Today’s Diet: A Girl’s Worst Frenemy

Today began like any other Monday morning. Rush to get dressed. Rush to pack lunch. Rush to get out the door. To work. To work.

At work, the first few hours flew by as I realized how much work lie ahead of me.  Before I knew it, the clock struck twelve. I walked around to find lunch mates.

Before I knew it, I was knee deep in a conversation I am actually glad I found.  Office ladies were discussing the latest diets. The latest, newest, and most improved ways to lose weight. right now. And all you had to do was not eat ___________ (bread/pasta/rice/fruit/sugar/fat/calories).

At calories, I paused. I listened as women discussed eating only a few hundred calories a day, less than a thousand calories. Grown adult women. Less than a thousand calories a day. Less than a thousand calories a day.

One woman gave up fruit because of the carbohydrates/sugars. Another gave up her beloved two percent fruit yogurt for nonfat that she only sort of liked.  One was thrilled that she could now eat a normal amount of calories a day because she could not afford to feel weak, tired.  Another opined about how the heavy breakfast at our morning office meeting (muffins, coffee) probably meant she would not eat all day.

Now, let me say this. I work with beautiful women. talented women. smart women. successful women. But, one other common trait, among a few, is today’s diet.

Every day, month, season, year, we are barraged by today’s diet, the latest trend to lose weight right now. yesterday. In fact, I was going to write about a root beer float tonight. Oh wow. That float. That post is definitely coming.

But, this conversation led me down a different road. I did not want to be serious tonight. I wanted to smile. I wanted to show you how beautiful a root beer float could be. That float is definitely coming.

For now, let us reconsider how fanatical these today’s diets really are.  No carb, low carb, no sugars, no bread! no pasta! no rice!, no no no. What about yes?

Yes to nutrition.

Yes to health.

Yes to being physically active.

Yes to all things in moderation.

So much restriction, so much deprivation, so much sacrifice and such little success. And, so many gimmicks. Grapefruit, fiber, fruit only, no fruit, veggies and meat, no breads. And on and on. And on. So what is the harm?

These women retold their diet woes, their past diet failures and their multiple attempts to join the sacrificial lamb club and lose ten pounds by eating grapefruit every hour. They felt like failures, simply because they could not conform to these drastic diets.  In fact, their feeling of failure might have been the worst side effect.  These plans just DO NOT WORK and they hurt us.

A thousand calories cannot be enough to live on, to prosper, to shine.  A busy active young professional women could not be okay eating only a thousand calories a day, and less? Less? Less than 1,000 calories? No.

I am not a medical professional. In fact, I have no expertise at all regarding the human body but the thought that I probably hit a thousand calories by mid-afternoon hit me hard. hard. My heart went out to this woman and these women. These diets set them up for failure, and not success. And, I wanted to say so many things.

Sure, I warned them about the dangers of fad diets. I told them about having low to no energy and keeping your metabolism pumped but what I really wanted to say was this.

Today’s diet cannot work. Today’s diet makes you:

sad

cranky

tired

angry

self-hating

and, worst of all, a cookie becomes your worst enemy when in moderation it can actually be just what it is, a cookie.

So, let’s let go of these diets. Let’s be healthy now, and all the time. Health allows us the ability to enjoy everything in moderation. And, if food is fuel, if food satisfies our bodies, then there is no need for us to have food beyond the limit of moderation.

So, let’s say good bye to the grapefruit diet. the eat bread before 3 p.m. diet. in the end, they might make you “look good” but at what price?

Imagine a world without today’s diet. Some world that would be. No more dreading tomorrow. Instead, you just might look forward to it. And, in the moment you really feel like eating a cookie, in the moment your body wants a cookie and you enjoy that cookie, you’ll be glad you buried today’s diet and chose today instead.

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