Feb. 8, 2023

DIET is a 4-Letter Word

DIET is a 4-Letter Word

Diet is a lousy word. Really, unless you are in the business of selling diet supplements or you are a diet consultant, chances are you won't like that word. Why do so many of us hate that word, yet we engage in the activity?

I look around me, and we are all shapes and sizes. Sadly our society puts so much pressure on us to look a certain way. I remember in the 1970's when feminists were starting to move away from the stereotypical approach to attire. "Let's burn our bras and let it all hang out" was the flavor of the day. It wasn't long before more women were advancing into executive positions, and the media took a great leap at making women feel like they needed to do it all. Pictures of tall slim women wearing suit jackets, short skirts with silky pantyhose in high shoes, briefcase in one hand and baby in the right arm was a common picture. Yes - you with the need to start running with that baby in the buggy and tighten up those buns! Twiggy set the trend for the thin era, and I recall seeing ads in the comic books for magic diet pills and creams that would enhance your bosom.

Some things are still the same, only magnified. You can still belong to those pyramid diet schemes, or make sound choices and choose healthy foods and be active. Fitness centres are open 24/7 in some areas, and if the fitness doesn't fix your shape, you can have it tucked, nipped, enhanced or changed for a very healthy fee. What happened to self-acceptance? 

I understand the role of diets, and the need to bring caution when obesity puts our own health at risk. There is no doubt that a never-ending indulgence in fried foods, candy, sweets, extra helpings, chocolate bon-bons and sweetened beverages will add to our butt size, but what is more important is the need to regain a balance that keeps us healthy.

Notice I said the word "balance" because that's what is important. I eat chips, cookies and snacks that cure those crazy cravings that crop up every few weeks. Go on a camping trip and I need a second trailer for my snacks alone!  It wasn't always this way for me.  I am not a big person, but I am not what I consider petite. I am 5'4 inches and a fortunately a healthy weight.  I work at it. I have to exercise or I can't have those extra chips. Now I am adjusting because my body is acting up and I can't exercise the way I used to. This can happen to some of us when we get older, depending on our genetics and lifestyle. 

I remember a time when I weighed in at 103 pounds within the year after having my first child. It wasn't good enough for me. I wanted to sit at 98 pounds. Neither weight was healthy for me, and that dangerous road to an eating disorder was halted by my doctor and his nurse. As a team, they cared very deeply for their patients, and I was one of them. This is a whole other story I will share in a podcast some day, and today is not the day. I am so much healthier at the weight I am now. When I was too thin, I caught every cold, had frequent infections and simply didn't have much resistance. I will be 57 years old this summer, and for the first time in my life I really don't give a hoot if I have a little extra on the waistline. When I get too thin, my face looks drawn and it is not becoming.  

The constant pressure from social media today plays such a huge role. I see all the "before and after" pictures on the diet supplement ads. I used to have a six-pack, but those days are gone for me. The retail stores online often show a model and the image says "Model is 5'8 and wearing size XS".  I supposed they try to do that so you have comparison as to how the product will look, or it reminds us that this tall model can fit those skinny hips into pants that I could hardly get my ankle into.  Does it matter?  Do we really need to feel like we have to keep up?  Hell no - we are who we are!  If we are obese then there is the risk of health problems, which isn't good for ourselves or for those people who love us and would like to have us around for a long time. Heart attacks, diabetes, stroke and so much more can grace our doorsteps when we are obese.  That in itself is a good reason to seek out professional help and tackle the problem.

When it comes to just a case of are you size 6 or size 12, what the heck does it really matter if you are happy, healthy and living life. If you live with someone who will only love you as a size 6, then they need a kick in the ass or a different door. It comes down to self-acceptance and self-care, and both are very important. It's a vicious cycle. It helps to have self-acceptance when you have self-care, and you need self-acceptance in order to be able to care for yourself and others. 

I had the option recently to chat with a super wonder physician from Texas. She has such a great approach to dieting, and she has a podcast called Diet Culture is BS.  I love that name!  In the episode we talk about restrictions and the impact they can have on our binge habits. I love how she refers to "balanced diet" vs "healthy". Life is about balance, and that includes how we look after ourselves in addition to those around us.

I hope you have a chance to listen to that episode. Dr. Trina Dorrah is a very positive lady, and she has a great story to share.  You can listen to the episode on most podcast apps, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Deezer & more.  Here are links below.  If you enjoy the episode, please share it on your social media.  Your comments and feedback are always appreciated.  Here's how to reach me:

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