Whenever I hear the word “diet” I cringe a little. It’s like a fairy made out of cookies and cream dies or something. I dislike it completely. Maybe it has to do with the fact that “diet” implies that there is something you need to fix about yourself...maybe it is the fact that I spent nearly my entire high school career on a diet until the day...I crashed.
High school girls can be, well, shall we say a little moody. So being on a diet amps them up a notch. My reasoning for dieting was that I was in theater. I had a teacher who told me that my image--the way I looked, how much I weighed--was important. How people saw me was therefore very important. Hence, all that horrible dieting.
I would try the not eating thing, but thankfully I wasn’t cut out for that at all. I tried the vegetarian thing, which worked for a number of years until the tenth grade when I was seduced by a MacDonald’s cheeseburger. Then I went on the Atkin’s diet. No carbs. I loved carbs. I missed carbs, but I stayed faithful in the name of art.
That is, until the day when my “well-meaning” theater teacher pulled me aside and told me that if I wanted to get into a good theater school for college I was going to need to lose “this” and she reached down and patted my stomach. I was horrified. I couldn’t believe that after the years I spent dieting that someone had the nerve to say such a thing to me. I was hungry for god’s sake!
I was also at my skinniest weight ever.
That was when I made a command decision, well, two really. Right then and there, I swore off dieting and in the coming months I quit theater as well. And I ate--by god, did I eat! Who was I kidding all those years? I loved not being on a diet!
Cultivating a healthy body image takes a lot of work in this day and age. We’re bombarded by branding and messaging that tells us the way that we are supposed to look. As much as I love Pinterest, I get pretty sick of their “diet this” and the picture of the really heavy woman next to the skinnnnnnnnnny one with some caption about how she finally won the battle--who knows if those people are really the same.
If you want to eat vegetarian, or like a cave man, or like you live on South Beach, fine. Some women use diets like Grateful Dead fans use drugs. I get it. But for gosh sakes, if you are sick of it, please stop. Cultivate a healthy lifestyle and drop the diet label. People on “diets” don't generally seem to reach their ideal weight while feeling good about themselves. People with healthy, well rounded lifestyles, DO.
Most of all, no matter what you do, you should feel good about yourself at the end of the day--no matter what your size. Love yourself as you are today. Because who you are is fine and good.