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Diet as a “part of speech"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I dislike the word diet when it’s used as a verb. “I’m dieting” brings to my mind images of deprivation. I imagine myself sitting at a banquet with everyone enjoying wonderful food while I turn down all the options with “No thank you, I’m dieting” and stare at a plate of lettuce.

“I have a healthy diet” has a different meaning to me. Then I imagine a cornucopia of different foods. Lots of variety in nutrients and taste, all of which taken together have the capacity to make my body stronger. I want to be stronger to accomplish all the things I want to do.

Of course, diet the noun, can be used in a detrimental way as well. “I’m on a diet” has the same ring of deprivation as the verb does. If I use it that way, I’m sabotaging my own efforts. I won’t limit myself like that. So if diet is going to be a noun, I want a positive adjective in front of it.

“I’m dieting” and “I’m on a diet” both sound to me like a temporary condition that will come to an end and the sooner the better. “I have a healthy diet” is something that I want to continue indefinitely.

It’s been a long time since I’ve studied “parts of speech.” However, words matter and the context of words matters too. I intend to use them to create for myself a positive atmosphere. In such an environment I’m more likely to succeed and thrive.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    That is one thing I plan to make different this time - no diet, just a change for life!
    2043 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I was contemplating the same thing and may blog about it. A friend told me that she when she reached goal and was done with her diet, that she was going to enjoy the holiday season. What resonated with me was the done with the diet. This is a before and after concept of eating. I will stay on my diet and afterwards I can sit back and relax and enjoy myself.

    My concept of reaching goal is that you are not done. You immediately step into maintenance by continuing the good habits you have developed. Maintenance is you say indefinite continuance.
    2044 days ago
    Yes, I too like the ring of "I have a healthy diet." It is so positive and sounds rich in variety and taste!

    Changing what we say to ourselves really makes a difference!
    2044 days ago
    Great blog! I'm maintaining my super loss of 30 lbs and I feel great to be on this diet for the rest of my life.
    2044 days ago
    Your words are so wise. The idea of deprivation
    diets has led a lot of us down a long dark path
    of frustration. Restrict our intake; feel deprived,;
    then overeat. and regain even more.

    It is only when we get off this cycle, and
    focus on healthy foods in moderate amounts,
    do we regain our ability to reach a healthy
    weight. Return the word diet to its original
    meaning: what we actually eat.

    I discovered that when I focused on healthy
    natural foods in moderate amounts and focused
    on the pleasure in eating at the same time,
    I returned to a healthy, happy relation with food
    and with my body. It works. emoticon
    2045 days ago
  • LEB0401
    emoticon You're so right!

    2045 days ago
    Studies have looked at the difference between saying to yourself "I can't eat that" and "I don't eat that." People who said "I don't" were more likely to make healthy choices and do so longer than people who told themselves "I can't." Simply saying "I don't" may give you a sense of control over your eating and exercise decisions. So words can have power!
    2045 days ago
    "Diet" seems like such an old-fashioned word any more, doesn't it? You don't hear anyone using it all by itself very much. It's the "Duken Diet" or the "Atkins Diet" or the "Gluten-Free Diet," but hardly ever "on a diet" or "dieting."
    2045 days ago
    Words matter! Our mental mind frame is a huge piece of this journey. It would be an interesting study to compare maintenance success of people with the diet deprivation attitude compared to the healthy diet attitude. I think we know the results.
    2045 days ago
    I'm really trying hard to undo my hang-ups with certain words and ideas that I had come to think of in negative ways due to my past failed efforts to lose and maintain my weight. The scale is no longer my enemy, I no longer lump the word "diet" in with other more unsavory four-letter words and tracking isn't a burden but something that's liberated me from a lifelong cycle of yo-yo dieting. Decluttering my mind of all these notions has allowed me to focus on the things I've needed to do to be and stay successful and that, to me, is much more important than the words I choose (or don't choose) to use to define my journey.
    2045 days ago
    The connotations of words are very powerful indeed . . . I like Judith S Beck's "The Diet Solution: Learning to Think Like a Thin Person" because she tells us any (healthy) diet will "work", but what makes maintenance possible is changing the way we think. And: she's right!
    2045 days ago
    I agree, ones words will plant the seed of success or failure.

    2045 days ago
    I agree the way it is daid makes it harder to stick to a weight loss plan but to say I am trying to heat a healthier diet makes it easier to stick with it

    you can do it
    2045 days ago
  • CHUM48
    I feel like you those words, I use the words lifestyle change a lot. When I do use the word diet, I use it with a positive spin. Hang in there!
    2045 days ago
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