addicted to diets | by: angie warren

Before I get Angie on the mic, I just want to say…this adventure is a long time coming. I don’t recall how she and I met but over the the past few years the universe has pulled us together for brainstorm sessions on photography and life in general. So many ideas. So little time. Here we are joining forces on something that has nothing to do with photography. It’s funny. and perfect.

Angie guest blogged on my photography site about wardrobe color palettes a few years ago. It really is a timeless post on what to wear for your family photo session you can read HERE. She is the Author of FLY, a photography mentoring guide, the original creator of the Creative Mama and she is also a very busy mama of three.  I am thrilled to have her as a client and contributing author here on eat-swell.

What I love about  Angie:  The girl has some serious heart. She’s a gifted story teller, sensitive yet bold and determined and like many of us she finds herself totally overwhelmed with the amount of information being thrown around about “what to eat.”

Angie is participating in my 6 month program REprogram and she will be sharing her journey with us regularly.  Super excited.  There is also a group program in the works so please stay tuned for that.

Get set. Go,




My love affair with dieting began after high school when a friend and her parents were doing Weight Watchers. I gave it a try, or two or three. I didn’t need it but told myself I did.

After my first son was born in 2004 (and I gained a good 50 lbs) I decided it was time. He was 16 months old when I began. Three months later I was 30 lbs lighter and a skeletal 118 lbs. I felt like I was on top of the world. I was sexy and tiny and floated around the house in my little shorts and tanks.

I would keep this weight off for a few years until I got pregnant with my second son. At the end of nine months I had gained 80 lbs. EIGHTY. I hit the scale at 200 and after his birth gave Weight Watchers a few more tries. Juicing happened for a day, followed by another Weight Watchers attempt, then some binging and of course more tries at counting my points. A lot of that weight fell off and I was feeling really, much better. I was going to the gym and had a good system down though I failed to keep Weight Watchers “working” like it did before.

Along with the arrival of my second child was a horrendous bout of PPD and anxiety. I was on one medication after another until I found something that worked. What my doctor failed to mention however was the weight gain that came along with it. 30 lbs later I was inching higher and higher. Depressed and anxious and frustrated and feeling like crap I decided I would try juicing again, then Weight Watchers, dabbled in GF eating and finally the 17 Day Diet. My mom and friend had success, so I could too, right?

Then out of nowhere, I found out I was pregnant. Again. I was 162 and at only 5’2 any extra weight shows, this was not good. I had never gotten pregnant at this weight. I was now dealing with perinatal PPD, horrendous morning sickness, extra weight and anxiety over our life situation (no job, lost our home, lost our car, etc).

The pregnancy with my daughter would see me gaining 60 lbs more. SIXTY. She was born and I fell deeper into depression and anxiety. I hated my body, was constantly stressed out and emotionally eating. 2012 would see me starting and stopping about 10 different diets at least a few times each.

Weight Watchers
Calorie Counting
17 Day Diet
Sugar Free
Diet pills

… just to name a few.

I would see something someone else was doing and knew if I could only do that I could be tiny again. Yet, I couldn’t. I didn’t want to break my Starbucks habit, or my new love for Italian beer, or bread or sugar or anything that tasted and made me FEEL good. FEELING good made me happy, until I looked in the mirror and could no longer recognize who I saw. I was living in my stretchy maternity pants and long and lean tanks.

I’ve had a mental block with Weight Watchers for a few years now. Not sure why I could do it SO successfully before but not now? It’s as simple as counting and tracking points, right? But something hasn’t felt right about it. The more I learned about food and how it correlates with our mental and emotional health, the more research I did on preservatives and sugars and genetically modified foods and the like, the more I realized Weight Watchers is simply one of the worst ways to lose weight and gain health. Like, ever.

The good fats out there? Way too many points. Instead I chose SF jello with light whipped topping. Maybe a frozen Smart Ones meal. Perhaps I’d just drink Diet Pepsi when I’m hungry. That’s 0 points right? I was literally a walking disaster. Alas I had nothing to really back me up. Most people I know are for Weight Watchers and find reasons to argue against my thought process.

Sure I could lose some weight with it, but at what cost? I got good at manipulating my daily and weekly points so that I could still have that venti iced latte or pizza or beer or candy at the end
of the day.

Now what?



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  • Lindsay R - February 21, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    I can relate to so much of what you wrote. It’s because dieting is the worst way to lose weight. Science shows that dieters actually gain more weight overtime than people who don’t diet. Yet, I also keep dieting. <— hard-headed!ReplyCancel

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