So many people ask "What diet did you do? How did you lose the weight?"
I didn't "put myself on a diet". I changed my lifestyle. Putting yourself on a diet implies a plan with an end. You can't "diet" forever, and once the diet is over, even if you did see some success... you will inevitably gain your weight back (and often times even more).
That is why I hate the word "diet". It should be associated with what you eat in general... Instead, it is associated with a temporary change with limitations and rules. It's ridiculous! I'm not speaking out of my ass, either - I've done "diets" in the past. I lost nearly 40 lbs by doing a slightly modified version of Atkins before my wedding in 2004, going from 210 to 172. And I will admit - I felt great. It was wonderful. The problem was, it was impossible to maintain. Even the "maintenance" phase was just not realistic for me in the long term. Plus, my whole journey was centered around losing weight for my wedding, and there was no focus on simply getting healthy. So of course it was temporary. I gained 30 lbs back over the next couple of years. Then I got pregnant and gained another 60! Obviously, that "diet" was successful in the short term...but certainly not for the long term, which is what really matters. I am not saying that absolutely nobody will have or has had success with diets including Atkins. I know there are success stories...but they are not as common as the marketers of the diets would have you believe.
How helpful is it to say "I cannot eat carbs ever again!" Or "Chocolate is off-limits for the next 3 months while I get ready for bikini season!". No! It doesn't have to be that way! Just make overall healthier choices. You can even have a little chocolate - just learn to not go overboard. Be active. Eat a balanced diet and pay attention to portion sizes, especially when you are indulging a little.
Don't put yourself on a diet. Put yourself on a mission to learn about food and make overall good choices that you can maintain for the rest of your life!
I love the saying "Eat to live, don't live to eat". For me, I think changing that mindset has been a huge challenge. It still is. It might always be (thanks to that pesky inner fatty that I've discussed before). But it is so important. You want to eat foods that are healthy and will fuel your body to be the best it can be (and I'm not just talking physically!).
Screw the diets. This can't be a temporary fix or change. It has to be permanent! It has to be about your whole lifestyle. And you CAN do it.