If you’re looking for ways to lose weight, there is no shortage of information on the topic you can get from a simple Google search. The overload of “advice” and diet plans out there can leave a well-meaning person struggling to drop weight because they don’t know what will work best for them as an individual.
This is exactly what happened to Molly Carmel. Since she was a child she struggled with her weight and spent years yo-yo dieting before she finally found a lifestyle that worked for her and her body.
Molly told the TODAY show that she was put on her first diet at only seven-years-old. From then on, she went through the all-too-familiar cycle of dieting/restricting, losing weight, “failing” at the diet, gaining weight, feeling defeated, and on and on.
By the time she was in her 20’s, she reached her highest weight. At only 5’7, she weighed 325 pounds. It wasn’t just the number on the scale that bothered her, it was how she felt. She couldn’t bend over to tie her shoes, she’d lose her breath from just walking a few steps, and became so unhappy that she withdrew from friends and social activities.
After undergoing bariatric surgery, only to eventually gain the weight back, Molly figured out that her weight had more to do with behavioral habits than biology. She told the TODAY show, “[Sugar] was my great love… I thought it was my solution when it was really my problem.”
Molly took a look at her habits and lifestyle and realized how much she relied on sugar as an emotional crutch. She said, “It soothed me, it numbed me, it comforted me”. After figuring this out, and doing a lot of research, she decided the best option for her was to stick to a diet without sugar.
Molly dropped down to 150 pounds thanks to her new lifestyle. After becoming so self-aware about her own habits, Molly founded a treatment center for binge eating and food addiction where she works with patients struggling the same way she once did.
Experts, particularly those in the eating disorder treatment industry, have found that restrictive diets don’t work, despite what diet culture may have you believe. Molly acknowledges this, however, she’s discovered what works for her as an individual is cutting out sugar.
Molly’s weight loss is a story of reflection and looking inward to find the root of her weight-gain, in terms of her behavior as well as in terms of specific foods. Her relationship with herself and food has never been better because of this self-awareness, which isn’t something she ever got from fad diets.
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