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The D-word


For so long I would start and stop diets.  I would get it into my mind that I’d had enough with the way I looked and start some radical diet to get rid of the weight.  I would cut out everything and eat the same meal every day…pretty much.  I was eating a Cheerios with skim for breakfast, salad with light ranch for lunch and grilled chicken with broccoli and brown rice for dinner pretty much everyday.  I figured that if I ate the same thing everyday there was no room for error.  I had to lose weight, right?  WRONG!

The problem with my diet mentality was that I got bored very quickly and gave up.  It wasn’t my fault when it didn’t work…it was the diet’s fault.  There was no way to lose weight when I couldn’t eat the stuff I wanted.  I wanted dessert, I wanted pasta, I wanted it all.  And let’s face it diets don’t let you eat anything.  It no wonder diets always fail.  I mean look at the list of different diets that are out there…Atkins, South Beach, 5 Factor, Sugar Busters, Slim Fast…the list goes on and on.  They all are restrictive in so many ways and in so many different ways.  And I couldn’t stick to any of them…I’ve tried almost all of them.

And then I learned what diet actually meant.  Websters defines it as 1 a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed b : habitual nourishment.  Of course they have a third definition about going on a diet but it is low man on the totem pole.  A traditional diet has nothing to do with crazy food plans, starving yourself or not enjoying your food.  It just has to do with food.  Heck if I decided to eat cupcakes everyday all day that would be considered a diet…not an effective weight loss diet but a diet none the less.  So why do we think that going on a diet means we can’t enjoy food.

Over time (and I’ll admit it took awhile) I’ve learned that a diet is not something I go on and off of.  That would mean I would have to stop eating and you know I’m not doing that.  Instead I had to learn to modify my diet to enjoy the stuff I wanted in a healthy way.  It was moderation…I could enjoy cupcakes just not all day every day.  It could all fit in I just had to learn in what proportions.

Now of course my diet is drastically different now due to medical issues but even that has been learning that it is about learning to enjoy habitual nourishment.  Diet isn’t the dreaded D-word.  Diet is part of your lifestyle and you have to choose how you want to incorporate it.  Enjoy your food instead of feeling trapped by it and waiting to go back to prior habits.

Do you live in the diet mentality?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/06/2010 4:12 PM

    I’m interested in learning the history of the word. at what point in time did diet stop meaning “what you are putting in your body” and start meaning “something i go ‘on’ and restrict myself from certain things?

    I think in the healthy living blogger community, we often read opinion essays “against diets” – but you are right – the word DIET actually means what you eat/drink.

    My diet consists of whole foods. and not so whole foods too. In the last week, my diet consisted of LOTS of red wine. and lots of soy lattes. and lots of vegetables.

    I don’t know when the switch was for me.
    When did i stop saying i was “on a diet” and start saying “eating cleaner/differently/better.” i’m intrigued by this.

    • 06/06/2010 10:08 PM

      I know I always wondered when that change was made.

      For me I made the change in my thinking when I had to start eating for my health and not just trying to lose weight. When it was about not being ill instead of sick.


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