Monday, October 25, 2010

Everybody is on a Diet!

In June I wrote of my intention to become overweight. That goal has been met. I left the obese category behind and now “normal” weight seems more realistic.

I have now lost around 15kg and people have noticed. They refer to me being “on a diet” – meaning I am somehow depriving myself of food to help me lose weight. The idea of “being on a diet” brings to mind denial of real food and being subjected to salads or something bland and tasteless.

In reality I’ve been deprived of nothing. My food choices haven’t really changed. I still eat the same kind of things, but maybe in slightly smaller portions. The reason for my weight loss is my avoidance of those things we commonly eat that aren’t food. All of those snacks that can easily become habits rather than treats.

I no longer buy large bags of potato or corn chips and eat the whole lot in one sitting. I no longer eat a whole large chocolate bar by myself. But I still have an occasional slice of cake at a coffee shop, mostly shared with Gloria instead of eating a whole piece each.

The idea of “going on a diet” to lose weight is an indication of why so many of us ARE overweight or obese. We should not be thinking of a “diet” as a weight loss exercise. We should recognise that a diet is a choice of food. We are ALL on diets. The difference is that sometimes our diets contain things that are not food. Things that provide far more fuel (calories) than our bodies are capable of processing. Unlike our cars, our fuel tanks do not automatically stop the fuel pump when they are full. And unlike our cars, we can load up with inappropriate fuels and it can take a long time before our bodies start to protest with impaired performance.

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