Reading an earlier post about "cheat days" and all of the wonderful responses started me thinking, a dangerous thing this early in the morning
How much do the words we use to describe our actions matter? The more I think about it, the more important I think the words are.
The earlier post was discussing "cheat days". Do you plan them etc. One poster used the term "maintenance day" to describe a day where you eat over your allotted calories.
I like the term "maintenance day" as it does not have negative conatations. Cheating is negative. We are not supposed to cheat. Cheating on a test, or on your spouse or your on your taxes or on your diet all have negative consequences.
We have had many discussions about "This is not a diet, diets don't work! This is a lifestyle change, this is about being healthy" on these boards. Is it easier to be positive about making a lifestyle change vs. being on diet? Diets are hard, we fail at them, we gain weight from them, they are restrictive and deprive us of the things we enjoy. Lifestyle changes are positive, they are good for us, we feel good as we do it.
Does the term we use define our opinion about something? I think it does. And I think we have to be careful with how we use words. The AP news association recently released a statement saying they would not publish articles with terms such as illegal alien, criminal alien etc but would only use undocumented worker etc. Without going into immigration policies, is this policy change meant to influence our thinking? The same thing with terms such as "Fat vs obese" Pigging out vs maintenance day", "Lazy day vs rest day" "Moron vs developmentally disabled" (Yes, that used to be an accepted medical description). I'm sure we can all think of many terms that have positive or negative feelings attached to them.
I know I cringe inside when I hear the term "fat cow" or "You're so pretty, you would be beautiful if you lost weight". I feel good when I hear "You are getting so thin", (I know, I know).
I think using the right terms can help us in meeting out goals but I think we need to be very careful to not attempt to deceive ourselves with the terms we use.