As I sit here and eat a chocolate chip cookie with my hot chocolate to get through this week of midterms, I realize that at this point one year ago, I would have sworn away the evils of chocolate, and done away with the sweetness of cookies just with the hopes of getting the ‘perfect body’. For those moments of temporary “happiness” I thought I had achieved in reaching my goal weight, I was nothing but miserable and craved the need for actual foods, and a life that didn’t revolve around strict diets, intense workouts, and complete dissatisfaction.
So many people get caught in this cycle of “dieting”, especially this time of year. With either the failure, continuation, or success of a news years resolution, people are constantly focusing on the newest diets and workout routines that will help them meet that goal. No carbs, extreme fitness, and not being able to enjoy a cupcake when you want to, may be the temporary fix to a long term issue, but the fix doesn’t last. Not to mention, who doesn’t want to enjoy a nice bagel or cupcake when they want to?! But maybe you don’t have to give up the things you love to get to a healthy place. With 2013 behind us, diets are SO last year. At Refinery29, writer Kelsey Miller, created “The Anti-Diet Project” series of articles. Just as it sounds, this is not a diet. She has found ways to incorporate intuitive eating, regular fitness, and mindfulness to enjoy the things she loves, and giving her body what it wants and needs. From what began with one article, has soon turned into an ‘Anti-Diet movement’ with fans responding positively to her new approach to health and happiness. Recently featured on Good Morning America “The Anti-Diet Project” has caught the eye of many. I was lucky enough to interview Kelsey about the project, and bring more insight to all of our Trimzies!
Tyler Okeefe: First and foremost, what provoked you to start this project?
Kelsey Miller: I hit two bottoms at the same time; I was sick of feeling uncomfortable in my body and I was sick of dieting. I was done with it. I realized there had to be a more healthy, logical, and intuitive way.
TO: What makes this ‘Anti-Diet’ different from any other diet out there?
KM: Everything. The only thing it has in common is that it has to do with eating. It is mainly based on intuitive eating, which involves de-programming yourself from dieting. As well as integrating fitness back into your life in a healthy way.
TO: How did you decide to incorporate intuitive eating into it, and why?
KM: I heard about it briefly and it seemed exciting and really natural, using your own common sense kind of approach. It’s about de-programming the diet mentality, and listening to your internal cues, and to trust yourself around food. It seemed like the logical step to anyone that had hit diet-bottom like me.
TO: What are your goals you hope to seek with this project?
KM: First and foremost, to create a neutral relationship with food. I’m getting there but it’s a lot of effort and eating in a new way [mindfully to break those habits]. My other goal is to maintain an everyday fitness integration, whether that means 10,000 steps or gym everyday, or walk around a bit. Of course theres days were I won’t be able to make it to the gym. A reasonable healthy, not all of nothing not good or bad.
TO: What are your primary motivators, that keep you going, and help you continue ‘The Anti-Diet’?
KM: Well my little milestones that I hit along the way are motivating. Thinking back about a year ago, upset with myself, entangled. I don’t think about myself that way now, or with fitness. Its liberating and a relief. You hit a lot of little successes along this path. And all these exciting, impassioned readers that reach out to me, to be with them in this journey is motivating.
TO: Can you describe a typical workout week for yourself?
KM: I go in the morning, usually, especially during the week. Its by my office so its easy. I do about 45 minutes of cardio to an hour in the morning. On days that I don’t go to the gym, I make an effort to be active, whether thats walking around on my break or hitting a certain amount of steps. I’m still a big yoga fan even though I don’t get there as much, but I enjoy it. I like to go biking around the city with my boyfriend as well if it’s nice out.
TO: Have you noticed any changes, in regards to becoming more intuitive with food and your body so far?
KM: Yes certainly! Of course you know you have to be hyperconscious, the more practice the more easily it comes. I used to freak out around french fries. I would not control myself. But eventually I went through a process of practicing, and now they are neutral. In terms of my body, I don’t weigh myself. My trainer weighs me and takes my vitals, but I don’t look at my weight. My blood pressure has gone down, and my vitals have shown results which is what I see. Its not an overnight success and try to remember that everyday.
TO: What has been the highlight of this whole experience so far for you?
KM: I think my little successes. I can’t say enough about them, the milestones. But also, connecting with the audience that reads this. Also, personal emails, of people who struggle with eating disorders or disordered eating, telling me they find real support and community with “The Anti-Diet Project”, with each is great.
TO: Did you expect the ‘Anti-Diet Project’ to receive as much publicity as it has?
KM: I did have a feeling it would resonate. Anytime I write from a place a passion, that is what definitely resonates with readers. This is one of the biggest struggles and successes of my life. I think everyone can relate to many of the subjects I write about. I didn’t have any idea it would get THIS big though.
TO: And how awesome was being on Good Morning America?
KM: I think it was ten days after the first column. It was crazy and thrilling! I’ve never done anything on camera. They were great and it was a great way to get the word out, when most of society is diet centric.
TO: What can we expect from the future of ‘The Anti-Diet Project’?
KM: I’m gonna keep going! I have plenty more things to write about… there are SO many eating, body image and fitness issues. Im definitely going to keep going!
TO: Is there anything else you would like to add or a message you would like to send about this project?
KM: I would say that what I am doing makes me novel because of the certain messages we get everyday from the media. This is acceptable for everyone. You don’t have to go to an institute, you can do it from yourself. Once you do it, you realize how much it sinks in because it’s what your body wants. Its natural. Its not a battle, the way a diet is, where you are trying to adhere to rules and a program. It’s a much more natural progression.
Be sure to check out “The Anti-Diet Project” on Refinery29’s website.