Does dieting affect how we feel about food? You bet it does! Anyone who knows me understands that I’m a super-clean eater and really enjoy my food.
My weight is always consistent, and I put this down to never ‘dieting’ as such. Simply being aware of good nutrition and supplying your body with the building blocks it needs, when it needs them, is all it takes to be in great shape.
But my early experience with dieting for competitions changed the way I approached my food. After my first two body sculpting competitions, in which I won first and second at the Nationals, I didn’t compete again for two years! This was because the low-calorie, low-fat, low-everything diet I was on, plus having to weigh all my food for the duration of the competition preparation, had affected my relationship with food in such a negative way.
For the first time in my life, I felt like I had no control over my hunger. There was no cut-off valve to indicate whether I was full or still hungry. I ate the food I was instructed to eat. Food occupied such a great space in my thoughts that I used to dream of eating bacon! And I wasn’t the only one with bizarre thoughts and behaviour. I saw another team member eating cake that she had found leftover from a previous customer in a coffee shop when we went for our black coffee. We laughed over that when we looked back — but it’s really not so funny!
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