Sept. 28, 2022

My Diet History [Ep. 10]

My Diet History [Ep. 10]

If you've ever felt like you're the only one having these feelings--you're not! Listen in to hear my story and what brought me to how I eat today. I share with you how I first "learned" my body was not ok and what I attempted to do to "fix" it. I tell you about the varied diets I tried, not so you will try those, (please don't) but so you will see if you are still in the throes of dieting, there is a way out. You don't have to diet forever. 

Check out the episode cover to see the picture from the 5th grade production and from Senior Homecoming! 

Don't forget to SHARE this episode for an entry into my giveaway! Details in this episode!

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More from Well with Lisa:



Welcome to Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well; the podcast for women who want to lose weight, but are tired of counting and calculating all the food. I'm your host, Lisa Salsbury. I'm a certified health and weight loss coach and life coach, and most importantly a recovered chronic dieter. I'll teach you to figure out why you are eating when you aren't hungry, instead of worrying so much about what you are eating.

Hey everyone. Welcome back. So guess what? Yesterday was my birthday. I am 47 years old today, or, well, I am 47 years old today and yesterday. So for today, I wanted to get a little bit personal and connect with you in a way that I haven't yet on the podcast. Where I've just been doing some teaching and coaching. But today I'm going to share some stories about my past dieting.

One thing a client recently said to me is thank you for making me feel normal. We were coaching on some non. On some mom drama, her mom and her relationship with her. And she called it mama drama, which I thought was cute. And just talking that out with her and getting coached and clear on how she wanted to show up in her relationship was so helpful for her. But before we moved into all of that. I made sure she understood that everything she was feeling was so normal.

