It’s something that has puzzled me for years now.
Greta has been writing some really good stuff lately – and her latest talked about how her friend was dieting, and Greta was trying to dissuade her from looking for ‘solutions’ to her problems in all the wrong places.
By the time you are old enough to realise that much importance is placed on weight and appearance in our society, you are also old enough to have figured out how to diet. Old enough to have seen ads on TV and in the paper for diets and all the promises they make. Old enough to have friends or peers at school discuss their own eating and attempts to whittle themselves down to as small as they could possibly (and impossibly) become. Tragically, kids are getting caught up in this at younger and younger ages these days.
What puzzles me is – why do we keep going back to dieting? Why do we fall, hook line and sinker, again and again for the SAME OLD THING that didn’t work last time? And no, it didn’t.
Anyone who says to me that they are back on the X diet plan, because the X diet plan totally worked for them last time – gets a serious eye roll from me. Honey, it worked SO WELL you need to do it all over again? That’s not success. That’s failure. Success would be not just losing that weight – but it never coming back again.
Did the X diet teach that person how to eat properly? Obviously not. But it’s not just the X diet. It’s the South Beach. The Atkins. Slim Forever. The Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. The Low Fat diet. Eat your weight in eggs only diet. Super cleanses that promise to eradicate all toxins and take half your liver and intestines with it. Calorie counting. Low GI. Sweating buckets with wraps and muds. Getting it all sucked out of you. Jiggling your wobbly bits. Chopping up your tummy…
Sheesh. If diets and cleanses and the zillions of diet aids worked, wouldn’t we just have one or two tried and tested regimes that were passed down from generation to generation? We wouldn’t need to come up with an amazing new diet for every issue of the latest magazine! Weight Watchers would have changed their program every few years. Why? Why change something that is working? Because it doesn’t work!
You can go and do one program on Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig et al, then regain your lost weight with interest just in time to try their next brand new plan! At least you will never be bored.
We all know this. We have to. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again, hoping for a different result. The first time any of us went on a diet, we would have had complete proof with the regaining of the weight – that it didn’t work. So why didn’t we leave them alone after that?
Are we suckers for punishment?
Maybe. But what we ARE suckers for – are promises.
Most people who go on a diet, don’t go on it just for the weight loss alone. Even if they think that’s all there is to it. I mean – why lose weight at all? Sure, some people are overweight or obese and feel they need to. But that’s just a small proportion of people who are actually dieting. And – why don’t those people do what IS tried, tested, proven to be true – which is a lifestyle change. Balanced eating, no restricting, no gimmicks. Slow weight loss, but overall health for the long term?
Because it’s boring. And you have to work hard for it. It doesn’t provide any instant gratification.
And it doesn’t promise to fix your whole life.
Because weight loss can’t fix our whole lives. All it can fix is your weight. And that is only if your weight actually needed fixing in the first place.
Losing weight will not make you happy.
Losing weight will not make you popular.
Losing weight will not make other people treat you better.
Losing weight will not get you a job or a pay rise.
Losing weight will not make you smarter, kinder, funnier, more fashionable, etc etc etc.
Losing weight will only mean you have lost weight. And all the things you are now, all the problems you have now, will still be there.
Come on, people – stop buying into the lies over and over. Show some brains. Show some self respect! Realise you have value that goes far deeper than what you look like. Realise that those who truly love you will never make it contingent on what you weigh or what you look like. Remember that healthy doesn’t always look the same for everyone, healthy is dependant on our behaviors and attitudes in every single area of our lives, and it’s totally just as possible to be overweight and healthy as it is to be underweight and terribly unhealthy.
I don’t want to be a vacuous idiot who thinks that because she’s able to wear certain clothes and look a certain way, she’s all that. I don’t want to be that shallow, that stupid, that useless. I value my ability to think properly. I value my ability to love and be loved. To keep friends, because I am a good friend.
As Judge Judy has said – looks fade. Dumb is forever.
Dare to reject society’s pressure to make yourself fit into their little boxes. Dare to be different, unique, to be YOU. That’s true courage.
Being the same? – that’s just lame.
I’ll leave you with something more pleasant – most diet foods offer us little to no nutritional benefits from eating them. You may as well eat the box. Or give it to your cat