I’ve noticed recently that to most, a diet is like a religion. There are those who don’t believe in diets, those who believe that there’s the potential for a good diet out there, but it just hasn’t been found yet, those who belong to a single denomination (your Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig-ers, Atkins fanatics, etc), and then there are those like me who find benefit in many plans and work to incorporate the best of each (hmmm … funny how my eating plan matches my ACTUAL religious beliefs … I wonder if thats the case with most people …).
I like to refer to myself as a recovering Weight Watcher. I had to come to realize that the Trinity (oh yeah, I’m taking this ALL the way) of Fat, Calories, and Holy Fiber aren’t the end-all and be-all of eating well. I no longer walk around with the WW handbook in my purse, ready to whip out as soon as I find a need for it. Instead, I armed myself with the information in the book that most benefits my life right now – eating to satisfaction, not to fullness; making sure a meal is balanced with a variety of foods; using exercise as a way to both exercise and gain calories. But I’ve removed the things that I never quite understood about WW – the advanced math degree you need to figure out your daily POINTs; the fact that WW frequently advises folks to use sodium-laden, processed meals in their everyday rotations. I needed to break myself away from that thinking, which I did.
But it goes beyond that. On Facebook recently, I’ve noticed so many people posting statuses related to their religion of choice – “Headed to my Weight Watchers meeting this evening, hope I lose!” or “On the phone with my JC consultant, blah blah blah” and my favorite evangelicals who post “Meat is Murder” and similar. Fact is, I almost feel like I’m in the mall being accosted by those nut jobs handing me pamphlets and telling me that I’m going to tell because I haven’t found THEIR God yet. Lucky me. I love that. I’ve actually had someone tell me “You know, you’d be so beautiful if you just lost some weight. Have you considered Jenny?” I kid you not.
And I’m sure you’ve noticed that we even label food in ways like, “Sinfully Delicious” and after eating something sinful (or on one of our Sweaty Days of Obligation, like Thanksgiving or Christmas), we head to the gym to avoid the after-effects of said food. I’ve just skipped going to the gym altogether. I workout on my own, regularly, I think that setup has worked for me, and I’m glad. I don’t need a group of sweaty people (or the locker room nakedness, thank you very much) to make me feel good about my workout. A runner’s high is enough for me!
Honestly, I don’t know where I was going with this, except to say that I was amused thinking about this the last couple of times I went for a run. Hope it amused you too!