I was a habitual dieter from 1995-2009. If you do
the math, that's 14 years that went like this: Dieting.
Restriction. Success. Lose 5. Gain 7. Failure.
Soon after I graduated college in 1995, I became fixated
on dieting, exercising and losing weight. I started with Weight
Watchers and graduated to Phen-Phen until it was taken off the
market. People started identifying me as a dieter.
Worst of all, whatever I lost came back - and then
In 2000, due to a prescription medication, my weight
skyrocketed. I literally gained 30 pounds in three months. For
someone who has dealt with anxiety, especially anxiety about
weight, this was my worst nightmare come true. I thought I was
"heavy" when I really wasn't-and then I really, really
I tried working with dietitians. I tried weight-loss
prescription medication and Weight Watchers again. In 2003, at my
highest weight, I got pregnant. After my first child was born, I
lost all the baby weight and then some. But losing the weight was a
challenge after my second baby.
I was on Weight Watchers at five weeks postpartum. Five
weeks. I wasn't sleeping more than two hours at a time, but I was
back on the diet train.
While on maternity leave, I visited a Chinese medicine
doctor in Chinatown. Then I met with an alternative medicine doctor
several months later. Her advice: Go wheat free, dairy free, gluten
free, corn free and sugar free. Clean eating. I "did" that for
Then the weight loss came to a halt. Again I got
I visited a dietitian, Kim Shapira, in Los Angeles while
visiting my parents. I was upset. Lost. Trapped.
Shapira helped me get on the right path. We talked almost
every week. For the first time in a long time, I wasn't on an
official diet. We peeled back the layers of how and why I ended up
with diet and food issues.
Somehow, I regressed. Back to Weight Watchers, then Jenny
Craig for a six-week body makeover, and back to Shapira, who
recommended I read When Food is Love by Geneen Roth.
It was life changing.
It was my story.
It made me think about these things: Was I eating to live
or living to eat? Why was food and dieting defining me? How would
my dieting affect my children? Why was I constantly disappointed
with the way I looked even when I looked good? Because of that
disappointment, did my weight gain become a self-fulfilling
In the book, Roth suggests a life of healthy eating but
non-dieting. As I was reading this book, I thought to myself, "How
can I not diet?"
But I did it. I quit dieting in November 2009. Not only
did I do it for me, I did it for my family.
I don't want my children to grow up in a home where
dieting and food deprivation is a focal point of our conversations.
I have a daughter, and the last thing I want is for her to have
food issues. I want her to see value in healthy choices while
enjoying a once-in-a-while family outing to the ice cream parlor.
It is my responsibility as a parent to lead her on a good
I am learning that there are so many things to worry about
as a parent and as a woman. But I won't be worrying about the
latest and greatest diet any time soon.
Kimberly Kutnick is the mom of two living in Lincolnshire.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.