Please Proceed to Baggage Claim
The word “diet” carries some pretty intense baggage.
Many people love diets and proudly hashtag away their diet of choice on their #foodstagram posts or yell from the rooftops how a given diet has changed their lives.
Others flatly declare that diets don’t work. End of story.
Some of us may wear the word “diet” like a cloak of comfort, not because diets are comfortable, of course, but because diets may be familiar. Or because the notion of going “off” a diet carries with it the fear of 30 lbs of overnight weight gain. For someone’s who’s been dieting since middle school, a diet may feel like a well-worn pair of slippers. Being a dieter has become part of that person’s self-identity. The diet becomes all-consuming, and it’s no longer an intentional, strategic, short-term activity.
For others, being perpetually on a diet is the channel through which they focus their feelings of inadequacy. For one of any number of reasons, a person may feel flawed and in need of fixing. Diets may seem like the solution. It’s unfortunately extraordinarily common for people to believe that they will only be pretty/likeable/lovable if, and only if, they lose 5 (or 10 or 50) lbs, and chasing diets seems like the appropriate means to go about working on that perceived obstacle to being whole or enough.
For some, the notion of a diet stirs up nauseating feelings of being imprisoned by “shoulds” and “can’ts”.
Others may have had dangerous dips into disordered eating or eating disorders, and the idea of any kind of regimented eating invokes terror of relapse into self-harming patterns.
Some people have a visceral rejection of anything that involves an imposition of rule or restriction.
Maybe you can relate to some of these feelings?