After coaching and getting coached and listening to coaching for several years, I can honestly say you are not alone in feeling this way really about anything, whatever you are feeling. You're not the only one. So I wanted to share some of my past diet history and trauma with you. So, you know, you're not alone. When we take a look at our past, sometimes it can be really painful. Because we have a ton of regret or even shame. We think. That old thought, like, what was I thinking? How could I have not known any better? This of course is not helpful or productive. So when I look at my past self, especially the way I viewed my body and my eating. I try to have compassion and love for her, for that girl who actually really was thinking she was doing the best. She knew how you'll see what I mean, as we go through this a little it's more than just learning from your mistakes. But actually being grateful for aspects of making My first super clear memory of feeling very bad about my body came in the seventh Mr sales was our substitute for the day he was retired, but in his working days, he was the fifth grade teacher. I went to a really small school. We had one class per grade and it was K through eight. I basically graduated eighth grade with the same people that I started kindergarten with. I know that makes it sound like I grew up in some small farming community in the boonies, but I didn't, we just had a small local school in my town and it was the eighties. So Mr. Sales thought it would be fun to watch a video of a school production we had done when we were in. his fifth grade class, we were all assigned to historical character and we had to make a marionette puppet doll to look like our person. Then the night of the presentation, each of us came forward to the microphone to give a little speech as if we were our historical figure. So there we were all the same kids that were in that production sitting around in the seventh grade, on desks in the floor. And when it was my turn at the microphone, someone said, oh, look how fat Lisa was. And of course, everyone laughed. I was so grateful it was dark in the classroom because I was absolutely mortified. Looking back. I could see, they were saying, look how much you've changed. But my little seventh grade brain of course, did not register that. I only registered being called out. For what my body looked like. I had begun swimming competitively at this point and swam all through high school. I was fairly active, but consistently worried about my weight. I discussed my weight with a male teacher in my high school. And he told me I could stand to lose some. I was standing next to my friend who definitely weighed under a hundred pounds. And I was an average size for a high schooler, which of course I know because I can look back at my photos. Yet, I believed that teacher. When I was a senior, I remember having one of those new body suit shirts. They're back now in style, but they will always and forever remind me of baby onesies. So I'm not sure I can never wear them again, but it was fitted. And of course, tucked into my weird pleaded nineties era pants. I asked a friend, if I should wait till I lost some weight to wear the shirt. And I have this memory of her just looking at me like, what are you talking Dieting was so foreign to her yet was already very much a part of my world. I tried several things in high school. I started things like drinking water. I had heard a few drink, 16 ounces of water before every meal. It would keep you from eating so much. I tried a three-day diet plan. A friend gave me that, had things on That I hated like cottage cheese with tomatoes. I could barely eat cottage cheese, let alone with a tomato on top. I swam my freshman year of college and my swim coach called me in after doing some body fat assessments and told me I needed to drop some body fat and gave me some multivitamins that he said would help. At the time that all these things were happening, I believed all these people. I believed that my body was wrong in some way, and that I should work to change it. These aren't the only things that I can. Recall about comments about my body, but. you know, you don't want to listen to a three-hour podcast. So not only were people I knew telling me that my body was not right, but of course there were other sources. That I was getting information from about my food and my body. The eighties and nineties was like a wild place. Y'all I subscribed to the Y M magazine, I am stands for young and modern in case you aren't a nineties girl. I read it regularly with some issues of my friends, copies of 17 thrown in there as well. With the models and those magazines. I figured if you can't see my hipbones jetting out over my jeans, then I should drop some weight. Was there positive body image messages? I mean, yes. I'm sure there was, did my brain register those? No, no, it did not. After I was cut from the swim team in college, I continue to eat like I was doing two a day workouts, except all I was doing was studying, taking 18 units and occasionally making it to a group of aerobics class. I figured I was okay since I walked to class on a large campus, but that semester I quickly put on 15 pounds. Enter my first shake and diet pill, Herbalife. Somehow I answered an ad or something. One of those, we're looking for 15 people to lose weight on our revolutionary products or something like that. I hid it from my roommates and my parents. I went home for Thanksgiving, the following semester and got all kinds of praise. So I kept This happened on and off until I got married quite young, I started having babies and the childbearing and nursing years were rough for my body image to say the least. I did Herbalife again, SlimFast cabbage, soup, diet, grocery store, diet pills, slimming teas. Yeah. Those just make you poop a but then my fitness pal came out. Oh, glory day. I could just count my calories and lose weight. It promised if every day was like today, I would be at my goal weight in just six short weeks, eight short weeks. 