My ugly dieting past has taken on many different forms, but I now realize that not only is it a dieting past, but it’s a very ugly dieting past.

My Ugly Dieting Past

My Ugly Dieting Past

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I have known for a very long time now that my patterns of dieting over the past 10+ years have been anything but typical. But after listening to various points made this past weekend at the MEGA IIN Conference by Mark Sisson, Julia Ross and Geenene Roth, I am now more confident than ever that these were not just “diets” to write in my history book. These were simply a part of my ugly dieting past.

During a presentation, Mark Sisson referred to this as his “health disaster,” making note that after a long time of incessantly working out, counting every calorie and living by all the “rules” we’ve heard make us “diet successful,” he became weak, ill and injured.

I, too, have been there in my ugly dieting past.

Julia Ross talked about dieting as the #2 cause of overeating, pointing out “dieting” as it refers to

  • fasting
  • diet foods and sodas
  • low cal
  • skipping meals
  • low fat
  • caffeine
  • appetite suppressants
  • artificial sweeteners
  • vegan/vegetarian

I, too, have been there in my ugly dieting past.

And finally, Geenene Roth spoke about her own ugly dieting past. I related to so many of the “crazy” diets she’s adopted at one point in her life. Sadly, I even related with her “brown diet,” which consisted at one point of Diet Soda, Coffee and Cigarettes. You think, “gross,” but I guarantee there is a whole slew of people out there on a very similar diet at this exact moment.

I “got” Geenene. I, too, have been there in my ugly dieting past.

I thought about these 3 individuals on Sunday – the day after they presented. I thought a lot about the diets I’ve put myself through in the past. I thought about the effect of those diets on my life today. And then I began to wonder,

Have I fully moved beyond that? Or do I sometimes just pretend?

Addressing them within is critical. Not just for me, but for you, too. We all like to think we hold the keys to a healthy lifestyle. But when we use the 4-letter “d” word constantly and assign it different meanings (ie. gluten-free diet, Paleo diet, Vegan diet, low-calorie diet, etc. etc.) it soon becomes a word which is likely not associated with a healthy lifestyle anymore. Instead, it just becomes another part of our dieting history and ultimately an ugly dieting past.

Useful quotes to think about as you consider your own ugly dieting past….

Mark Sisson,

Mark Sisson My Ugly Dieting Past

Julia Ross, My Ugly Dieting Past Julia Ross

Geenene Roth, My Ugly Dieting Past Geenene Roth

I am ready to leave that past. In the dirt. In the dust. Never to be seen again, but always there to remember and respect it as it was my ugly dieting past.


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  1. Good for you!! I think SO many healthy living/fitness bloggers have ED/disordered eating pasts (I do!). It’s so important to recognize it, find help and start making changes and shifting your perception!

  2. YES!! Sarah, we are so alike. We use a lot of primal eating ways as well and it has been a lifesaver. Thank you for sharing your journey! <3

  3. Life’s a dance you learn as you go…
    Keep learning and reflecting Sarah and you’ll find your “happy place.”
    Many people have trouble admitting that they could have or should have done things differently (as they are too close-minded). Good job of not being, “that person.”
    Stay strong,

    1. I am 100% committed to not ever being “that person” again. I’d rather be a little less lean and be a lot more healthy. The REAL healthy!

  4. i love your recap of the speakers, and what it brought up for you! so great to meet you this weekend and learn more about you. you have a lot to give!!

    1. Aww…thanks, Emily! So wonderful to meet you as well. We should definitely sync up about doing some stuff together:)

  5. Thanks for sharing. I don’t have an ugly dieting past but I do have an ugly eating past — including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. For me a diet was just never enough. When I veer back to old behaviors, I try to be rationale and remind myself of what works — balance, health and feeindg my body what it needs!

  6. oh i bet this would have been an awesome conference! i love hearing all of these people talk about different things. The thing for me with Mark is that technically i feel like with Paleo he is still promoting a diet of is that different than going vegan?

    I am definitely working right now on simply eating. not calories, not shoulds, just food because i’m hungry

    1. It was an AMAZING conference. Gosh…I still have *so* much more to write on it in the coming days and weeks! Yes, he absolutely was still promoting a diet…The Primal Diet. It’s just not so much a “diet” anymore for him because there are no restrictions, his body is happy and he finally feels healthy. It is a lifestyle for him. I think that’s where we all should be. Not diet; lifestyle. Thanks for the awesome thoughts, Amanda!

  7. So well written and as women (especially) I feel like we have all tried some sort of horrible/ugly diet and it’s sad. We are so hard on ourselves as to what we are supposed to look like, that we forget about how WE feel and how our loved ones feel about us. Thank for sharing this and look forward to hearing more about your conference…sounds very interesting!

  8. good for you sarah!! that’s awesome you were able to be real with yourself because that’s sometimes the hardest part. i definitely have my fair share of history with some “ugly dieting” strategies and disordered eating habits, so i can completely relate!

  9. Great post Sarah…I’ve been there too…so it’s refreshing to see bloggers be really open…we’re not all that different! 🙂 Love the freedom of this healthy life now! 🙂

  10. Love the personal connections you made to the content, Sarah. I really enjoyed meeting you and am amused at how small the world really is. Great recaps!

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  12. Such a great post! I have had that bad dieting past as well. After I first lost my weight, it was all about salads only & no protein & healthy fats & I did this for too many years – well into my late 20’s not really knowing the real way to eat. In my 30’s I finally started to learn & it has been constant learning since then! Always more to learn….

    Like I commented in one of your recent posts, some may go on a “diet” per se, like vegan or Paleo but at some point if it is just their life then it stops being a diet & is just their lifestyle & most importantly they see it as just the way they live vs. a diet.

    Me, I am not on any diet, I just live & eat what I do as part of my life.. 🙂

    1. It’s not an easy thing. I have struggled for so long. I still have the mental edge there, but I am treating *me* so much better when I’m on the “Sarah Lifestyle!” Thanks for stopping by, Jody!

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