How easy would it be to give up diets if you weren’t being subjected to about a gazillion messages telling you that you have to lose weight every day?
If you could just wipe the metaphorical slate clean, press the reset button, reboot your brain and go back to zero, with a brain unaffected by adverts for cereal that tastes like cardboard but comes with a free diet; magazines that talk about non diet weight loss and then tell you to eat less and run a bit more; snarky comments like “I wish I could be like you, and you know, not care about my size.”
If we didn’t have the relentless pressure to lose weight, it wouldn’t drown out the quiet voice that’s telling us we should just stop…breathe….relax….
It’s wanting to lose weight that keeps us fat. At this point you might think I’ve gone nuts, but think about it. You think “I need to go on a diet” because you see an advert for some expensive perfume in a magazine and want a body (even though you know what you’re looking at has been airbrushed to within an inch of its life) like the model. You think “I’d better finish up all of the biscuits in the cupboard so that I’m not tempted to eat them,” even though you’re not hungry.
You start your diet and at first you feel good, keeping images of that model in your head as you count your calories, measure out your pasta or avoid anything remotely resembling a carbohydrate. You know you’re doing the right thing – all around you see weight loss, obesity and diets, so you congratulate yourself for finally dealing with your fat.
We all know that it wears off though. Now all you’ve been on a diet for almost a week, you’ve had a long day at the office and all you can think about is a big fat sausage sandwich. You don’t often eat sausages, because you know how fatty and bad for you they are, but you saw someone at work with one and you know it’s off limits but GOD you want that sandwich.
The picture of the model you pinned to your fridge is barely keeping you away from its contents, but you have some diet yoghurts in there so you tell yourself you’ll just have one after your Weight Watchers box meal and you won’t be hungry any more. It tastes like chemicals and sets your teeth on edge with its fake sweetness. Now you need something else to take the taste away. A banana. That’s it, a banana will help. You eat the banana, but a few minutes later that bloody voice is in your head, nagging you to have a sausage sandwich. “I must need something savoury” you tell yourself.
Foraging in the kitchen, you find some Quavers. You like Quavers so you eat a packet from the multi pack you bought when you stocked up on ‘allowed’ snacks. God, but they were tasty, and they didn’t last long. You go back into the kitchen and grab two more packets of Quavers and practically inhale them. They are only cheese-flavoured air, after all.
By now, you aren’t remotely hungry, so why is your brain making you think about sausage sandwiches still?
Sod this. You pretend you can’t see the model, as you get your coat on and head to the chippy. You threw the sausages you had in the freezer out when you started the diet last week. The smell of the chips hits you. You start to salivate, and instead of a plain sausage and a roll, you end up with a battered sausage and hot, vinegary chips.
It’s OK, you can start the diet again tomorrow.
Now tell me…if you hadn’t received the message that:
1. You should look like the air brushed model
2. You should go on a diet to achieve this
3. Sausage sandwiches are BAD for you and will make you fat
Would you have just made a sausage sandwich for tea instead of raiding the kitchen, eating several unsatisfying alternatives and then giving up the fight completely and having sausage and chips as well?
Just think about it. Ignore the bullsh*t. The more we listen to people (diet industry) sending out false messages about how to remove fat from our bodies, the deeper into the diet ditch we fall, and the harder it is to crawl out. Dieting is keeping us over eating, and over eating is making us fat. The solution we’re being sold is making us over eat even more, and so they carry on sending us the same messages to keep us buying their crappy products.
Just eat the sausage sandwich and get on with your life.