12 short weeks. And yet every day it said that, and my weight never seemed to change. It was only available on the computer, on my desktop at the time, of course, because this was like 2005. Well, before smartphones, of course. I'd sit down and I'd log all my food and I'd keep track as best I could. And then I would just cry I would be out of calories and starving. Or have plenty and eat when I wasn't hungry. Although that was rare because my fitness pal always encouraged an extremely low calorie count. So more often than not, I was so hungry that I couldn't stick to it for very long. Of course, this resulted in just. Extra food on the weekends. None of this ever taught Anything about my hunger signals. Or my fullness Or what it meant to be satisfied versus full or why I was eating when I wasn't hungry. The thing about my dieting though, was that I started to get other people to do it. When I was doing Herbalife in college, I was still full of tons of shame. And I hit those shakes and pills as best Mostly because I thought I should be strong enough to lose weight without the crutch of taking pills and shakes. Like I thought there was a right way to lose weight and I wasn't doing it that way. But when I started other diets, as I got older and people would ask what I was doing, I would say, oh, you totally should do it too. I was on the south beach diet for a long time. And I convinced several women in my women's church group, that it was the best I'd ever. I was in charge of the dinner for one of our evening activities. I was making enchiladas. I made separate pans for those that were on phase one. Those that were on phase two. And, oh, my word I'm so sorry if you were there and I influenced you to be on a diet that was not helpful for you. In case you've never been on the south beach diet, the phase one, people can't have any carbs, like no bread or tortillas or anything like that. So those poor phase one, people just had chicken filling in their pan. I am so sorry if you were there. I also tried things just like exercise a really, really hard. I would go to the gym regularly. I purchased workout DVDs and tried the diets that came along with those. I tried CrossFit and basically just figured if I exercised enough, I could just eat whatever I wanted and quantities that were excessive. Again, I wasn't learning anything. About my hunger and fullness cues. I wasn't paying attention. To why I wanted to soothe my emotions with I joined a bootcamp that promised your money back. If you lost the required amount of weight in six weeks. I was exercising hard for an hour every day and allowed roughly, maybe a thousand calories. Not only did my body seem to shut down and revolt. I was so tired and crabby. but I also was told I wasn't successful because I was eating onions. And they were on the no-no list. Like, are you even kidding me? You can't make this stuff up. It's embarrassing really that I did all this. I can't believe I'm publishing this podcast, but honestly, there's so many diets. I But one of my quirkiest was the fast metabolism diet. This is a great one because you have phases throughout the week where the food lists are different. Bizarrely, there are even types of fruits and vegetables that are only allowed in certain phases. I don't remember exactly why the author of this one theorized. We shouldn't eat broccoli on Tuesdays, but I fell for it. And the thing is I did lose weight at the beginning, just like virtually every other plan I But I got so obsessed with eating six times a day with this one. That I would even set an alarm for when it was time to eat. I was allowed such small portions at the meals that I could hardly wait for. Snack time looking back. I think two things were happening there. Number one, I wasn't eating enough at meal times to last in my body until the next actual meal. So I wasn't getting to that positive three or four on the hunger scale. Number two, I was eating on a regular schedule, which activated the grill and hormone. When you eat on a very regular schedule, your body will become accustomed to that and signal hunger right before your regularly scheduled time. Even if you don't really need food brought on board. This is why some people get hungry right around noon. If they regularly eat lunch at 1215. As I look back at that girl, I have so much compassion for how hard she was trying. I also have a lot of compassion. For the judgment that she had about her body. My last major diet. That was really the straw that broke the camel's back was macro counting. Now, I know this works for a lot of people, so don't, don't get mad if this is you, but. A lot of these diets work for people, but for me, macro counting was the slippery slope to orthorexia. I'm obviously not a doctor. I wasn't formally diagnosed with that eating disorder. But when we were covering the topic and my health coaching certification course in 2017. My study partner gently looked And asked if I saw any similarities to what we were studying and the way I was eating. I had gotten to the point with macro counting that I struggled to go anywhere that didn't have an online menu. I needed to know how many grams of each macronutrient was in everything I ate, so I could properly log it and get it right. I once called a restaurant repeatedly when their online nutritional information was not emailed to me as promised. I brought my own food to sports banquets. I worried when I went to a family members for dinner. I even brought the kitchen scale to the dinner table with my children at the table. This is where my biggest shame lies. I told them it was. So I would know if I was getting enough protein in my diet since I was lifting weights. But I'm guessing they knew better. They knew I was making decisions about what I was eating based on weights and measures and calculations in an effort to lose weight and change my body. For the vast majority of my adult life. I just wanted my body to be different. This morning as I was putting on my exercise clothes to go for a I looked in the mirror and I thought, I cannot believe I get to live in this body without dieting It's been three years since I've been on an official diet. I've maintained my same weight with some normal fluctuation up and This is the longest, I think I've ever gone in my entire adult life. Really, since I was a teenager without dieting. The thing is that I have been thinner in my life. I have weighed less on the scale. But I've never felt as good in my body as I do now. If this history sounds anything close to yours. I just wanted you to know you're not alone. Surveys have shown. And let me say that