They say: But you don't need to go on a diet

I hear this every time I tell someone that I'm choosing to eat clean, be healthier, go "on a diet".

And usually these words are said with a tone of disgust, in which I feel like I'm really hearing, "You skinny minny, you gained five pounds and are crying over it. Give me a break."

They are true. I am "skinny" and I have "gained five pounds" and, in a sense, I am "crying over it". So I grant your "give me a break" by no longer confiding in you during the times I need to make this change.

But before you go thinking that I'm just vain, that I'm high maintenance, or that I'm judging why you're not watching your health as much as I am, let me tell you my side of this story.

I am 5' 3"....which is actually an estimation considering I'm really 5' 2.75"

I live my life based on HOW I FEEL.

Yes, I will weigh myself once or twice a week. If I'm counting calories or am trying to lose a pound or two due to a week of mindless bingeing, I'll check that scale every darn day until I'm back in the black.

I allow myself a five pound range. I can feel when I'm at the lower end of that range and I can feel when I'm at the higher end of that range. And, let's get real, my pants talk too. They know where I'm at on that range as well.

The problem I have is that I love food. Like, I really love food. To which people will look me up and down and think that I'm lying when I say that, like I only love healthy foods or something. I'd love to introduce you to my two girlfriends who have gone out to the Cheesecake Factory with me many times and watched as I've eaten a whole appetizer (fried mac and cheese is my LIFE), entree (mostly a cheeseburger with sweet potato fries and a side of ranch), AND a whole slice of cheesecake (Adam's PB cup fudge ripple cheesecake, to be exact). Have you been to the Cheesecake Factory? Have you seen their servings?

Should I be ashamed to admit that I've eaten that much, in one sitting, to you?

To which ties into the other problem I have and that is that I lack self control. Especially during social events or times of stress or times when I'm bored out of my mind and I just want something to eat to give me comfort and companionship.

And no, I don't munch on kale chips or carrot sticks or apple slices to bide my time. I munch on cookies, crackers, candy, breads, anything that is made of sugar and carbs.

I also work out. I have oftentimes told people that the only reason I work out is so I can eat as much as I do and, other than working out being my therapy, that statement is absolutely true. Because food too, is my therapy.

I do have to say, that I will have seasons in my life where I will skip out on the junk food, ignore the candy aisle at the store, forget that there's such a thing as chocolate ice cream and the infinity creative toppings that can go with it.

And these seasons happen when I choose to be strict with myself. I love when I'm strict with myself just as much as I love when I allow myself to run amok at the closest frozen yogurt joint.

There is a near war that goes on in my mind before finally surrendering to this strict, lifestyle change. Because why do I want to eat whole foods when unhealthy foods fill my belly with such satisfaction, make me happy, and bring me relief?

But I've found there's so much freedom in the restriction. I know what I can eat and I can trust it won't make me feel like crap come morning.

Crap. Yes, metaphorically, of course. Lately I've been feeling quite a bit like crap in the mornings. Or quite a lot like crap in the mornings.

I get up, take some caffeine and start my day with a work out. I eat really well come about 1pm when my real appetite kicks in and I'm stuffing Keebler's Chocolate Lovers cookies down my throat while chugging chocolate milk as a dessert to my Club Lulu from Jimmy Johns.

While I've been blessed to be able to have an appetite and not gain weight too considerably fast, I do gain and then I have the worst time trying to break through those dreaded plateaus.

But the number one reason I choose to be healthy, to make this strict lifestyle change in hopes that I'll remain strict for a while (while knowing that I'm human, a food addict, and tend to slowly be back to my old way in a year or two) is because I'm hypoglycemic.

I can FEEL when my blood sugar is out of control. I can FEEL when it's low and when it's high.

Unhealthy eating, the way I prefer to eat, upsets my blood sugar. It drops far too often, far too quickly or suddenly a binge on sugar cookies will send it so high I could swear I feel the sugar slugging through my veins.

Whether my blood sugar is too high or too low, one thing is certain: My life comes to a halt. I lay in bed for hours, waiting for my blood sugar to lower, or because my blood sugar took such a nose dive, my body is weak.

"Oh, Ladee," I've been told, "Maybe you should see a doctor and see if you can get some medication for that."

WHY? So I can continue eating garbage?

NO. How about I kick my butt in gear, eat clean, and have that be my medication? Will I lose weight? More than likely. But for some reason, losing weight isn't ok, especially when you're as "skinny" as I am.

People need to understand that your health is never solely based on your size.

Just as one size will never be prettier than the other, one size isn't a guarantee to be healthier than the other.

I am choosing this lifestyle change as a reset to my body. This diet is extremely strict, but only for 4-6 weeks (depending on how I FEEL) and then afterwards it's just maintenance. My blood sugar throughout this diet is perfect. I never have any issues while on it. And once I'm off the diet the issues I have are rare, as long as I keep my intake in check. If I'm eating healthy, I can go a meal or two a week eating pure junk and my blood sugar will level itself out on its own.

But the constant abuse and then my body surrenders and can't function like the well-oiled, God-made machinery like it should.

So to those ladies that gained five pounds and are "crying about it", I'm here for you. Because we understand how those measly five pounds make us feel. If we feel awesome at a certain weight, then it shouldn't matter what any outside source says. And as long as we're going about it in a healthy manner, then it really shouldn't matter what anyone says.

And to those that say, "But you don't need to go on a diet", please understand the reasoning behind the person choosing their diet.

While I know, firsthand, about terrible dieting, and obsessing over weight, unless you are certain someone is leading a very dangerous, eating-disorder lifestyle, please, be supportive. Please do not try to sabotage their diet either. It's better to understand it and see if they have "cheat meals" before delivering a pound cake or taking them to a burger joint where there's nothing on the menu they can order and they're left feeling so stuck they either cave (which is painful) or end up drinking ice water while they watch you eat (which is painful too).

Because we all know that dieting isn't easy. And one day you may find yourself on the flip side and will hope that your friends will be of a support to you.

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