- Judy Garland’s diet made her GAIN weight
- Over 30 million American’s make this same mistake
- Judy Garland’s diet highlights WHY a rainbow of nutrients helps you lose weight naturally
Judy Garland’s diet is a Masterclass in WHY you need to meet your body’s needs to lose weight
The Wizard of Oz is one of the first movies I remember watching.
I loved Dorothy and all the brainy, big-hearted and courageous characters she met along the way.
Sitting on a sofa in the safety of our family room I went along for the bumpy ride, from Munchkinland to the Emerald City… by following the yellow brick road.
And I was just as scared as Dorothy was, of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Sadly, Judy Garland’s real life was also full of ups and downs.
And when you look a little deeper, you see she was on a rocky road right from the start.
Judy Garland’s secret life
Judy was incredibly talented; she first performed at 2 years old. And she was the toast of Tinseltown in the 1930’s and 40’s. But behind the scenes Judy lived a COMPLETELY different life.
- was medicated by her mother, starting at the age of 8, so Judy could work longer hours
- became popular because she DIDN’T look like your average Hollywood starlet (she was just 4″11)
- was “robbed blind” by her manager who embezzled her money
- has 3 children & one is Liza Minnelli
- was friends with JFK & always ended their phone calls by singing the first few bars of Over The Rainbow
- married 5 times
- died at the age of 47
On top of everything she went through, an unhealthy relationship with food was FORCED on Judy Garland at a young age.
And just like Amy Winehouse, Judy’s disordered eating played a part in her death (reported forensic pathologist Jason Payne-James).
…I didn’t know any of these facts before writing this post.
A publicity still of Judy Garland from MGM used in conjunction with promotion of The Harvey Girls (1946) – source wikipedia
Judy Garland dieted all her life
Judy had a complicated relationship with food. And it’s well documented.
Judy Garland’s diet at 14 years old:
MGM Studios put Judy on her first diet. They told her she looked like “a fat little pig with pigtails.” Both Judy’s mother and MGM Studios supplied her with diet pills.
The studio demanded she diet constantly. They even went so far as to serve her only a bowl of soup and a plate of lettuce when she ordered a regular meal.— Judy Garland: Ugly Duckling, by Anne H. Petersen
Judy Garland’s diet at 16 years old:
Judy was given tobacco to suppress her appetite while shooting The Wizard of Oz. And the studio made notes every time she ate between scenes, gained weight or needed her dress altered.
Judy Garland’s diet at 18 years old:
Judy’s manager put her on a chicken stock, black coffee & 80 cigarettes-per-day diet. Plus appetite-suppressant pills every 4 hours.
Judy Garland’s diet triggered extremes
By 28 years old, Judy was either filling up on spaghetti Alfredo, cheeseburgers and chocolate sundaes or going for long periods of eating nothing at all.
Most of her teen and adult life, she had been on either Benzedrine or a diet or both.— Sid Luft, Judy Garland's 3rd husband
Her dress size wavered between 6 and 14 and her weight between 80 and 180 pounds.
…Judy Garland reminds me of another woman I love, Gilda Radner.
Gilda’s mother also put her on a diet when she was just a kid which lead to a lifetime of being on and off diets.
Judy Garland’s attempts to lose weight teach us…
To stop yo-yo dieting.
Judy’s eating patterns highlight what NOT to do, to lose weight.
Restrictive eating makes you so hungry you can’t think of anything else… which can lead to bingeing and then purging via exercise, taking laxatives or vomiting.
ALL these behaviours confuse your body, slow down your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight… or do anything else that matters to you.
Like how can you:
- carry on a meaningful conversation with a friend
- study the periodic table
- put together a proposal to share with your team
- have fun on a date
- train for an upcoming road race
…if you’re starving, bingeing & purging?
Judy Garland (and binge eating) is misunderstood
While learning more about Judy’s disordered eating, I came across a recent article, in a popular magazine (that shall remain nameless.)
Garland’s love for food didn’t help. Luft detailed her fondness for hearty meals — chowing down on comfort foods like spaghetti…
Whereas other sources UNDERSTAND Judy Garland’s eating patterns:
Because her calories were so restricted – executives would go so far as to remove a plateful of food when she was about to eat it – she was permanently hungry and fantasized wildly about such things as a chocolate sundae with pecan nuts and whipped cream. Still a child, she fell into habits of starving and bingeing.
– The Telegraph
Desperately Seeking a Donut
These Judy Garland stories remind me of high school when I ONLY ate ultra low-fat food (and very little of it). There was this chocolate donut at my school’s cafeteria. Before I started dieting I NEVER craved any type of food. But all through high school—my first 5 years of dieting—I wanted that d*mn chocolate donut. Finally on the last day of Grade 13, when I knew it was NOW or NEVER, I bought the donut to share with a friend and it was stale as F. I felt like I was biting into a brick. Even if it was fab-U-lous…. the bottom line is: Restricting what you eat, makes you fantasize about food.
Even if your eating patterns aren’t as severe as Judy Garland’s diet…
works against you
body and mind.
Sadly, Judy Garland’s struggle with weight isn’t unique
Over 30 million people have disordered eating in the United States alone.
