The Diet Mindset

April 8, 2008 at 11:49 am (diets, disordered eating, weight loss) (, , , )

It’s pervasive, this idea that if one simply limits one’s calories below what they need to survive, one’s excess weight will melt away like so much ice cream in the hot sun. Despite studies that have shown that people burn calories differently when they have plenty to eat versus when they have little to eat, and despite studies that have shown that biologicaly fat people and thin people burn calories at a different rate, most non-fat-friendly people who talk about THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC lead off with the assumption that fat is a choice, and fat people could all be thin if they’d only eat less and move more… despite the failure rate of diets, and despite the fact that most fat people have been on diets and failed, and despite the fact that many many many articles talk about “the dangers of yo yo dieting” in the same paragraph they talk about yet another low calorie starvation fest.

I know my body. I’ve lived in it for a long time, and started listening to it actively recently. I know for a fact that I can limit calories to starvation levels while doing intense aerobic exercise for many hours a day and still not lose weight. But the other day while changing into pajamas and thinking about whether or not I wanted to have some ice cream, that little niggling voice in the back of my head whispered that if I’d just skip the ice cream my clothes would fit that much better. And maybe I should just have a salad for dinner, or skip it entirely. I have been losing weight after all. If I just take control and limit my calories a bit, I’ll lose even more weight, even faster.

This, despite the fact that I’m losing weight at a time when I’ve eaten more calories than I have in years. I’m eating more food over the course of the day than I usually do because I’m not restricting what I eat, I’m not eating what I “should” eat. I’m eating enough to be healthy and have energy and to keep me alive, and my body’s responding by stopping it’s OMG FAMINE HOARD HOARD HOARD freak out and letting go of the excess fat I have… the fat that truely is excess, and which has me at a higher point of my body’s natural set point. I know what’s healthy for me, what’s good for me. Yet even knowing that, I still feel the urge sometimes to act in unhealthy, destructive ways; to engage in disordered eating and compulsive behavior again.

And that’s not right and that’s not good and that’s not healthy, and that’s the diet mindset that grips this country.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: