Today I overheard a conversation. A conversation, mostly one-sided, that hurt. In fact, it made my heart sink.
I overheard a woman talking to another woman, most likely a personal trainer/diet idol, who knows, but what I heard was this:
Woman 1 (personal trainer/diet idol/who knows): So, what’s for dinner?
Woman 2: I’ll probably have chicken, and salad, again.
Woman 1: Good, good; good for you!
Woman 2: Well, actually, I was thinking, maybe I would heat up some leftover pizza.
Woman 1: What?!? Well, if you do, you can only eat 2 pieces. Only (WITH STRONG EMPHASIS) 2, count ’em, 2 pieces.
Woman 2: Of course. I can’t eat any more than that anyways.
Woman 1: Right, right, but wait. How many grains have you gotten today?
Woman 2: 6 ounces, maybe 6-8.
Woman 1: 6? 6? 6? All today? That many?
Woman 2: Hey, that’s good for me. I’m down a lot, and I know I’ve got a long way to go but that’s a big deal for me.
Woman 1: You’re right; you are working on it. I can’t complain. Okay, I will see you tomorrow. Remember, only 2 pieces, and you have to finish all that water (pointing to gigantic water bottle in Woman 2’s hand)
Now, when I write this, I don’t want to sound judgmental. Or harsh. Or overly critical. Or any of the above. But, seriously? Seriously? And, to be clear, Woman 2, let’s just say she looked just fine to me. Despite not having a medical degree, she certainly didn’t strike me as someone who needed to lose weight, at all, ever. And, I’m all for staying healthy, eating well, exercising (#30mins) but this one conversation made me pause about the state of our world, food-wise, diet-wise, body-wise.
Now, I know this Woman 2 has most likely paid money/hired/solicited the services of this personal trainer/diet idol/who knows, but really? If someone like Woman 1 ever, ever, ever told me how much pizza to eat, after a long day at work, a hard workout? Seriously?
What are we doing to ourselves?
Now, finally, it is one thing if someone is trying to lose weight for health reasons and there’s just no other medically sound choice other than to restrict. But, seriously? If you’re losing weight to look good, feel good, is this the start of all that goodness? Restriction? Deprivation? What will most likely end up in not feeling good if we listen to other people and not our bodies?
What are we doing to ourselves?
Sure, seeking help can be good, but is this help? And, if so, am I just totally wrong to be disappointed by this entire conversation? Sure, maybe I am wrong, but seriously? People, what is happening to us?
Where is the love? Where is the love for our bodies? Our souls? Ourselves? Where is the love for good food? Good times? Good feelings? Where is the love?
This cannot be the way to achieve our goals, right? Should we be doing this at all? Extreme dieting? Regimented eating, to the point where one adult asks another how many slices of pizza to eat?
Now, let me say this. I am not a supermodel, by any means, nor am I likely to be called a perfect physical specimen, but I am happy, and healthy, and I really don’t think this is worth it. And, I understand I should not judge what another person wants to do, but you have to ask yourself. Why does this woman want to get help on how much pizza to eat? Is it a wedding diet? A New Year diet? A forever diet? A diet brought on by a world where we can never be thin enough? “Healthy” enough? Have we defined healthy as thin? And, should professionals in this field be advising people to avoid grains? Grains? 6-11 ounces a day are recommended by national standards.
Have we made it so hard to be healthy that it turns people away? Have we made being healthy such an absolute terrifying chore that deprivation road blocks most people from joining in? Perhaps if we took a somewhat lighter stance, a more flexible approach, we could be gentler to ourselves and encourage others to be healthier, too. And, when we do workout and exercise and drink water and eat whole grains and our veggies and our fruits, can’t we also let our bodies tell us what to eat and how much? After all, an extra slice of pizza cannot kill you, right, or keep those pants from fitting?
And, Woman 2, if you’re somewhere out there reading this, have that extra piece of pizza tonight. And, enjoy every bite of it, beautiful lady. You earned this one.