I have a little assignment for you. For the next week, I want you to stop talking about your diet. Stop talking about calorie counting and stop talking about how much you need to work out to cancel out what you just ate. Stop talking about how much weight you have to loose and stop talking about your weight loss timeline. This week, completely pull the plug on even mentioning your diet, then I want you to tell your friends to do the same. I want you and your friends to talk about anything else that doesn’t involve dieting; talk about music, books, movies, cooking, hell talk about philosophy for all I care. Just stop talking about your diet. Here’s why:
Let’s Change the Way We Talk About Food
This odd diet-obsessed phenomenon has followed me around pretty much since junior high. For an entire decade, I have endured endless conversations about the latest fad in weight loss while meticulously obsessing over the meals consumed in one day. Everything was based on a system of shame for “overeating” or reward for eating something “healthy” or not eating that much at all. Let me go on record as saying, that this system that women are constantly discussing is bullshit. And not only is it complete and proper bullshit, but it also can lead to a terrible and life-threatening path. In truth, while you are constantly discussing dieting, you could be ignoring or exacerbating a friend in your group that may have a serious problem.
Creating a safe shame-free environment could very well save a friend’s life. When I went to college, I met a group of people who loved food. We ate out constantly, chased chips with Ben & Jerry’s, and cooked and shared our favorite recipes. Learning how to interact with food on a level where I wasn’t ashamed to eat what I wanted and didn’t have to body shame myself to fit in changed my life forever.
Let’s Change The Way We Eat Out
When an entire friend group is dieting, going out to eat might as well be an act of communal masochism. Someone groans about the salad they begrudgingly ordered, another asks a waiter how much calories are in a cheeseless quesadilla, and the debate about the sugar content of the desert breaks out near the end. It’s madness. Going out to eat should be a decadent memory making experience - so indulge! Because chances are, you’re not going to remember the Cobb salad you ordered with the dressing on the side. However, you will definitely remember researching and eating at the best cajun joint in town. So instead of calorie counting every item on the menu, become a connoisseur of food and restaurant culture.
Let’s Stop Shaming Ourselves for Enjoying Food
The serving size of a donut is the entire donut. Not half, not a quarter, and not a munchkin. So put down that fork and knife and have the whole thing. Women are constantly censoring, subtracting, and bartering for the food we put in our bodies. This week, consider NOT spitting a normal sized sandwich with your “Diet Buddy”. In fact, depending on the size and how full you are, don’t even save the rest for later. There is no shame in eating a full sized meal. You’re grown! So eat like it.
Fall In Love with Food All Over Again
Health and fitness are very important, but they should work for you and not against you. If you are able, consult a professional on these issues, then figure out what you like. Try new and exotic fruits and vegetables. Read cookbooks, watch cooking shows, learn when your produce is in season, or make a cooking bucket list. Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus on healthy options to add to what you are already eating. When you give yourself the opportunity to fall in love with food, you change the way you interact with it and that can change your life forever.
Are you tired of talking about dieting? Use the hashtag #QueitTheDiet2k16 and tell me why!