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Today, at 277 lbs (5′11), I’ve decided to stop dieting.

I have been on a diet in one form or another since I was a child, including one severe bout with an eating disorder, throughout which I lost 100 lbs.

After losing all of that weight, I swung in the other direction and gained almost all of it back as a result of binge eating after depriving myself for so long.

I feel like being on a diet has become a familiar, hurtful, and enabling friend. I am constantly walking the line between trying to do what’s healthy for me, while not falling back into the hole of not eating, purging, and hating myself. I know that I need to lose weight, but I am now going to do it on my own terms.

I was previously yo-yo dieting by not eating carbs, and then when I had a run of feeling okay about myself, I would begin eating carbs again and immediately gain the weight back. I constantly felt like I was depriving myself, and the second I let myself eat something that I enjoyed, even if it was an extremely healthy food, I wanted to die. I hated myself, I was a failure.

So, I’m done. I’ve decided to cut meat out of my diet, and while that sounds like a diet plan, to me it isn’t. I was vegan for a year and a half, and felt better than I ever did in my life. So, that’s just a personal choice that I’m making. I know weight loss will not come with this diet unless I actively work out and give my body what it needs.

I plan to live mindfully. I will eat only as much as my body needs. I will stay active to keep my heart and bones healthy. I will allow myself to enjoy living, again. I will continue to post my thoughts on body positivity, whether I’m feeling good about myself that day or not. And I know this is going to be a struggle for me. But I’m ready to begin living. I’m ready to let go of the words “I can’t, I’m on a diet.” And I’m ready to stop apologizing.

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