There are so many inspirational women (and men, but let’s be honest, mostly women)who are sick to death with being beaten around the head with the diet stick, and are hell bent on inspiring others to ditch miserable dieting, self-loathing and all that needless crap and get on with enjoying life.One of these fabulously inspirational women is the wonderful Jenny Jameson, who fought the diets, won and then decided to try and help other people do just as she did.
Jenny started an irreverent, funny but thought-provoking blog, has her own diet-ditching website and has produced a Battle Plan for anyone who wants to say Sayonara to weight Watchers and just, you know, live a little.I thought I’d introduce her, so here she is in her own words!
OK, so firstly...F*ck the Diets? That sounds angry!
“Ha ha - it's not angry in the "I'm gonna make a petrol bomb and firebomb WW HQ" although I have had a few visions of that. It's more a dismissive shrug of all the crap we're fed (pun intended) on dieting.“I got to that point in my last Diet Club. I sat there, an intelligent (ish) woman, being sold to by a rather patronising woman. I was asking myself deep questions, like "what am I doing all this FOR?" and "what will being thin really give me?" I was looking around me and seeing bright, smart, successful women being reduced to quakes over biscuits. It just did not feel right. It felt like some kind of oppression, and to be fair nobody was holding a gun to our heads and marching us into Diet Club each week, but I had to ask myself just what was making all these brilliant women attend something so ... crap.. each week.“It was kind of like being in front of the popular/pretty girl at school, who had stood up to command the attention of the room, and you listen to her, knowing she's full of shit. Yet still you listen.
I was angry with myself for that.
” What made you start F*ck the Diets?“
I just feel I cannot stand by, knowing there are others sitting at Diet Club even as I type this, thinking they don't belong there, but not knowing what the heck to do next.“That and I love swearing. No, I don't think it's big and clever. I just like it. Fuck yeah!
”Did you find it hard to banish the diet tribe?What was the most difficult thing for you?“
Yes.I was still working through it for years after leaving diet club. I went on the "eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full" diet, but I thought I'd ditched the diet.“When I realised that it wasn't so much the dieting I needed to ditch, but the whole idea of losing weight, I went into a meltdown. Like, angry, punching pillows, crying ... the icky stuff. It hurt like hell to give up this idea that I'd chased for years, for decades. The idea that my life would be, if not perfect, at least a lot easier, if I were thin.” “You see, I'd chased that since I was about 10 years old. Somehow, my head did the maths thin = popular = successful = fun life. I want a fun life. I want to be a success. I wanted to be, if not popular, to at least have some friends. To have a community, my own bunch of people who weren't family but were still close.“I thought all these things were if not impossible, then a LOT harder if I wasn't thin. And by thin, I mean thin. In my teens and 20s I was 5'7" and a UK size 12-14. I thought I was chubby. I thought if I lost a bit of weight, all these good things in life would come to me, as all around me all I could see was good things happening to the thin girls. There were NO big girl role models. Not one.“So - letting go of the weight loss was hard. It was when I realised that I wasn't actually letting go of being popular and successful and having a fun life, that things got easier.
Nowadays I haven't a clue what I weigh, and I'm not interested in finding out. I recently had my blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides tested. They're all in normal range.”How do you deal with snarky comments about what you eat or whether you should be losing weight?
“I don't get them anymore. I used to get the "what about your health" talk ... then I pointed out that what is wrong with eating as healthily as my budget will afford, getting exercise and not letting the pressure of dieting increase my stress levels. I just tell people I'm not interested in my weight. My friends all get that. If it's a stranger, I try not to be rude or aggressive, cos I realise they're not trying to be an arsehole, it's just that we live in a very food/diet obsessed world.
” How are your confidence levels since you stopped dieting and stuck it to the whole ‘thin is in’ ideal?“I never used to look in the mirror and say "wow - I look AMAZING" before. I say it a lot of the time now.“I also left my corporate career as I realised it was making me miserable, finally moved to my dream town and my relationships have all improved. I think I can completely say that life has improved in leaps and bounds without the dieting in it.
” What can people expect if they sign up to your blog?“Regular (ish) mailouts of musings and differing perspectives. My aim is to make people look at their lives differently. We are all dieting because we believe we will gain something wonderful when we're "finally thin". I want to encourage people to go for all those things NOW, not when they've dropped a dress size.
”Do you have any plans to expand FTD into workshops, a book or anything else equally wonderful?“
I'd love to! My other business is really doing well, but I'd really like to create something that will help people. I'm always open to ideas, so hit me up!
” What’s your number one piece of advice to anyone still caught up in dieting but wanting to escape?“
You don't have to ditch dieting right away. But do one thing for me, OK? Go grab a piece of paper and write down three things you believe you will get once the weight is lost. Three ways your life will be better. Once you have those, keep the list with you, and spend the next two weeks brainstorming on ways you can get those things into your life that DON'T involve dieting. Then take the steps to get those things. As you do that, you'll start to realise it's not really losing weight you're after, but changes in your life. Go start getting those changes NOW.”