It's with very mixed feelings that I write this entry.
You could say that my experiment has been a success.
For some reason I had a look at an old diet board that I used to post in years ago. Some of my old posts were still there, including the ubiquitous start weight/current weight/goal weight statistics that are appended to profiles on diet message boards. All of the weights I'd put in seemed tiny to me now. Although those posts marked a period of successful weight loss, they also marked the start of my serious weight gain. It was after that point that I "ballooned" as the Daily Mail likes to put it. I won't say at this point what diet I was on, and what diet I changed to (following advice about a health problem I had) as I don't know if it's relevant.
When I started this blog in 2008 I was the fattest I had ever been, but had decided to stop dieting. By 2012, I had put on .... no weight at all. NOT dieting appeared to halt my weight gain, and my weight remained steady (within a few pounds) for several years. It appears that like many people, I gained weight, overall, while I was dieting. When I stopped dieting, I stopped gaining weight.
There are other benefits, of course. I can eat "normally" and enjoy my food, without spending too much time thinking about it. I can live in the "now" instead of waiting for a slimmer time. I'm reasonably happy with my body. I've stuck with much the same bra size and clothes size so I haven't minded investing in attractive clothes which fit. Most of all, I don't feel like I have an eating disorder.
So the "experiment" (not dieting) worked beautifully. My weight has been stable and there have been added benefits.
The mixed feelings? Possibly against my better judgment, I think I now do want to lose some weight. I probably need a whole new post to explain why, but I have some health concerns. I'm not convinced that losing weight will help with those concerns but I'm not sure I can continue to hold out against current medical advice. Reluctantly, I'm looking at upsetting the status quo and going back down the diet route (you know, the route that made me gain weight before?). Wish me luck!