Diet School Dropout

Last week, during her Body Love Breakthrough Session*, my new client shared the pain she’d experienced by spending her life going on and off diets.

She told me, “I feel like I’ve been in diet school my whole life. When do I get to graduate?”

When she said that, it really blew my mind. How many years had I and nearly all of my clients and blog readers spent in “diet school?” I know that I’ve personally taken Restricting Calories 101, Advanced Techniques In Freaking Out About .4 Pounds, Workshops On Why It’s My Fault and Not The Diet’s, and so on. I’ve studied every diet plan in depth, from Weight Watchers to Atkins to Chew A Lot Of Gum and Ignore Your Hunger. If there were such a thing as diet school, I should have multiple PhDs by now.

Diet School Dropout Report Card
My Final Diet School Report Card (Image by Golda Poretsky)

But that’s the thing about Diet School. You can never graduate. Diet school doesn’t actually lead to thinness for the vast majority of its students. All you really learn is to hate your body and completely destroy any possibility of a normal relationship with food.

Nearly everyone fails Diet School. The statistics are grim — somewhere between 85-95% of dieters gain back all the weight they lose, and add on more, within 2-5 years of losing the weight. And Diet School is so good at convincing you that your failure is your fault and not theirs that they convince you to re-enroll, for a fee, yet again.

Here’s a statistic that you definitely won’t learn in Diet School. In 2010, Americans spent $60.9 billion on diets and diet products. That same year, as Marilyn Wann has noted in her blog, Americans spent $50 billion on 2 and 4 year colleges. In other words, we collectively pay more to learn dieting than to get bachelor’s degrees.

So here’s what I propose. Let’s stop paying for Diet School and let’s do the only responsible thing: DROPOUT. Let’s stop the vicious cycle of going on a diet, losing some weight, gaining it back, starting again. Let’s stop the cycle of paying our Diet School tuition again and again only to be told that our failure is our fault. Let’s thumb our noses at an establishment that is doing us harm, allegedly, “for our own good.”

Are you a Diet School Dropout? Thinking of joining our ragtag group? Let me know all about it in the comments section below or on my facebook page.

*A Body Love Breakthrough Session is a free session with me where we explore any issues you’re having with food and body image. If you’ve never had one, click here to get yours. I’ve opened up 5 spots just for blog readers!

Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. Go to to get your free download – Golda’s Top Ten Tips For Divine Dining!

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