Diets are something that a person can either really relate to, or not understand at all. Some swear by them and live every day of their lives on whichever diet it is that works for them, while others don’t want to do one, speak about one or even hear of one. With such a stigma around diets, its no wonder that people can feel awkward talking about them, and I am no exception. Whether you’re big or small, for dieting or against dieting, there will always be somebody that disagrees with you, which can send your confidence plummeting with one single comment. After years of having people disagree with how I see my body and the things I do to try and change it, I figured it was time to explain why I find talking about dieting so painfully awkward. First of all, let’s define the two types of diets.
Crash dieting & fad diets
It’s this kind of dieting that gives the whole thing a bad name. Not all diets are good, despite what some people might say. For instance cutting your calories dramatically, working out multiple times per day so you ‘can eat what you want’ or cutting out a handful of food groups without any real reason for it are all perfect examples of the bad kind of diets. They work for some people, granted, but I can honestly say that I’ve never met a person who crash diets, who is happy, and considers their diet sustainable.
The good kind of ‘dieting’
Eating nutritious foods, working out, keeping yourself hydrated and not doing anything drastic with your diet is what most consider to be the good kind of ‘dieting’, except it’s not dieting at all. It’s a healthy lifestyle lead with brilliant intentions. The difference? You won’t see any miserable, food deprived people who do this, as opposed to those who embark on fad diet after fad diet. The only problem is that this is equally as mentally testing because it’s down to you to say no to the things you know you shouldn’t consume, there’s literally no script to follow, however the end results and long term changes are far more rewarding that what you’d feel after following a fad diet.
The definition of ‘diet’
“Diet: The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”. Now this is what diet actually means, which somebody rightly reminded me off the other day. If you google ‘definition of diet’, this is what comes up. More importantly, this comes up before the bit that says “a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons”. God forbid if you say you’re eating healthily, someone will say “oh, so you’re on a diet”. Everyone is on a diet, essentially, because a diet is literally just food consumption in general. If you say you’re diet-ing, then I would say that people are okay to assume you’re doing something a little more drastic. Just to clear that up…
Where diet talk can become a battle
Talking about your body and what you choose to feed it is a touchy subject for so many people, which I honestly believe is the root cause of the negativity that dieting holds. If someone says they’re fat, you can guarantee someone will say “oh please, you’re not fat”, or someone might say they enjoy eating healthily, and no doubt someone will say “what, you enjoy eating rabbit food?”. No matter what you say or how you say it, someone will find a reason to attack. For me, it’s that “I don’t need to lose weight”. First of all, I know I don’t. Secondly, would you have still said that a year or two ago when I weighted over a stone more? And thirdly, why is it your business? Whilst it is essentially a huge compliment, it makes me feel worse. I feel sorry for feeling the way I do, I begin to question if I do actually want to look the way I thought I did, and a part of me also feels upset knowing that this person doesn’t agree with me, or perhaps I might have even upset them merely by suggesting that I didn’t like my body in the first place.
I opened up about my weight/body issues in this post which, on the whole, got an amazing response. That said, I also got some really nasty messages, saying that I was an embarrassment, I clearly had no concept of weight and “how dare I say that when there are people with real weight issues out there”. All I’ll say is that we each have our own views on our own bodies, and you don’t need anyone to tell you otherwise, unless of course you are in danger, which I am not. You know what you want for your body, and it’s wrong of people to assume how you feel. I know I’m not fat, but I dislike my shape. I know I ate well before, but you didn’t see the binge eating every night. If I was parading around London protesting about this matter then fine, verbally abuse me, but I simply wrote my own opinions on my own blog. The way I look at it is that those people didn’t have to read it, but they did, so clearly something intrigued them.
Am I dieting right now?
So you may know that I am currently following the SSS 90 Day Plan by The Body Coach. Some look at this as a diet, others don’t. When I began this plan I thought “no, this isn’t a diet, it’s a healthy lifestyle change”. Right now I am almost eight weeks into this twelve week process, and at this moment in time I would say that yes, it is a diet. It’s not supposed to be considered that because you’re eating plenty of amazing food in huge portions, and doing really challenging workouts – but at the end of the day I’m eating certain things at certain times, following strict instructions and eliminating all bad foods. That to me is a diet. The plan works and I have overcome huge hurdles already at only half way through the full process, but it’s not been a piece of cake. I’ve cried, I’ve struggled, I’ve stropped and I’ve almost given up. Having done diets in the past, I know what ‘dieting’ feels like, and while this is the best one I’ve ever done, it’s still not perfect. The positive side? The things that this plan teaches you enable you to move forward and make progress, even when you’re no longer on the plan, which is something that the 5:2 diet, the Atkins diet and calorie counting via My Fitness Pal would not allow me to do.
A few final thoughts on diets
I am not anti-diet whatsoever, but I know that dieting is not a permanent option for me in my life. I can do it up until Christmas, as planned, but from then on, it’s down to me to make my own, sensible choices. I plan to eat well 90% of the time, but I also refuse to eliminate the things I love. Life is too short! Instead, I will limit them. If I can go eight weeks with only one ‘cheat meal’, then I have no excuse not to achieve even bigger and better things within the world of food and exercise in months to come. So in summary, no, I’m not doing some crazy diet, I’m not starving myself, I’m not unhappy, I know I’m not fat, I don’t want to lose weight, and I like eating healthily. Finally, I’m making changes which I’ve tried to do for four years. It turns out that as long as you pick the right diet, you will do well, no matter what people think or say.
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