Dieting has become a rite of passage for teen girls. I challenge you to find a teenaged girl who hasn’t tried dieting. Sometimes the dieters lose weight, and other times they don’t. Either way, they often hurl themselves onto a path of life-long roller-coaster dieting. Whether the first attempt ends in success or failure, it likely gives them a taste where they long for more. If they lose weight, they become believers, and if not, they profess to try again and again until they get it “right”.
Just when they begin to feel sure-footed from the triumph of dieting, the ground shifts beneath them, bumping them onto the merry-go-round of self-contempt. They feel completely deprived, and begin to crave what they’ve started to call bad foods. This turns them into eating machines. The hunger wells up within them like a hurricane ready to ravage everything in its path. They crave fatty foods and sweet foods and salty foods. Hunger consumes them. Food, food, food, is on their minds a great majority of their waking hours and sometimes in their dreams as well. They’ve opened the floodgates of eternal hunger and will never be the same. They crave foods they love, as well as foods that they did not used to like before they felt deprived from dieting.
They now feel insatiably starved, which leads to the first all-out binge. The binge fools their hearts into happiness, but only briefly. This leads to a free-fall into the shaft of despair and depression, with waves of guilt and shame knocking them into the heart of hopelessness. Around and around they spin on the merry-go-round of self-contempt, dizzy and depressed from a level of hopelessness they never knew possible.
Research shows the majority of people who lose weight by dieting usually gain it all back, plus more. So what’s the answer? Stay tuned for more.