“Diet” and “Should” are Dirty Words.
I have decided to eliminate the words “diet” and “should” from my vocabulary. Why, you may be asking? Well, for me at least, both of these words are negative, emotionally charged words that bring on feelings of guilt, shame and deprivation.
I have struggled with my weight my entire life. The last time I was truly ‘thin’ was when I was in the 6th grade and was 5’4″ and weighed 135 pounds. And oddly enough, at that weight I fit into a size 4. I can look back at those pictures and say “Wow! I was thin!” but looking back in memory I thought I was fat. And as they say, thoughts become things, and for my adult life I’ve been anywhere from 40 to 100 pounds overweight.
I’ve been “dieting” since I was 13….and I’m 47 now. I’ve tried the grapefruit diet, the Atkins diet, Optifast, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and even went to the extreme of the Rouen-Y Gastric Bypass surgery. To this day the thought or smell of a tuna salad sandwich gives me the heebie-jeebies. So, essentially I have hated my body for most of my life. That just can’t be good for the psyche.
So why is “diet” such a bad word to me? Diet in and of itself is a neutral word. The dictionary defines diet as “food and drink regularly provided or consumed; habitual nourishment.” It’s only the 3rd definition that I have lived by: A regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight <going on a diet>.
When I think of the word “diet” I think of denial. I think of bland food and depriving myself of the things I love to eat. I think about being hungry and angry. I know it doesn’t help that I am a recovering food addict. So the word ‘diet’ has to go. I looked up synonyms for diet and those words are even uglier: abstinence, regime, regimen, restriction, reduce, starve.
Yeah, starve is really what I think of when I hear the word ‘diet’ and the little girl inside of me gets very pouty and rebellious, and decides she’s going to do just the opposite —- indulge! So I’ve got to think of another word for “diet”. Here are some words that might work: sustenance, nourishment, nurture, provisions.
I’m picking ‘nurture’ as my new word. Thesaurus states: nurture means to bring up, help develop, help grow, or provide with nourishment.
I’m all about developing as a person, growing my skills, and providing myself nourishment. Not just to my body, but to my soul. To me that means making choices that I want to make, that are right for me. It’s learning new ways of cooking and preparing food that are easy and simple. It means loving myself, not depriving myself. Samantha has said it’s not about cutting food out — it’s about moderation, and choices. It means exercising because I want to, not because I “Should.” (There will be a follow up blog post on the other dirty word “should”).
So, I’m going on “a nurture” this year. How about you?
Guest writer, Susanne Romo
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