Currently, I am on a restrictive diet. It does not allow for many calories in one day and when I try to explain my diet, I often get criticism. I’ve gotten the following:
“Don’t you realize you’re going to fail?”
“How can you possibly be happy?”
“It’s so ridiculous. You can’t live like this.”
“Is it even run by a doctor?”
“Is it doctor approved?”
To those last two, I am always tempted to joke that my diet actually is not doctor approved and that in fact, my dietitian regularly schedules appointments out of the back of a van….so perhaps I should be suspicious I’m not sure how well this would go over.
Now, I’m sure I do not explain Ideal Protein well but I’m not sure it’s up to me to do so. I’m not the doctor. I’m just the person on it. I’m not the one who invented the diet nor am I the one who knows all the nitty gritty stuff that goes along with it. I just know that I’m supposed to eat veggies and lean proteins. If you are curious about Ideal Protein…look it up and to my knowledge, not one diet center is located in the back of a van.
I am curious though about why it is considered okay for women to criticize the diet plans of other women? When did it become okay to question another person’s method of weight loss when really, shouldn’t the person be applauded for wanting to be healthy? All diet plans have flaws and I feel that I have found them (although please note that these findings are not based on any sort of actual science and really should not be deemed as fact in any way and I am only listing the ones I have tried because that’s what I am going to do:
1. Jenny Craig–you don’t get your own food. I noticed when I did this, if I ate so much as a carrot that was not on the diet, I gained 87.5 pounds.
2. Weight Watchers–I got to eat but I didn’t change my eating habits. I just ate what I wanted and calculated the points. It didn’t work.
3. Nutri-System–food blows. I hated it. Didn’t last week.
4. Another nutritionist suggested I eat one chicken breast and veggies every single day. Spent a gazillion dollars at Whole Foods and cried on the inside.
Yet each one of these diets have been amazingly successful for someone. They have worked for some….look for no further than Jennifer Hudson. You have to find what works and I feel as long as we are not doing things to physically harm ourselves….as long as we are not ending up in the hospital, then do it and there is no need to justify any diet to anyone. It’s yours and honestly, unless you are Jennifer Hudson and getting paid a bazillion dollars (estimation) to discuss and justify your diet, then who cares? I don’t get the Shakeology/Beachbody stuff that a lot of people seem to be obsessed with, but maybe it’s not for me to “get”. It’s not for me to criticize or say you’re wrong because it’s not my diet and it’s not one I’m choosing for myself.
Now, the question of whether or not I am happy? I fit comfortably into a size zero dress the other day, the materialistically shallow side of me is beyond happy. I am so happy about this that I am singing Pharrell’s “Happy” song as I type this. Actually, that’s not true at all, but I am happy. Have I followed the Ideal Protein diet exactly….no. I’m making it work for me and that means, if it’s a holiday or if I can justify it or it would just be too difficult to make it work….then I don’t make it work.
I get very confused though by all this criticism. We live in a world where women are constantly being shamed for their size and we are told that it’s wrong….do not shame others for the size of their body even though everyone does it, “if you’re too fat, then you’re unhealthy” or “if you’re too thin, you must have an eating disorder”. It’s never good enough, but then wouldn’t the same hold true for women who just want to get healthy. Don’t shame women for choosing to lose weight in a way that works for them especially if they’re not harming you. No more criticisms, no more negativity…..instead of questioning, maybe giving positive feedback would be better? Dieting is hard, being healthy is hard. Not eating an entire pizza in one sitting is hard….saying no to garlic cheese bread is REALLY hard. The criticism makes it even harder, it comes across as sabotage which adds extra pressure and causes women–or maybe just me–to call up their mothers and complain incessantly about other people being mean to them.
So why not make a pact…..stop the criticisms! Who knows what that criticism or that comment will do….just applaud them. Be nice, cause typically those dieters are a little hungry and are a little sad on the inside because they passed up the garlic cheese bread. Don’t think the person will ultimately fail and gain all their weight back, unless you are that person on that plan or you are a psychic, there is no possible way for you to know that and if you are a psychic, let’s have lunch and tell me all the winning lottery numbers for all the lotteries.
Lets encourage each other…..not tear each other apart. It never helps. We get so much of this body shaming stuff from the media, let’s not turn on each other.