Let’s talk about the word diet.
If you were to walk by a news stand or check out at Target (like I do every week), it’s highly likely you will see a magazine cover with some diet promotion. When I think of a diet, I think of restricting or eliminating foods that are “bad.” I personally have tried almost every diet on the market over the last decade and my conclusion is that I DO NOT recommend going on a diet.
First things first, like I mentioned previously, I have tried almost every diet on the market. I do think diets can get you results, but at what cost? For me the cost was so much more than the benefit of losing 10 lbs or being “bikini ready”. In our society as women we are the main subject of diet culture, we have a constant pressure to be smaller, tighten and tone, and are constantly judged by our appearance.
I remember first hearing the word diet used by mom when I was under the age of 10. If you’re like me and have been surrounded by diet culture most of your life, it can be toxic, not just to your physical health, but to your mental health. The first diet I ever went on was when I was competing for Miss CO USA at 18 years old.
I followed a meal plan given by my trainer. Saturday’s were cheat days. If you don’t know what a cheat day is, it means you can eat anything you want. I had such a poor relationship with food, my body, my mind, and my diet, that would eat ALL DAY almost until making myself sick. Then I would starve myself the rest of the week on the meal plan. I was still somehow managing to lose weight, but the diet was ruining my life.
Unfortunately, this was only the beginning for me and diet culture. I continued trying new diets, binging, saying I’ll start on Monday, hating my body, and constantly obsessing over food probably up until this last year. If this sounds like you, check out below to read few reasons to diet the word diet.
Why to ditch the word diet
- Your health. There is a difference in health and diet. Diets are sold to society while health is rarely addressed in a diet. You are told what to eat/not eat to lose weight. Losing weight is great, but what about the other factors of our lives? What about your energy? Your strength? Your spirit? Your relationship with yourself?
- There are other options out there other than dieting. What would happen if you decided to take note of how foods make you feel? A lot of experts call this Intuitive Eating. I will link one of my favorite articles here.
- Diets can rob you of your life. If you are obsessing about what you eat all of the time, you are creating an eating disorder. You do not have be bulimic or anorexic to have an eating disorder, there are many others similar to what I am describing. I myself have had a few eating disorders.
- Eat for body and person you want to be. I decided I didn’t want to be someone who spent their entire life obsessing about a diet or battling internally with what I was allowed to eat. I decide I wanted to be someone who ate for the body and person they wanted to be.
- Your mental health. If dieting is ruining your relationship with yourself, your body, or food, it’s time ditch the diet. There is nothing worth being at war with yourself.
I could go on and on about diet culture, and the affects it has had in my life, but I think that might be more of a podcast than an EXTREMELY long blog post. I hope you were able to understand some of the affects of diet culture. If you are someone struggling with diet culture, feel free to reach out. I would love to chat.
As always, thanks for reading!