I refuse to diet, as a diet is traditionally known.
Google says that diet means “Restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.”
I have done it in the past, and I refuse to do it again (at least, I’ll try not to do it again). A diet is effective so long as you maintain that level of calorie income/burn in order to maintain the weight loss. However, once a diet is done, people generally take it to mean that they can return back to their old eating habits.
That is why I object to “dieting.”
I object, because the talk about dieting creates a false concept that food is evil, and we must abstain from it. I say, it’s only evil insomuch as it’s over- and/or under-consumed. Things are good in moderation. That’s the key word. Moderation. For example, you don’t have to completely abstain from chocolate; it’s okay in moderation. You don’t need to exercise 5 hours a day–just exercise in moderation.
I object, because dieting seems to go hand-in-hand with an unhealthy body image. I used to diet even when I was 135lbs, because I had a paunchy stomach. By which I mean, it stuck out when I sat down. And how did I get to 135lbs when I was in college? By eating very little. I dieted. I lost weight quickly. I would make a PBJ sandwich, and eat half for lunch, half for dinner, and I drank water, and I ignored my hunger. Sometimes I had a snack.
I object to dieting, because it sets a bad example for our children. My dad’s starvation/binging cycle, and my mom and my talk about calories and dieting and being fat I think contributed to my little sister bursting into tears one day, saying, “I’m too fat!” She was 5 or 6 at the time. It was an eye opener, and our family began focusing for the most part on eating healthy. Food is inherently good–it’s just how it’s used or unused can make it bad.
Dieting is like a cop-out to eating healthy. You want to keep your old, bad eating habits? Diet for a few weeks, lose that 10 lbs. I guarantee you’ll gain it right back when you revert to your pre-diet eating habits.
Just eat healthy, and eat in moderation. Include sweets as treats. (Remember, they’re treats.) And exercise. Get up and get moving. You don’t need to run a marathon (although I will admit that goal is a motivator for me). Just move around. Walking around a museum counts. Swimming. Biking.
Transition to a healthier diet in moderation, too, might I add. Slowly replace chips with carrots. Slowly cut back on eating out. Walk a little more every week until it becomes a new habit. Things like that.
That’s what I’m working on.
I gained a fair bit of weight during the years of transition and of crushing depression. First major depression = 10 lbs. Moving depression and stress = 10 lbs. 2nd major depression = 10 lbs. I hover just below 170lbs now, on a 5’5″ frame. Sweets and food in general were salves for depression. And I had absolutely no energy to get up and walk, let alone get up and change my clothes during the depths. I still struggle with all of this.
It’s a process, transitioning to a healthier mindset, healthier body image, healthier eating and exercising habits, and it’s not going to change overnight. You’re going to fall sometimes. Pick yourself up, and try again. Never stop trying to be a healthier YOU.
We’re all on this same journey.
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