How much of what you talk about has the word “diet” in it? How often do you find yourself describing your activity or your worth in terms of the word “diet?” If you’re a normal woman, it’s quite a lot.
The word diet, used as a noun, implies a temporary condition. When we say we are going to go on a “diet” or get back on our “diet”, we are really saying that it is not a permanent way of living – we are doing it for a short term to achieve some result. Something like, “I want to fit into a dress for my cousin’s wedding” or “I want to look good in a bikini on vacation” or “I want to get to a certain weight by my 40th birthday”.
The word diet used as a verb implies that we are in a “less than perfect” state of being – usually one of restricting ourselves. The phrase “I’m dieting” could be restated as “I’m not good enough.”
Do you see yourself as worthy of a fit body? Do you see yourself worthy of a really good piece of sock-eye salmon from Central Market at $15.99 a pound? Do you make time for yourself or do you fit in your needs around those of everyone else in the house?
I am not telling you to abandon all careful consideration or what you put into your body and just go for the donuts and pizzas. Doing that won’t heal the emotional wounds underneath the surface and the junk food wreaks its on special havoc on your body. But I am challenging us to stop saying DIET and approach food, and oursleves, from a healthier perspective.
Perpetual dieting is also an obsession with the numbers in our lives — how many calories, how many meals, how many pounds? When we reduce our self-worth to numbers, we set ourselves up to remain in a cycle of self-criticism and self-punishment. When I coach someone who is new to working out, I advise them to take their initial weight and measurements and then put away their scale for one month. We need a period of counting to understand proper portion control, and face our current reality, but after that we have to find a way to trust ourselves around food.
What I am trusting people to do is to commit to doing the workouts, to commit to eating healthier options, and to feel how their body responds. If I can help them break through those number-driven markers and focus instead on how they feel physically, I think it improves their chance of long term success.
Although I still consider myself to be a work in progress, I believe that I have something valuable to offer because of the battle
that I did fight and continue to fight every day. But, now, I don’t feel like I am in a never-ending war. Battle is exhausting and I wasn’t good at it anymore. So I found a way to stop dieting and start living and the first step I took was to ban the word “diet” from my vocabulary!
I made a choice to trust my body and work to be stronger and feel lighter, rather than a certain weight, and YOU CAN TOO!