Five reasons not to diet
|April 12, 2012||Posted by Rosie Watterson under lifestyle|
I detest diets in the same way I detest vodka: I tried it once, and hated how it tasted and made me feel. So I stopped drinking it. I then found myself surrounded by people who hated it as much as me but seemed unable to put the glass down. OK, they might go a couple of days, weeks or months sober, but sooner or later they started drinking it again and complaining all the while.
I started by being angry at these people: “If being on a diet makes you miserable, stop!” I then became confused: “Why go on a diet just to eat a doughnut and then feel terrible?” And now I’m at a stage of uncharacteristic pity: “You make your life so much sadder than it needs to be.” So, in an attempt to stop even one person from going on their next liquids/fibre/cheesecake diet, I’m going to list the five main reasons why diets are wrong.
It makes no sense
Imagine two women. One has run thousands of miles on a treadmill every day, eating nothing but dust and water vapour, and has slimmed down to a beautiful size 14. She is, obviously, delighted. The other woman has sat around eating excesses of cake and pie, and has bloated to a humongous size 14. She is upset. But wait a minute: how can the same figure instil two completely different emotions? The answer: it’s all in your head! It’s not a physical shape that creates happiness and satisfaction, it’s a way of mind. “Great!” I hear you say. “How exactly do you suggest I fix it?” Which brings me to my next point.
Diets are the only way to feel good about yourself
Right? Wrong. Humans are simple creatures and because of this we respond to conditioning. For those of you who live under a rock, go look up Pavlov’s dogs. Done? Good.
Criticism = insecurity
Criticism + mirror = insecurity
Mirror = insecurity
What I’m getting at is this: if you look in the mirror twice and say, “I’m fat,” the next time you look in the mirror you’ll unintentionally think, “I’m fat.” And then you’ll start to believe it. But do not panic, dear reader, for it also works backwards. If you know you have asymmetrical ears or feel you weigh too much, compliment it. The next time you look in the mirror say, “I look great today.” OK, you may feel stupid, but if you do it every time you look in the mirror then you’ll start to think it – and then believe it. Problem solved.
A constant reminder of your cruddiness
If you do practise insecurity conditioning then you have probably tried to do something about it, perhaps by committing to a diet. Bad move. Every time you look in the mirror and sigh you are potentially saying, “I am not good enough.” So now you are dragging those emotions to another area of your life: food. Instead of choosing your lunch based on what you fancy, you are choosing it on what you feel you deserve. And there is no right option. Either you go for the salad, admitting you’re not good enough for nice food (assuming salad isn’t your culinary passion), or you go for something “naughty” and thus fail, which obviously does not help your self-esteem.
Supply and demand
We live in a society that forces physical ideals on children, and the age of anorexia sufferers is getting lower and lower. It is easy to point the finger at society and the media but it is harder to accept that the true cause is the self-loathing we display by stating that we’re “on another diet.” When your role model is constantly denying themselves the things they enjoy – “No really, I shouldn’t” – you soon believe that is the ideal way to exist. If people keep buying from diet companies and read diet-oriented magazines and books, these companies will continue to survive, fuelling consumers’ insecurities.
It makes me angry
I can feel myself circling back round to rage. It’s so very simple: exercise more, eat less. Everything else is added to distract you from these two simple guidelines. If you’ve read this and are still thinking, “No, I’m going to ignore your advice and starve myself anyway,” then you’re perfectly capable of losing weight by eating less and exercising more. I cannot say it enough. Once more, just for fun: eat less and exercise more. This does not mean that you can eat a doughnut in the college café and moan about it. I hate that. Eat it and like it. Or don’t eat it. Or shut up. I’m going to give moaning about cake a solid 8.9 on my Richter Scale of– oh wait, wrong article.
To conclude, you should compliment yourself more and be more confident. If not, you should eat less and exercise more. Whichever you choose, for the love of everything holy do not complain about doughnuts. It is you with the problem, not them.