Lessons in being less

As a woman aged 73, my weight has hardly fluctuated since my late twenties. Before then, I had struggled with a bulging body for about a decade, addicted to a toxic dieting culture, all of them being successful, but only for a short while.

As a skinny kid in early adolescence, I ate a healthy and balanced diet at home. Getting fat later was a shock, and I was disgusted at the unhealthy eating habits I developed and my then disregard for regular exercise.

I was often lonely and starting to eat for comfort, not enjoyment.

Then employed as a researcher on a science program in the British media, I read many magazines and books by diverse medicos, psychologists and scientists, as well as interviewing them about an array of issues, including my personal confusion about weight loss, metabolism and health; both physical and mental.

Embarking on an entirely new train of thought, having read and talked about the “new” rules included in your article (“The new rules of lasting weight loss”, Body+Soul, SHS,19/2), over 18 months I shed 20 kg and my mental health was transformed too. I have never looked back.

Diets became outdated, with my new thinking including daily dancing (I’ve never been to a gym).

A positive perspective has become permanent, with perfection superfluous. However, willpower was also significant; the will to feel and look the best I could. The “rules” worked for me!