!” way. I’m constantly thinking about what I’m eating and if it’s enough or too much or too healthy or too unhealthy or will make me fatter or skinnier or how it can soothe me.
The book provides the perfect balance of real, raw, and candid experiences from a woman who knows the struggle all too well and incorporates scientific research and understanding for healthy eating that isn’t complicated or triggering. I get very nervous to read books on this topic, even positive ones, as someone recovering from an eating disorder. This type of content can be triggering too, but it’s obvious Dooner has enough experience and emotional intelligence to write such an empowering and validating book.
This book isn’t just for people recovering from eating disorders either. Our society has created a very obvious divide between food and the way it affects us, especially in an emotional capacity, causing many of us to have issues with food we don’t even realize. We’re told pizza and cookies are bad, but kale and avocados are good! We’ve been taught that food is a way to heal, soothe, and celebrate. Did you go out for dinner when you got straight As in school? Do you order a pizza when you’re sad? Do you celebrate big life wins by going out? Dooner says that’s OK sometimes, but it isn’t when it impacts your mental health and relationship with food as a whole.
I love self-help as much as the next girl, but the information can be really tough to apply. I also have a really toxic relationship with diet books (and diets in general) because they are easy — eat this, not that, and you’ve done it. Everything is laid out for me. This perfectly melds the two. Dooner includes exercises and homework throughout the book to help you apply her advice to your lifestyle. She isn’t telling you to stop eating burgers or to eat a salad for lunch every day. She focuses on healing your relationship and emotional attachment to food – which in turn, has had a very positive effect on my body image and how I look at food and eating. I don’t feel compelled to get take-out when I’ve had a bad day because I understand that isn’t what I need to feel good. I also don’t hesitate to go for the office donuts if they look good and my body feels hungry.
Our society has created a very obvious divide between food and the way it affects us, especially in an emotional capacity, causing many of us to have issues with food we don’t even realize.
According to Dooner, the secret to finding a diet that works isn’t even about what you’re eating — it’s about entirely changing your mindset on diets in general. Now that I understand a diet isn’t going to make me skinny (and, of course, that “skinny” should never be my goal), I feel more in tune with my body. I’m re-learning how to take hunger cues and listening to cravings (a huge part of the book is why cravings are good and how to actually listen to them) because sometimes my body wants sweets and junk food but many times my body wants broccoli and lean protein and fruit. The whole point of the book is really re-learning all of these things that we forgot how to do once someone called us fat or told us to watch what we ate.
The secret to finding a diet that works isn’t even about what you’re eating — it’s about entirely changing your mindset on diets in general.
And I’m not the only one who’s had a positive experience reading this book. I knew I was in for a good read when I read the Amazon reviews. One woman said she feels like she’s “finally able to exhale.” Others say the book is life-changing and that it got them “out of the diet trap once and for all.” This review said it perfectly: “…The F*ck it Diet is your best friend that is brutally honest and will slap you in the face in the bar when you’re drunk and you don’t want to go home, but she will take the Uber with you and hold your hair while you puke and rub your back and be sweet to you too.” If that doesn’t convince you to read it, I’m not sure what else will.