KHANYISWA MOGOTSI

If there is anything that my 22-years on this earth has taught me, it is that dieting is the biggest scam ever.

This year alone, I have been on four different diets and yes, not staying consistent might have added to my demise but when was somebody going to tell me that the lost weight would return as soon as the first cheat day comes around?

My first diet took place at the start of lockdown when we were told to work from home, and I was so ready to return to work a brand new woman. A few days into working from home, I stocked up on all the groceries I would need to become the poster child of before-and-after pictures.

I dented my bank account because of all the vegetables, fruits and lactose-free milk that I bought but seeing as it was going to a good cause, I was not even mad. Taking it a step further, I added intermittent fasting onto this healthy diet and downloaded an exercising app.

I made a promise to myself that I would exercise every day for 45 minutes at 11h00 in the morning. My first and only meal of the day would be lunch from 13h00 to 15h00 and if I felt any sense of hunger, I would drown my body in water and sugarless tea.

About nine days into what I thought would be my new lifestyle, I jumped on the scale for the first time and although it was not a grand amount, the weight I lost immediately went to my head. I was basically Beyoncé at this point.

As expected, the cockiness that inflamed caused me to start slacking and the next thing I knew, my phone was borderline harassing me with notifications from the exercising app reminding me to work out. It had been four days since I last worked out.

My lactose-free milk finished and weeks away from payday, I decided to return to regular milk. “It’s okay, I’ll go back to almond milk as soon as I get paid,” I told myself. But it was not okay because I started to spiral.

I deleted the app from my phone because the notifications became too annoying and I stopped intermittent fasting and went back to eating whatever and any time of the day. Two weeks later, my weight was right back to where it started. Attempt number one failed.

The second time I tried to diet, I went a little easier on myself and opted to just do the one-meal-a-day intermittent fasting. I did this for approximately three weeks and once again, I lost some weight and much like the first time, my cockiness monster returned, and I began slacking once again.

The next two times were no different. I would be committed and determined in the beginning, lose some weight, get too comfortable and pick the weight right back up just to do the cycle all over again.

Since then, I have decided to just be comfortable in the skin I am in as well as make eating healthier a habit instead of a quick fix.

If I am going to lose weight, dieting is probably not the answer. Joining a gym and being consistent is the only way but until then, I will enjoy my cow milk and lunch at 10h00 in the morning.