Why Slimming World worked* for me
*the past tense is important here.
I joined Slimming World in 2013 because I wanted to improve my health and at that point that seemed like the logical option to me. And I lost a lot of weight - how? Well it's simple:
I ate the exact same food everyday
I went to the gym every weekday evening
At that time I had just moved to a new city. I didn't have any friends and my boyfriend lived in a different town. So during the week I just went to work, then the gym then bed, and then at weekends went back to visit my boyfriend. I was in a transition period of my life and this lifestyle simply wasn't sustainable.
Soon I made friends and was invited out for meals meaning I missed gym sessions and couldn't control what I was eating.
Then the boyfriend became a fiance and then a husband and moved into my house along with his crisp addiction.
Then I got pregnant and put weight on because duh, that's what happens.
Then I felt utter guilt about SHOCK HORROR not being able to get back to my pre baby weight (complete exhaustion will do that for you) and so guilt ate.
Then I got pregnant again and put even more weight on (growing a baby + looking after a toddler + exhaustion = eat when you can)
And guess what? Once I started properly living my life and not just going to the gym and eating the same thing every day I put all the weight and more back on. And here is the reason why these diets just do not work.
Because what Slimming World and other diet groups do not address is that life has seasons. Some seasons of life you are in a place where you can move for enjoyment (exercise) and want to eat more nutritional dense ('healthy') foods and in some seasons all you can manage is to make it through the end of the day without falling asleep and just eating what you can when you can.
And all kinds of seasons of life are valid and should not make you feel guilt. But that's what diet clubs thrive on - your guilt.
So I am trying not to allow guilt into my life. I am absolutely not succeeding every day but I'm trying!
Right now if we were judging health on weight alone then it would seem I am much less healthy than when I was at my Slimming World 'target weight'. But if we break my health down I think I'm actually at the same level (if not a better level) of health...
On Slimming World I ate the same food every single day... now I eat a varied diet of nutritionally dense and fun food!
On Slimming World I went to the gym every day... now I go swimming twice a week, walk for 20 minutes a day (school run fun!) and have time to socialise or watch Netflix all evening!
On Slimming World I felt guilty any time I did anything 'off plan'... now I am learning to accept all food as neutral and not beat myself up if I miss a swim.
So yeah if you are happy eating boring food, feeling constant guilt and exercising more than is fun then maybe a diet club is for you. Not for me though.