Diet Food

Standing in the grocery store the other day, behind a rail thin girl with a cart full of light fruit yogurts and frozen “diet” food meals, and fat free this or the other, I started to wonder.

I started to think.

I started to question.

When did we become a world of permanent dieters?

When did we allow ourselves to get sucked into the diet industry-forever?

When did trying to lose a few pounds become our lifetime goal?

Looking at this beautiful, rail thin girl, I started to wonder. I started to think. I started to question.

Why do so many of us become completely dependent on “diet” food to get us through? Is it like an insurance policy? Do we believe if we eat “diet” food that we are guaranteed to be thin-always? Or, do we actually believe, even when we are thin, that we are forever fighting the battle of the budge? Is this, then, the battle that never ends?

For those trying to lose a few pounds, perhaps these “diet” foods help. Certainly, they cut out time, and energy in giving us what some might argue is not as healthy as advertised meal in a little box that takes seconds to prepare (a miraculous invention in the lives of so many busy individuals). But, at what cost? Sure, buying produce is hard. Heck, using produce you bought before it gets bad? That’s super hard. And, maybe for some, the frozen “diet” meal provides the best of both worlds-easy, and “healthy”.

But what do we sacrifice when we eat these foods? Are they really healthy? I don’t have the expertise to know that, but I can tell you this. If we allow ourselves to believe that all we can eat are these “diet” foods, does it become almost sinful to “indulge” in regular food, and, if so, shouldn’t we question first if we should even be dieting at all?  And, if we think we should be “dieting”, are we right, or are we terribly, terribly wrong?

Is this the same mindframe that creates the commercials that warn us of an extra 20 calories, or the miracle in a 100 calorie snack pack?  And, even more tragically, is this the same mindframe that created our fear of food, our fear of eating, and our fear of our bodies? If so, perhaps the problem is more serious than we think. Perhaps next time, instead of automatically grabbing the “diet” food we should ask ourselves what we really want, and how bad it would be to just actually eat it. Turns out, it might not be so bad after all.

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