Why do so many people regain the weight that they lose?

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When I researched the diet industry can you imagine my surprise when I read that up to 95% of people regain the weight that they lose on a diet or restricted eating plan.

I knew through my own individual experiences that dieting did not work long term with weight loss, as in my case I regained not only the weight that I lost, but always a bit more too.

My lowest point was being stood on a pair of weighing scales in my GP surgery being “told off” for reaching nearly 22 stones.

I knew on that humiliating day that something had to change and that I needed to choose my health

above everything else as my number one priority.

So, try to imagine my surprise and disappointment after reaching 15.5 stones and over 6 stones in weight loss, I found that I did not like myself one bit more?

In fact, the total opposite was true, I stood in front of the mirror criticising myself even more, I was picking fault in everything that I saw reflecting back at me.

At my heaviest weight I incorrectly assumed that losing weight was the answer to all of my problems and by losing the weight I would automatically start loving myself.

This moment of realisation is when my real journey began, a friend at work recommended a book called “you can heal your life” by Louise Hay.

This book resonated with me, I hated and avoided confrontation at any costs and any uncomfortable emotions such as hurt, anger, fear, insecurities were all swallowed down by binge eating.

I would numb the negative feelings by filling that empty void of low self-worth by binge eating vast amounts of extremely sweet foods. It did not matter how much sweet food I consumed I was never full, and it was never enough; I would have heart palpitations from all the sugar, I would collapse exhausted from a binge and feel “hung over” the next day.

Because I was not eating for hunger my appetite was endless.

My energy levels and mood were so low in the days that followed a big binge session. Then came the shame, which made me isolate myself from others and lose even more confidence in myself. And so that negative cycle continued for many years, in between times I would try a diet, lose weight, and then go back to the binges as a coping mechanism for difficult emotions.

Once I read the book “You can heal your life” I realised that in dealing with my Food Addiction I needed to take a holistic approach to tackling my demons with food. Diets and food restriction does nothing to deal with low self- worth or any emotions, they are just a plan of what we should and should not eat.

I began my holistic journey by trying Reiki for the first time, I then began to meditate daily, I scheduled time to exercise, and tackled my Food Addiction by soothing my physical, mental, spiritual, and nutritional needs.

All these experiences lead me to feel calmer and squashed the urges to binge eat.

Hence my Step by Step with Sarah-Jane support group brand quote. “Losing weight permanently has nothing to do with how you look, but everything to do with how you feel.”

I never want anyone to feel as ashamed, lonely, isolated and like the only person who is addicted to food, there are so many of us out there that are eating our feelings and emotions, it never gets discussed in a public arena and I will continue to be open about my Food Addiction to break the stigma surrounding it.

Does this sound like you? Are you an emotional eater? If this resonates with you then start by setting boundaries to protect yourself from painful emotions and find your voice, your opinions and feelings matter just as much as anyone else’s.

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Paul Flounders
Paul Flounders
1 month ago

Absolutely amazing article this really hits home about food addiction

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Flounders

Thank you, life is so much easier for me as a slim person, carrying all that wright around was painful. Food addiction is exhausting

Sadie Timlin
Sadie Timlin
1 month ago

Great article, so true with regards to diet clubs, these clubs do not teach you about the mindful relationships with food, just a way to loose weight but sadly not how to keep it off!!

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Sadie Timlin

Hi Sadie thank you so much, I completely agree, being mindful when we eat is so important.

Marlene Scott
Marlene Scott
1 month ago

Well done Sarah. You are nothing but inspirational inside and out! We should ban the word DIET …..it caused me nothing but grieve when I was younger and we didn”t even have social media to blame then.
Fitness all the way, this is the best I’ve felt in years, not the slimmest but I feel great. Your support helps most days in the gym ️‍♀️ keep going Sarah x

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Marlene Scott

Thank you Marlene, I completely agree I hate the word diet!! You are my accountability buddy

Barbara
Barbara
1 month ago

Bravo xx

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Barbara

Thank you so much

Julie Rimmer
Julie Rimmer
1 month ago

Great article it’s so true that it’s all about getting ourselves right mentally, well done Sarah for getting the message out there

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Julie Rimmer

Thank you so much Julie for sharing your thoughts!!! Food addiction is such a lonely addiction full of shame, I will keep spreading the news about it xx

Vanessa Scott
Vanessa Scott
1 month ago

Inspiring and sincere article, thank you for sharing such a personal story that will help so many people.

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Vanessa Scott

Thank you so much for reading, and posting your comment, I really hope sharing my story that we can break the shame around Food addiction.

Rae-Marie Reading
Rae-Marie Reading
1 month ago

Great read, I agree, it really is important that we are aware of fad diets and educate others on what they eat and are sold through media, .

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
1 month ago

Thank you so much, there us so much false information out there it can be very misleading and often people think they are eating healthily but they are not. Its so sad people are being manipulated .

Annie
Annie
1 month ago

Inspiring, honest and thought provoking. I agree, a holistic approach is the best way to lose and maintain weight loss. Keep spreading the word Sarah, you’re doing great! Xx

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Annie

Thank you Annie for your comments, I always write from my own personal experiences. I really appreciate your support.

Saba Getty
Saba Getty
1 month ago

Great article! Food addiction is real. I can relate to a lot you went through before you began the journey to healing your body. It’s inspiring to learn from your experiences so far, seeing where you are now and how you got here. Truly amazing

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Saba Getty

Thank you so muchfor your Saba, I really want to let others know that they are not alone in the battle with food addiction

Jo P
Jo P
30 days ago

Great article! The diet industry does not care about the reason you are overeating in the first place, its all about the quick fix then see you again next Summer

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
30 days ago
Reply to  Jo P

Thank you Jo, yes you are quite right, it is such a sad, toxic cycle of restriction and binge .

Caitlin
Caitlin
30 days ago

Thank you for using your story to inspire us all. As someone who has struggled with emotional overeating, I love following your posts as they really help me to be more mindful and happier in myself xx

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
29 days ago
Reply to  Caitlin

Hi Caitlin thank you so much for your comments, I don’t want anyone to feel isolated in their emotional eating, it is very common but just not discussed in public

Sam
Sam
29 days ago

Another honest and well written article. Diet clubs don’t deal with the route of food addiction and over eating. Healing yourself is so important

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
29 days ago
Reply to  Sam

Thank you Sam it is so true unless we take a holistic approach to weightloss we will never lose weight permanently

Rae-Marie
Rae-Marie
21 days ago

Fantastic article!
my mum was a food addict and serial dieter as a child we saw her yo yo, and cry alot about her wait and she would hide food, we would find packets under her pillow, she wanted to be beautiful, slim, Her husband to love her.
Year on she lost weight and had a gastric by pass, unfortunately her body decided to try n correct what the surgery did, and she was in and out of hospital for years, her pancreas does not work properly, she has injections every day, she has gained wait again due to the injections, her eating habits now are as bad but smaller portions, she has fits regually and is under the doctor.
for me as her daughter, I think she needed to have therapy and coaching, her journey to be thin has resulted in her being permently disabled. Such a sad thing to happen to such a beautiful person. It’s changed her life!

Sarah Jane Clark
Sarah Jane Clark
18 days ago
Reply to  Rae-Marie

Rae-Marie thank you so much for sharing, I am so sorry your Mum has endured so much, it is heartbreaking to hear. Food addiction is real and needs to be taken seriously with a multi agency approach to healing

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