Dieting leads to taking extremes (eating a little and then eating a lot) and gaining MORE weight.
For 10 long years I was just like Judy (minus the ruby slippers and sensational voice).
I lost and RE-GAINED 30 pounds, hundreds of times.
…Toto has lots to say about that:
Let me translate:
How Judy Garland could have lost weight FOR GOOD
If EVERYBODY had stopped jerking Judy’s body and mind around with:
- diet pills
- appetite suppressants, like tobacco
- restrictive diets, like only eating soup for days
- intense scrutiny over what she ate
- belittling her and calling her names
And INSTEAD focused on meeting her body’s needs, regularly, by getting her in the habit of eating:
ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods
Judy Garland would’ve NATURALLY reached and maintained a healthy weight… without feeling hungry.
When your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are made of natural foods in proportion to the Eatwell Guide, you consume a rainbow of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and the energy your body needs to function properly.
And they’re PACKED with fiber.
Which is key!
Because fiber helps you lose weight.
Above is a Judy Garland-approved picture
It’s from Step 2 (of 3) in my weight-loss book.
There I explain how easy it was to reach a healthy weight naturally when I finally UNDERSTOOD what healthy eating and exercise ACTUALLY look like.
(Hint: It’s NOT diet food or low-fat food or hitting the gym every day! And it doesn’t just exist in a lullaby. In fact… I was SHOCKED that I lost weight when I ate more and exercised less.)
When you meet your body’s needs with natural food,
you fill up naturally
& lose weight naturally.
Whereas processed foods are made of artificial ingredients that get you eating more than you need.
Do you remember this junk-food jingle?: Once you pop you can’t stop!
[Answer at the end of this post.]
This junk food, factory food, processed food, empty calorie food… or whatever you want to call it, is telling you the truth.
Food packed with artificial ingredients keep you wanting MORE.
You don’t need a fancy diet or exercise routine to lose weight
Just like the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion, who all realized at the end of their journey that the attributes they sought outside of themselves were within them all along… like they all had HUGE hearts, brains and courage…
Reaching a healthy weight is within you too!
You simply need the:
COURAGE to try something new,
HEART to be kind to yourself by making health a priority
BRAIN to stay away from gimmicky diets, that lead to yo-yo dieting
Focus on building healthy habits that work for YOU.
You don’t lack willpower—you just need the right information.
The Diet Industry is the OZ of the weight-loss world
We’re conditioned to believe weight loss is HARD.
Years before I even gained weight I thought weight loss took monumental willpower and extreme exercise.
The Wizard stalls in fulfilling his promises, until Toto pulls back a curtain and exposes the 'Wizard' as a middle-aged man operating machinery and speaking into a microphone— Wikipedia
It wasn’t until I was so broken (after 10 years of obsessive dieting) that I threw my hands in the air and decided to turn my back on diets and get on with my life. And that’s when I learned the truth:
Losing weight is NOT the big, scary beast it’s made out to be.
In other words, you don’t have to do anything crazy to lose weight.
You don’t have to go hungry or be disciplined or eat different food from your friends to lose weight FOR GOOD.
Judy Garland is likely the last person who would really say:
“There’s no place like home.”
Judy reportedly called her mother: the real Wicked Witch of the West.
Everything about Judy Garland just makes you want to take her far away from all the chaos and give her a hug, and the chance to live a healthy life full of love.
…But since we can’t do that, one of the best ways to honour Judy Garland is to learn from her experience.
When you’re kind to your body, your body will thank you.
We’re so lucky
We live in a time where we can talk openly about disordered eating, drug and alcohol use disorders, workaholism, and all the other barriers so many beautiful people face. Talking is the start of recovery and living an even more enriched life. Not in spite of our difficult experience. But because of it. You can get healthy and live a spectacular life.
Make Today Count
Make one change TODAY to improve your eating habits.
- Put full-fat milk in your coffee
- Eat a banana as a snack, next time you’re hungry
- Add a fresh vegetable to your dinner
- Toss your salad with a full-fat salad dressing made with natural ingredients
- Eat dessert intentionally… to break the extreme of either depriving yourself or bingeing
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
Next Steps to learn from Judy Garland’s Diet
Are you wondering if you’re jerking your body around?
Unsure if you’re yo yo dieting?
Thinking you might be putting your body through extremes?
Get my ONE DAY Meal Plan.
It’s an example of what I eat every day that got me on the right track after 10 years of obsessive dieting…
And it takes just 60 seconds to read!
OK… here’s the Judy trailer:
ANSWER: Once you pop you can’t stop! is the Pringle Jingle… those beyond-processed potato chips that come in a tube.
(It’s still ok to eat them as a treat once in a while!)
Pringles has revised their tagline:
“Once you pop, the fun don’t stop.”
Hmmm… wonder why they want to distance themselves from the “you can’t stop!” part of their slogan?(!)
What part of Judy Garland’s complicated relationship with food resonated with you the most?
Starving yourself for periods of time?
Fixating on food because you’ve been hungry for so long?
Smoking instead of eating?
Let me know in the comments below!
What’s one change you can make this week (and no change is too small) that will help break dieting extremes like restricting and bingeing.
Check out my ONE DAY Meal Plan for ideas ↓↓↓
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it