I struggle with ‘diet’.
Diet. A really loaded word in the fat-o-sphere. This rambe was brought on partially by some thoughts on diet over at the fabulous Angry Rainbows, and There is a range of thought on ‘diet’ and ‘dieting’ in the community. For many, fat acceptance comes with the creed of saying that diet and dieting is always a bad thing. This is understandable, as ‘going on a diet’ has so many horrible connotations both for physical and mental well being. Better writers than I have mused upon the main bad connotations of the word ‘diet’ in the sense of ‘to diet’.
I struggle with this. Not with ‘dieting’ so much. I’m over that. Counting calories doesn’t work for me and I am trying to learn to be happy with who I am, not the thin fantasy I used to dream that I was. I will admit to every now and then logging what I eat for a week, to see if I’m getting enough fibre or enough protein or whatever. I am prone to do this when I’m feeling a bit down.
I have a snag, when it comes to ‘diet’ though. If I don’t think about what I put in my mouth, I have mood swings and fatigue issues liek whoa. I don’t drink lemonade (as in Sprite/7UP) much, and on saturday I had some as it was all we had available at a picnic. Combined with apple pie and a cookie, once we finished looking at the hippos and having a second drive around the safari park, I practically passed out in the car on the way home – something that is really not normal for me. So I need, to a certain extent, to pay attention to what I eat. Diet is not just a plan of how and what to it, it also describes what we actually eat. My diet is what I happen to put into my mouth, plain and simple. So this weekend, my diet included cookies, and pie, and soda, and I was reminded that I should avoid having too much of those because I don’t enjoy blood sugar crashes. Does that make me a bad fattie? Or just a common sense fattie?
Intuitive eating sound awesome and perfect – it sounds like a great thing to learn to be natural and learn to understand the body and it’s signals. However practically? I am under no moral imperative, even to Fat Acceptance, to manage my general health and well-being in the manner pro-scribed by Fat Acceptance. Common Sense eating is still a ‘diet’, a way of imbibing and partaking of nutrition, based on your own interpretation of your bodies signal. Diet does not just mean ‘a reduced calorie diet’ or a ‘low GI diet’ or even a ‘healthy diet’. It simply means what you eat, in my opinion. Yes, ‘dieting’ with a view to losing weight is pointless. I’ve been through weight watchers and low calorie diets more times than I care to mention. Right now I am investigating the GI of certain foods to figure out a way to make myself less cranky and less prone to tiredness. Is this a diet? Yet I’ve always held a distinction between specific planned ‘diets’ and ‘diet’ in general.
I’m pretty confused. I’m using some guides to glycymic index to give me an idea of where to start, and then keeping an eye on my body and moods after I’ve had certain foods. An actual low GI diet was suggested to me by my General Practioner. Is this a sugar coated diet? Am I brain washed and a bad fatty? I don’t know any more. I’m a pretty forgetful person, and I can definitely see someone as a scatter brained as me treading the thin line between paying attention to their body, and crossing over into obsessive food logging and nutrient counting. Common sense will be different for everyone, after all.
EDIT: I absolutely love this post by Shannon.