this isn't a scientific study, but just things like polls of 2000 women, things like that. So their recall studies, but surveys have shown that the average woman has tried 61 diets by the time she's 45. That's average. That means some of us have done far more Another survey, put the number closer to 125. Another one showed women will spend 17 years of their life on a diet. I'm pretty sure that this was me. I'm pretty sure that if you added up all the days that I was dieting, I would ended up somewhere in that range. By the time I died. But the good news for me is that I stopped. And you can too. I realized how obsessive I was getting with the macro county. I started reading more books, getting more coaching. And then with my certification in life coaching and weight coaching, I started to release that hold. I stopped entering my food into my fitness pal. I canceled my premium subscription. I stopped weighing my portions. I actually still remember the day I decided to eat lunch without doing all of that. I just sat down. And I ate what I was hungry for. I paid attention and it was so weird for me. I was like, wait, I can just decide with my own body, how much to eat. I don't have a diet book or a meal plan or a calorie count or a macro count to tell me. It was a very weird feeling and honestly, super disconcerting at first. I was like, what if I mess up? What if I eat too much and gain weight? My brain was looking into the past and reminding me very unhelpfully and in a very panicked voice at first. That every time I let up or didn't follow a diet plan, I gained weight. I was nervous for sure. But the more I dependent on my body, the more confident I got. The more, I talked back to that part of my brain. That was sure this would fail. The quieter and quieter, it became. I did overeat sometimes because I was learning. And I was relaxing into this new way of being. No one, not one person that loses weight. Does. So without ever overeating. It's impossible because sometimes we just do. I was talking to a client about this recently. And we were thinking how it really is similar to those tests. Our kids take to determine their reading level. They're called iReady here in California, but basically it's a computer test that gives the child questions based on if they got the previous question right or wrong. If the child is getting it right, then the computer gives them harder and harder questions until they And if they're getting them wrong, then the questions get easier. In this way, the test is able to determine the child's actual reading level. Because of a third grader gets all the third grade questions. Correct. Then they might be reading at a third grade level. But if you don't test out harder questions, they might also be reading at a sixth grade level. You wouldn't know because you didn't test it We've got to treat our hunger scale like that when we're first using this skill. You've got to Different levels of hunger and fullness. I know for sure that my clients that come back on week two with a food journal that says negative three at the start of every meal. And positive three at the end of every single meal. I know they aren't actually testing out their hunger scale. No one eats like that all the time. And I don't want you to, because we've got to test out different levels for several weeks before we can really know. And this is what I was learning. I had to test out waiting for a while. Am I hungry? How hungry, let me feel some real physical Not just some. Uh, I usually. Usually eat at this time, hunger. Not just everyone. Else's eating hunger. But just wait and feel what it feels like. And then experiment with serving up less, serving up more. When you're choosing to consolidate your snacks into your meals. So we don't have that obnoxious eating six times a day thing. You're going to maybe have to eat more at lunch than you used to on certain diets. And some meals you will want to eat less. You just have to test it out. And listen, I'm still testing it out. I still overeat sometimes because I'm a human. Sometimes I choose to do that on purpose and sometimes I just overshoot. But I no longer spin out of control. And look for a new diet to try. I no longer think, well, forget it. I'll just restart on Monday. I just notice. Oh, well that was too much food for my body. I don't feel great. I'll wait to eat my next meal until I'm And if necessary, I'll check in with my emotions, see what was going on Does something need to be addressed that I was trying to spackle some food on top of. That's what Okay. I hope this episode has helped you. Number one, get to know me a little better. And how my struggles got me to where I am today. And number two. I hope you can see yourself in some of the things i shared and know that if you are still in the throws of dieting Or perhaps you've tried so many that you're currently in that i've given upstage I hope you can see there's another way You've got the skills built right into your own brain and body I'd love to help you get there I truly love what i do i will be so honored to have you as one of my clients schedule a free session We can chat about where you currently are And if my program is a perfect fit for you also, just as one last reminder, I still am doing my hundred dollar Amazon gift card giveaway for shares. So anytime I post about the podcast on my Instagram, if you share that to your story, that will count as an entry. Or one of the easiest ways to share honestly, is just to screenshot your phone right now with this episode. And post that picture to your story, tag me in it and tell me what you loved about it. Thanks i hope you win hey, thanks for listening today. If you're ready to get some personalized coaching from me, I'd encourage you to schedule a free strategy session. Visit or it's easier just to find that link in the show notes. We'll talk about where you currently are with your weight loss goals. And I'll give you some actionable tools. You can start implementing right away. Before you go, make sure you subscribe to the podcast so you can receive new episodes, right when they're released. And if you're learning something new and enjoying the podcast, I'd love for you to leave me a five star rating and a review. Thanks again for joining me, Lisa Salisbury in this episode of Eat Well, Think Well, Live Well.