Thin people don’t have to watch what they eat – ergo, if I don’t watch what I eat, I must be thin’. Apparently I have a person inside me, let’s call her Crazy-Me, and that is what she thinks. Let me explain: As far as my diet goes, I usually go along for a week or two, maybe more, doing perfectly fine. I’m eating healthy, I’m not starving myself, I’m not feeling deprived and then suddenly it’s like a voice in my head says ‘Ok, this is too much. We’re not going to do this anymore’ and that’s it, I go eat anything I can find and it takes me weeks to start paying attention to what I’m doing again. I have found this extremely frustrating – it’s not as if I’m starving myself or not allowing myself the occasional treat, so I don’t understand why I suddenly get this resistance to continuing with eating healthy.

These periods of not sticking with my diet are also accompanied by an absolute unwillingness to step on the scale. During these times I find weighing myself so unpleasant, that I just cannot bring myself to do it. As you can imagine, regularly going through times when I refuse to watch what I eat and weigh myself have wreaked havoc on my body. I’ve been living with this behavior for the past 5 years or so, and have been hoping that it will disappear as suddenly as it appeared. Having finally faced the fact that this behavior is as likely to disappear overnight as the 50 lbs I’ve gained, I’ve been spending sometime thinking about it and talking about it with a nutrition coach.

Turns out I really do believe that thin & healthy people do not have to watch what they eat, that they can just go through life being completely unconscious about what they eat. If I can engage in that behavior, then I can fool myself into feeling like I’m also thin & healthy. Of course this only works if you are completely vigilant about keeping reality at bay – so no stepping on scales, no going shopping for clothes, no looking at the mirror, no wearing anything but shapeless sacks because anything that actually fits you will let you know you’ve gained weight, oh while you’re at it, no going to the gym either because you’ll feel that 10 pound gain right away. Well, that doesn’t leave much to do, oh I know, lets eat – because, you know, you’ll feel thin – if you’re eating without thinking about it, you must be thin.

I know! Crazy! But that thinking is the key to why I bail on a diet. Since I associate eating healthy with being fat, after a few weeks of paying attention to what I eat, I’m done. And quite frankly I don’t blame myself – think about it, would you do something day-in day-out for weeks if the message you were getting every time you did it was ‘You fat cow!’. Hell no! If you have any sense of self preservation you’ll avoid anything that gives you that message. So while the bad news is that part of me is crazy, the good news is that the other parts of me have the sense to get away from me!

I’ve been spending the last few days really looking at how thin people eat (If the skinny woman sitting on my right at the chinese place yesterday is reading this, I want you to know I really am a nice person. I’m sorry for staring at every bite you put into your mouth – all 3 of them.) And guess what, thin people really don’t eat that much. They watch what they eat, they take small portions, don’t go back for seconds. Who knew?

This kind of crazy thinking appears lot in my life. See also: ‘If I can spend money without thinking about it, I must be rich’ or ‘If I don’t have to use my planner to keep track of my life I must be organized’. I’m a little scared to find out where else I’ve been letting Crazy-Me run my life.

Edited to add: This was originally written on Sept 13, 2007 on a different blog. I’m trying to consolidate all my weight loss related thoughts in one blog.