Out of all the profanities that mar our language, I think the worst offender is the word “diet” (or at least its current usage). Rather than signifying a lifestyle characterized by intuitive eating and exercising, diet has come to mean a temporary, holy famine with its glowing halo of ever-increasing morality and perfection. Blasphemy.
Dieting (no, not money, war, or power) is the root of many an evil. It leads people to starve themselves, obsess about a naturally fluctuating number on a machine, abuse themselves emotionally, and be chronically discontented and discouraged.
Dieting is an addicting, potentially unending cycle, hooking its prey with empty promises of praise, admiration, and envy of your future, trouble-free body. The reason it is a cycle is because it can’t produce on its promises. Compliments are not enough to maintain your weight loss. Losing weight does not mean that you won’t get sick, be fired, or suffer a major loss. In other words, dieting does not make your life perfect.
When you go on a diet, your time, energy, and money goes into one area of your life—your weight (and possibly your health). If you think about it, it is a period where you feel entitled to be self-absorbed. You need to eat every 2.75 hours, spend money on special diet food, and make it to your personal training session. You are able, for a while at least, to ignore the hurt, restlessness, and regret. Dieting prolongs your pain.
What’s that you say? You want to go on another diet? Shhh. You’re hurting my ears…and yourself.