That word triggers a lot of negative reactions. We see them as restrictive, weight loss oriented, short term, and not tasty. The definition of diet is: “food and drink regularly provided or consumed”. No mention of restriction or weight loss.
A diet is literally just how you eat, a way of eating. We’ve taken a word and added more meaning to it than it has. We assume that a diet is short term and once we’ve hit whatever goal we had in mind we’ll go back to our regular way of eating (FYI this is a fad diet. No matter how you choose to diet the fact that you are only doing it short term makes it a fad).
I recently had someone comment on my food. ‘Oh, that’s a nice diet lunch’. Triggered. I felt the need to explain that I wasn’t on a diet I just enjoy eating healthy. Then I was called a good girl for eating salad. Then I proceeded to tell several people of this ridiculous comment on my food. Ouch, someone really touched a nerve.
First of all I need to let go of my own negative associations with that word. Why do I care if someone assumes I’m on a diet – it really doesn’t affect me or how I feel about myself. It’s a reflection of their relationship with food, not mine. I know that the way I eat is a diet in the literal sense of the word and not a restrictive weight loss short term thing. I know that I eat in a way that allows my body to thrive and yes, has lost weight. But it’s not an end goal. I’m not going to turn around and kick paleo/keto/IF to the curb simply because I lost weight. (That’s how you gain the weight back 🙄). I eat this way because I f’ing love myself. I want to give my body food that will support it in the best way possible. That doesn’t mean I always make the most healthy choice but the majority of the time I do. It’s not a diet, it’s love.
“Good girl”. I’m going to assume that this person doesn’t call someone a bad girl for eating chips, or ice cream, or any other less healthy food? (Because for some reason we generally don’t comment when people eat junk food but, believe me, people love to comment on healthy food choices) But I guarantee you they tell themselves they are bad when they eat food they see as unhealthy. Those two comments told me so much about this persons relationship with food and in turn with themselves. Telling yourself (or other people) that you are good or bad depending on what you eat is such an awful way of talking to yourself. Your self worth is not tied up with food – well it shouldn’t be but for so many people it is! Just because you ate poutine and chocolate for dinner does not make you bad. It means you made choices that were not the most nourishing but it doesn’t take away from who you are. You are amazing, wonderful, and worthy simply because you exist.
You don’t eat, starve, or exercise your way to love and worthiness. You are born with it. It’s not something you gain it’s something you have. We exercise and eat healthy out of love for our bodies because it’s makes us stronger and healthier.
Treat yourself as if you already are enough. Walk as if you are enough. Eat as if you are enough. See, look, listen as if you are enough. Because you are. – Geneen Roth