I started dieting when I was about 13 and I weighed 130 lbs. I tried following a diet in a Vogue “health” book that my stepmum had lying around. (It said that when you held your legs together there should be space between your thighs and between your calves. Since my thighs would chafe if I didn’t wear long shorts when I weighed 85 lbs and hadn’t yet hit puberty, I don’t think that this was an option.)

I would fill pages with plans for my next diet and projections of how much I’d weigh on which dates if I followed it.

In my early 20s, my weight climbed above 190 and I started weight watchers. I was a university student and really couldn’t afford it, but I lost 17 lbs before I needed to quit for financial reasons.

Shortly after, I started reading fat acceptance books like No Fat Chicks: How Big Business Profits by Making Women Hate Their Bodies — And How to Fight Back. Given the low success rate of all the diets I’d heard of, I quit dieting and did my best to stay healthy with good food and exercise and feel good about myself with well-fitting clothes.

I started a higher-stress job last year and my weight climbed from about 220 to almost 250. I joined TOPS to try to motivate myself to cut back on sweets and get a bit more exercise in the hopes that I’d eventually get closer to 220. I’m very lucky that my weight hasn’t held me back – I trampoline, curl, dance, hike, etc.

When someone in my group told us about Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It, I was skeptical but I read it to try to understand. The idea that excess fat storage is caused by excess insulin seemed a lot more consistent with my observations of the people I know than the idea that excess calories alone cause people to be overweight.

Anyway, I don’t see much point in losing weight that I’m just going to gain back, but eating low-carbohydrate but being able to follow my appetite seems very sustainable to me. I just need to get over my embarrassment at admitting that I’m on a diet.

Last night, I was reading recipes on Your Lighter Side. I tried the Minute Microwave Cheesecake. (I used 12 drops of vanilla stevia drops instead of the vanilla and sugar replacement sub.) It wasn’t to my tastes – I like the baked texture of cheesecake – but it was a filling before-bed snack.