Things That Happened When I Stopped Dieting

Caitlin Fisher
5 min readNov 1, 2019
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

In January I resolved, as so many do, to “get my eating back on track” and I started tracking the food I ate.

I restricted. I obsessed about snacks that were less than a hundred calories. I choked down “healthy meals” that made me gag.

All in the name of my health.

All in the name of a smaller body.

And I had finally had enough.

I flat out stopped dieting. I decided I would not restrict anything anymore.

I was starving myself deliberately and making it a moral stance.

In the past, I did Whole30, I did autoimmune elimination diets, I went gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, nightshade-free, and I did vegan keto for all of two weeks. I did three day cleanses, three times, involving two or three shakes a day plus a piece of fruit plus a salad with a vinaigrette dressing and salmon or chicken breast.

I used to pack carrots and celery with almond butter in my lunch and force myself to go hungry if I “wasn’t hungry enough for my carrots.”

I hate raw carrots and they make me gag. I was starving myself deliberately and making it a moral stance.

Nope.

I realized what was apparent to so many of the people around me: I had an eating disorder.

I realized it was okay to stop. Stop restricting. Stop dieting. Stop obsessing.

Suddenly everything was back on the table again. Bread! Pasta! Cereal! I ate and ate and ate and ate and ate. Whenever I was hungry, I ate. And I was ravenous.

After twenty years of dieting, my body wasn’t taking chances on that diet cycle anymore. My body turned the eating signals on full blast, expecting me to shut it all back down again at a moment’s notice.

After an initial few weeks when my body got the memo that I was actually eating these days, I noticed some things.

Here’s what happened when I stopped dieting

I gained weight. I’ve gained some weight but consistently weigh the same amount every time I visit a doctor’s office. I don’t own a scale, so I’m not…

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Caitlin Fisher

Prone to sudden bursts of encouragement. They/them. Queer, autistic author of bit.ly/GaslightingMillennials