In the weight loss forum someone wrote about dieting as addiction. I responded over there, but wanted to post it here since this feels like my "home" forum.
I can totally relate to the dieting as addiction. I've been there. Three times in my life I have lost 75+ pounds, each time by making dieting an obsession and going to extremes. (Atkins, optifast, and extreme calorie control.) Dieting and exercise didn't control my life, it was my life. I felt terrific. Rather than feeling deprived I was on a deprivation high.
The problem was...I couldn't maintain it. Two to three hours a day of exercise plus work didn't leave room for much else. I would walk 3-4 miles to work at an aerobic pace...on about 100 calories of breakfast...and then one morning I passed out at work. (The irony here is that I never achieved my goal weight, despite all the deprivation.) And of course, in the long run I couldn't maintain it. When I started to come off the extreme diet I didn't know how to eat, so instead I just went back to the past...with predictable results.
This time I'm with JayEll, mindful eating is my goal. My doctor has suggested I try to lose two pounds a month...and I'm on board with that. I've lost more (I'm not complaining) but thinking that losing will be slow, and that I want to eat mindfully, has really changed my focus. Food is becoming part of my life, not the obsession either way. (When I wasn't dieting, I was binging.)
I don't trust it yet, I've only been doing this for three months...but so far I'm feeling good about it. I don't want to be controlled by eating, either positively or negatively. I want to exercise because moving makes my body feel good, and to eat healthy foods in healthy proportions because food is both fuel and pleasure.