When crash dieting doesn’t work anymore

I know I got really fat. Not that I was every thin — wait, I was for like two seconds in 2007 — but I’ve never been this fat before. So there. I acknowledge it. I see it, I feel it, I know.

But it’s really hard to lose weight a) when you’ve been struggling with an eating disorder all your life, b) when you’ve got zero motivation because you’ve got a man, and c) when the only way you know how to lose weight (aka crash dieting) doesn’t work anymore.

In my early-mid twenties, I could maintain my pleasantly plump body while working out 3 times a month, eating Jimmy John’s daily at 2 AM, and drinking all the caramel lattes in the world (I was also bulimic and would throw up if I felt like I ate too much. Gross).


Sadly, I’ve maintained the exact eating style of my earlier twenties while my metabolism slowed down in my late twenties, and as a result, I’ve gained a total of 30 lbs since moving to NYC. Yikes. I really have no idea how to lose weight in a “healthy way” because all I’ve ever known are insanely unhealthy methods.

Here are the crazy crash diets I’ve tried:

10th grade

SlimFast diet. It did indeed help me slim freaking fast. I lost about 15 lbs in a month by replacing two meals with SlimFast (breakfast and dinner). I also went to tennis camp. This wasn’t too terrible, but SlimFast did nothing to teach me how to eat healthily.

Right before prom

About a month and a half before prom, I realized that I STILL did not fit into my dress (which was two sizes smaller than my body). So my best friend and I went on this crazy diet where we only ate breakfast. We would STUFF our faces with eggs, bacon, potato, and whatever else the dining hall made that morning, then starve for the rest of the day while doing at least 45 min – 1 hour of cardio.

I also secretly took TrimSpa (yes, that diet pill that Anna Nicole Smith used to advertise). Lost about 15 lbs. And yes, I wore that dress to prom.

Anna Nicole Smith. Also, me passing out after a 5-min workout.

During my college-dropout days

This was the craziest diet of them all. I did at least 4 hours of cardio a day. Walking/jogging for about 2 hours (morning and night), this workout video, and literally just dancing around like a crazy person in the basement while watching one of these. I also only ate steamed veggies, tofu, and boiled chicken breast once a day. Oh, and I drank gallons and gallons of diet coke (because I needed caffeine to survive as my body was slowly shutting down). I lost almost 30 lbs in about 3 months. I’m pretty sure I was borderline anorexic during this time.

diet coke. the better way to hydrate.

Summer before my sophomore year in college

For about 2 months, I only ate oatmeal, chicken breast, and cabbage for breakfast and lunch. Skipped dinner entirely. And I did about 1-2 hours of cardio a day. Lost 20 lbs.

cabbage helps you poop. it also smells like poop when overcooked.

Summer of 2012

Wasn’t exactly an intentional thing, but I lost 8 lbs in a month by drinking excessively and developing a stomach ulcer. I lived off of beer and hummus that entire summer.

Seriously, why haven’t I ever learned to eat and workout like a normal person? Ugh. It is really difficult to explain to an average person how much of a mental and emotional struggle it is for me to maintain a normal relationship with food.

Food was my friend when I was going through depression. Food was my enemy while I struggled to lose weight.

(Side note: worst part of crash dieting? I always gained the weight back and some more.)

These days, I just freaking love eating so damn much. I obsess over it.

And I hate working out. It is the worst. I hate that my face gets red and sweaty. I hate the gym smell. I hate gym clothes. I hate wearing sneakers.

But I know that I can’t go on with this unhealthy lifestyle forever. High blood pressure at the age of 29 is not sexy at all.

I know that it’s going to take a lot of work to undo the years and years weird stuff I’ve done to my body. Most important thing right now is to admit to myself that I will not be able to crash diet anymore. It’s dangerous. It sucks. And it doesn’t really work.

But for now…

Just kidding. But really, honestly, I want to be better. As I prepare to welcome my 30th birthday, I am kissing crash dieting goodbye.

What crazy, unhealthy weight loss methods have you tried? How did it go? What advice do you have for someone who is trying to lose weight in a healthy way?

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