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“I need to lose weight, so I’m cutting out x for a few weeks.”
“No, I’ve already eaten a meal today and shouldn’t have another.”
“I can’t. That cookie is another hour on the treadmill.”
Have you heard or even uttered sentences like these in your everyday life? Did you ever stop to critically think about what purpose phrases like the ones above are serving? Are they helping you lose “those last five pounds” or making you happier? No? I didn’t think so. Let’s ditch the diet talk and make conversations about meaningful subjects instead, shall we?
We should drop this diet talk instead of worrying about dropping those last couple of pounds. Self-love is a powerful antidote to the huge serving of loathing society serves us daily and consistently throughout our lives. Let’s not perpetuate the cycle.
This article is not a condemnation of people on diets for medical or personal reasons. It’s your body, and therefore you can make your own choices about it. What this article is condemning is the constant discussion of diets that some people who are on them may employ. Why do you have to let every being in your vicinity know about your own personal choices? The short answer: you don’t, unless it’s to inform the head of the office party about certain allergies or intolerances you may have. That’s the only reason to discuss your diet with anyone in my opinion, unless you’re specifically asked by an interested party.
Constantly mentioning your diet and what you can and cannot eat at the moment makes you seem dull and whiny. Life can be made much better by making the best of the situation (otherwise known as the diet that you may have decided you absolutely need to be on), shutting up about it, or analyzing why you think you need it.
Are you attempting to diet because you want to be healthier, which does not always correlate to losing weight in many instances? Or are you just doing it to lose weight for aesthetic reasons? Again, it’s your body and your choice, but make sure you’re not making everyone’s life miserable by a decision you made.
Another reason to stop the diet talk is to not upset people who have jumped off of the dieting merry-go-round. According to a study referenced in Melissa A. Fabello’s article, “only 3-5% of people can sustain significant weight-loss for over five years.” So trust me when I say it really is a merry-go-round that will keep spinning until you’re on an endless cycle of diet after diet and not “succeeding” in your efforts. Stop the madness, and let the operator know you want to exit the ride.
Maybe that individual you’re oh so helpfully informing about the calories in that cupcake is trying to repair her damaged relationship with food. The bread on that sandwich someone else is eating may be his first set of carbs in years due to an eating disordered past.
Don’t make every conversation you have with coworkers and friends about your newly-imposed dietary restrictions. If you feel like you’ve gone over the lengthy list of your “allowed” food a million times, it’s probably because you have. Everyone is sick of hearing you rattle off the items, by the way.
Please don’t make your life in dieting hell an issue for others. No one is as interested in your supposed health kick as you are. There are quite a number of things to talk about that have nothing to do with your diet, weight, or self-loathing.
Samples of more interesting conversations include:
“Want to watch paint dry with me? We can discuss the textures as we go.”
“I had a dream that I had an ordinary day. I’ll tell you every detail.”
“My cat slept for fifteen hours yesterday. Can you believe it?”
In case you didn’t get the hint, pretty much any other conversation is more interesting than hearing you talk about your diet. Start talking about your aspirations, passions, or even something mundane. Let’s foster a sense of acceptance and caring in the way we talk to each other, and keep the diet talk out of it. Start having significant conversations instead.
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.
This article was originally published on Huffington Post.