Monday, August 30, 2010
Thanks to our societal definitions of "pretty" and "beautiful" millions of people each year try to lose weight. We start working out more, change how we eat...and I say "we" because I'm still trying to lose weight...both for my vanity and health. But as I'm taking off those last few pounds and shifting into "maintenance mode" I'm keeping my eating habits as healthy as I can and I've gotta vent a little here...I'm sick of the "What...you on a diet?" comments, looks and snears as I order healthier food or pack my lunch on days I know that pizza is being ordered for a lunch time meeting.
First of all...a lil reminder courtesy of the grammar queen in me... The primary definition of the word "diet" is "a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed" (according to the Merriam Webster dictionary). Yes there is a definiton relating to a prescribed food and amounts for a specific reason but the main definition is simply the food we eat. When I talk to people about being healthy and their diet, I typically mean simply "What and how much are you eating?" When I say I have a particular diet, it doesn't mean that I have a precharted plan of food that I will follow strictly to lose weight. Yes, there are diet plans which strictly plan out your calories and nutrition and some people need those. We all need to have the right diet - regardless of our weightloss needs - to make sure that we are getting the nutrients our bodies need. Why does "diet" have to be such a terrible word?
And hand in hand with that - why should only obviously overweight people eat healthy? Yes, I'm a slender girl and don't have a pressing health reason to lose weight. I'm within (and on the lower end) of a healthy weight range for my height and age. I'd like to lose about 5-10 more pounds but those are vanity pounds at this point....no need for me to worry! However, I do have more than enough signs in my family history that indicate I need to pay attention to my health...not to mention how much better I feel when I eat the right foods! Why should I be the one called out at gatherings for watching what I eat? I was in training all day for a few days in a row and knew that pizza was ordered for lunch. Instead of allowing myself to get out of my routine and feel "off" for three days because I ate greasy food not normally part of my routine, I packed lunch. Nearly half the room took notice when a few of my coworkers looked at me, laughed and said "What...you on a diet?". Luckily it was noticed enough that the next time we were in training, a salad was ordered for myself and another health-conscious coworker. When I do say that I simply watch what I eat, want to be healthier or that yes, I am on a diet to preserve the results for which I worked so hard, I get "consoled" like I'm boardering an eating disorder. It's come from family, friends, and coworkers and while more often than not I'm sure it comes from caring - the tone could be significantly improved.
How have those around you reacted to your changed eating habits? Do you not "diet" when you're around those who may judge? What do you think when you see a seemingly healthy coworker go out of their way to continue their healthy habits?