The Thing I’ve Learnt About Dieting Is

14 May

…that it needs an iron will in the areas that I’m farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr from iron-willed. Hats off to the ones who can turn away, stay steely-willed and say no, really!

To contextualize, when I write the D word, I imply these rather strict and hugely obsessive regimens that are followed worldwide, in the hope to get whatever it is that these diets are out there to help us all get. The relative and focal point here are the words strict and obsessive which sort of nail the ghastly image of diets that I have in my mind. I’m not a fitness or a nutritional expert by paper or even by confession to pass judgements or remark at the efforts of the millions whose main purpose in life is to look and feel a certain way.

This post is about my views on the subject and my jet-speed brief encounters with them. I am overweight and my body type does not (and has never) fit the standard norms of what magazines and media portrays to be fit/beautiful/insert appropriate adjective. Therefore, like the millions out there, I figured a diet could help me become a little more healthy and I decided to give it a shot; except it didn’t go past Day 1. Like I said, this sort of stuff needs an iron will and in the specific areas where my iron will is wholly absent. Call me lax, lazy, incapable or just not hard working enough, but my trials or lack thereof led me to learn a few things, some of which are as follows.

  • Diets are not meant for me.
  • I love food too much.
  • Call it a mental block or a psychological hindrance, but meals that stray too far from my dal roti sabzi are seldom meals to me, thereby rendering me hungry in absolutely no time again.
  • When I do feel hungry again (while on these diets), I cannot, for the life of me, have dry fruits or something of that equivalent, to distract or evade my hunger.
  • Try as hard (or hardly) as I have, just salads do not cut it for me. I need some protein or carbs as an accompaniment because my meal feels incomplete otherwise.
  • Not having a substantial meal, and by substantial I do not mean heavy, makes me feel a hunger that knows no rational or even control and often is a hunger that makes me binge later in the day or at another time, thus undoing whatever effort I may have put into this so called “discipline”.
  • I love my potato chips ya. Especially those hot chips.
  • I’ve absolutely no intention of fitting in with the so called norms of how a person should look/be or into a pair of jeans that’s meant for a 15 year old.
  • Besides, have you noticed how majority of clothes meant for adults look like clothes for teenagers?
  • We’ve got one life and while it’s good and we’ve earned that spending power, its rife with all sorts of illnesses and you never know when your turn arrives next. Soooo, after having sounded absolutely cynical, I’d like to say that I believe in eating anything and everything in moderation because you have no idea when you won’t be able to savour xyz in the coming years.
  • I cannot diet because if you give me fruits and vegetables (which I love), I would also like it if you passed me that bacon and cheesecake (which I love as well).
  • I love rice. I love fried rice, steamed rice, dosas, idlis, rice kheer, akki roti AND sticky rice (zomg!). Civilizations thrived on rice and we do too. It’s just that we move our butts less, which is most definitely the culprit.
  • In my opinion, the healthy consumption of meat is underrated and quinoa overrated; but if a healthy salad floats your boat then that’s what it is and good going for you! Btw, I’m sure we have our own tasty and much more easy on the pocket variants of quinoa, no?
  • I cannot spend a week eating just fruits and milk or just greens or just juices. Balance is my key and it’s been serving me well.
  • Which brings me to – are diets balanced meals in the first place? These fad diets seem far from, though.
  • Deprivation makes me sad and sadness almost always induces stress eating. So I’d rather just have that bite of chocolate and be happy than have the entire bar and still remain unhappy.
  • Diets, in my not so vast knowledge centre, come across as very cruel and nasty ways of punishing someone by depriving them food instead of helping educate and making people conscious of what healthy, balanced eating habits are.
  • Speaking of balance, I firmly admit that good health comes not just from the food we eat/avoid but also from keeping negative factors/stressors at bay, and of course, the ever faithful, exercise/physical activity.
  • Diets are especially mean when you’re the only one on it at the table/in the family; especially given that it was this very same environment that contributed to your haphazard eating habits in the first place.
  • I have a massive problem with society and its ideals on beauty because we’ve made a scary portion of our population conscious about the way they look, forever. It really is nobody’s judgement call to decide whether someone looks good or not, whether someone is thin enough or not, whether somebody needs to be validated or not…though sadly, a lot of us have grown up learning that our true validation comes from the absence of cellulite and the presence of an hourglass figure…a lot of us have grown up believing we’re abnormal, strange, not good enough. It’s a ginormous problem.

Personally speaking, the idea of calling a healthy balanced meal a diet is something I would love but which I know is not the case. I came across this write up about diet trends and I couldn’t agree more – our standards are just leaping fads as and when the winds of whim change and make themselves present. It’s obnoxious at so many levels. We’re caught in this barb between the massive knowledge store we have and what the west thinks is right, and our self-doubt has only led to what our country’s alarming statistics in this matter are. Of course there are various contributors to what has led to this situation, which is a separate discussion all by itself.

However, what I came out to speak about – which was solely what I learnt from diets – is what this remains at. I’m a believer in education and the choice to just live a life that deems you, your body and your mind healthy. Stats, numbers and sizes are just token indicators to imply that you’re one among so many who is just a figure out there; a figure that may not even be liked, appreciated or validated for all that you are and more. While I personally do not recommend going on fad diets or depriving oneself of the things we should be careful about eating, the key remains in how we manage to strike a balance, and I guess we all have our own way of thinking we’ve found it, one way or the other.

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One Response to “The Thing I’ve Learnt About Dieting Is”

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  1. The One On Validation | Babska's Journey - June 7, 2016

    […] with and look at to feel like I was doing something. I remember writing about validation here, here, here, here, here, here, and here way back in 2011! Talk about wanting and needing to feel […]

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