We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us why they decided to stop trying to lose weight. Here’s what they said.
Just a quick disclaimer! Bodies are different but so are people's relationships to them. Some of what people shared might resonate, other stuff may not. None of these should be considered tips or advice for everyone across the board. You (and only you) know what's best for your mental and physical health!
1. Because hitting that goal weight didn't magically make them happy.
2. Because they realized that self-acceptance should be step one.
"I put myself on a very strict diet/exercise regimen for a year before my wedding, and I hated every second of it. I lost 35 pounds, but I realized I still didn't like the way I looked. I realized I needed to focus on liking who I am and stop with the food anxiety."
—Jennifer Job, Facebook
3. Because being on a constant diet was causing them to miss out on life.
"I realized that my dieting had caused me to become even more withdrawn from the world than my depression had because of how fearful I was of eating a 'bad' or 'off limits' type of food. Socially, the diets that I attempted caused me to suffer. I even missed family events because I wasn't at my goal weight, and I wasn't ready for judgment yet. Dieting only made me feel more depressed and more desperate for a binge to comfort me. It can be severely damaging."
—Laura Hill, Facebook
4. Because they just had enough of the diet industry.
5. Because they realized their dieting was becoming obsessive and disordered.
"My 'dieting' was extremely unhealthy. I became obsessive over my weight, even though I was absolutely fine where I was before I became anorexic. There's a difference between dieting for a healthy lifestyle, and starving yourself to achieve a better body."
—Emma Demerath, Facebook
6. Because if they felt good and healthy, that was enough for them.
"After worrying about weight and diet for the entire decade of my teens, I realized that as long as I felt good and my doctor confirmed I was in good health, there was no reason for me to try and attain a certain look or weight goal. I buy clothes that fit me and make me feel good and do my best to ignore the social stigma behind wearing XL and 14-18 sized garments.
"Last summer I threw away my bathroom scale and it was so cathartic!"
—Alicia Joan Little, Facebook
7. Because they loved how their body mods looked.
8. Because calorie counting took over their life.
"I was visiting a restaurant with my family, and none of the entrees at this restaurant were listed on my dieting app; when I asked for nutritional information, the waiter said they had run out of those menus, and I actually snapped at a server for the first time in my life. I spent the next 20 minutes before we ordered frantically googling calorie counts for any entree on the menu. I worked myself up nearly to tears and then looked up and realized I had been ignoring my family the entire time over nothing."
—Alex Merry Asal, Facebook
9. Because they felt like no matter how much they lost, it would never be enough.
"I could've lost a million pounds and nothing would ever be enough. My eating disorder was never satisfied with me. Now I am slowly integrating my favorite foods back into my meal plan, learning how to taste food, learning how to truly laugh and truly love again. I'd take this over my eating disorder any day."
—Jule Rotella, Facebook
10. Because they wanted out of the cycle of stress and self-punishment dieting put them in.
11. Because they wanted to prioritize how their body feels.
"After having two kids, I spent a while trying to get back to my pre-baby weight. I knew I felt attractive before, so aimed to get to that number. I got a little obsessed with the number and forgot to really absorb how my body felt and how my husband responded to it. Being pregnant really helped me appreciate being able to tie my shoelaces and run for the bus, so now I feel amazing. Pregnancy and forgetting that number has put me more in tune with my body and made sex better."
12. Because they realized they were only doing it to please other people.
"My healthy weight is around 150. My senior year of high school I was down to 120. The dramatic weight loss was due to anxiety, but also an abusive relationship—he ridiculed my body constantly. It took a long time for me to realize how unhealthy that was. Looking back at pictures from that time makes me cringe. It's incredibly obvious I was struggling with my appearance.
"Three years later, I'm in a healthy relationship with a guy who tells me how beautiful I am every day. There is zero food shaming. If I want to eat ice cream after having pizza, I do and I don't feel bad about it. I exercise and eat fairly healthy, but I haven't stepped on a scale in a long time. I'm happy with how I look. If someone thinks I'm too big, that's their problem. They aren't living in this body."
13. Because it was becoming a burden on their relationship.
14. Because having to cut weight interfered with their love of the sport.
"I started to diet when I had to drop weight for a powerlifting competition and it was then that I realized the suffering some people go through every day to try and 'look better' or 'feel better.' I go to the gym regularly, but I will never diet again because it took away from the joy I had for the sport. In the end just do what makes you happy. Don't diet because you think you need to. You are beautiful."
15. Because their body was like "Nope."
16. Because it was becoming a problem for their mental health and wellness.
"I don't diet because it's bad for my mental health and general wellbeing. The women in my life growing up were always restricting and talking badly about themselves. My grandmother died due to complications from anorexia. I don't want that life. I struggle sometimes, but I have a good support system and try to talk about myself in positive terms. I also don't assign moral value to the food I eat."
17. Because if it's good enough for Melissa McCarthy...
"Being on a diet made me feel so much worse about myself, worse than I had ever felt when I was overweight. It wasn't until I read a Melissa McCarthy interview where she talked about how she ditched the scale and the strict diet and focused on just making healthy choices. Thanks Melissa :)"
18. Because they accepted that there's no wrong way to have a body.
"I stopped trying to lose weight because it was damaging to my self-esteem. I'm more comfortable with myself now and I've accepted that bodies come in all shapes and sizes."
19. Because they wanted their kid to be exposed to a parent with a positive body image.
20. Because it made managing mental health tougher.
"I stopped dieting because it was making my mental illnesses even worse. I've suffered from anxiety and depression for over five years and trying to change how I looked by depriving myself from the food that I like, and not accepting myself, was making it all worse. I'm a chubby girl now, but I've never been happier."
21. Because they fell in love with their body's natural shape.
"I stopped dieting when I looked at my mom and my grandma and they looked like me. It's in my genes to be a curvy woman so I embraced it and anyone who has a problem with my weight can go f themselves."
22. Because they found the concept of health at every size pretty compelling.
23. Because it made them hyper-aware and maybe judgmental about how other people eat.
"I began to judge what other people ate, and their body types, without even realizing how much of a hungry asshole i had become, and I became overall obsessed. I don't miss it, and neither does my doctor."
24. Because they wanted to see themselves as a "yummy mummy," instead of obsessing about baby weight.
"I gained about 50 pounds during my pregnancy. And though I lost most of it, I felt myself being overwhelmed with the thought of losing ALL of my 'baby weight.' It almost became an obsession. It consumed my everything, I was wrought with frustration against myself, and I was always battling with the body I saw in the mirror. Then one day I just realized that I will never be 25 again. After all, I had given life to another human being!
"So instead I decided to embrace my newfound curves and rock them instead. I decided to enjoy life rather than fight a daily battle. I am now confident in my image and see myself as a yummy mummy!"
25. Because they struggled to do it in a psychologically healthy way.
26. And because they realized that mainstream beauty standards don't define their potential or worth.
"I thought maybe eating is better than 'dieting' and looking slim. You only live once, right? I'd rather spend it eating and being happy than not eating and trying to live up to society's standards; which, btw, have no effect on my potential or happiness of life ultimately. :)"
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.