Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Hate the Word "Diet"

The word "diet" according to Merriam-Webster means:
a :  food and drink regularly provided or consumed
b :  habitual nourishment
c :  the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason
d :  a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one's weight <going on a diet>
Both a and b above are the way I use the word, but it seems the general population has come to think of a diet as something restrictive, used only to lose weight, preferably as quickly as possible.  As in crash diet, fad diet, cabbage soup diet, Twinkie diet, cookie diet, and whatever other ridiculous, gimmicky eating plan someone can come up with next. I cringe every time I try to use the word to describe my eating lifestyle, because I always feel the need to follow it up with a disclaimer that I don't mean some temporary scheme to shed weight quickly so I can reach a goal weight and then revert back to eating whatever got me overweight in the first place.  I feel like I need to justify that I mean a (hopefully) permanent lifestyle change to the foods I eat on a regular basis.  
A permanent, life-long diet is attainable, sustainable, and enjoyable.  The fad diets and crash diets are difficult, unsustainable, and often dangerous.  Temporary diets lead to temporary results, and in many cases the dieter ends up gaining back all the weight they lost, and more.  And guess what? Fad diets are not FUN.  And at Playing with Fitness, we are all about a healthy lifestyle that is still fun.  I don't want my diet (attempt to resist temptation to define word now) to feel like a list of foods I "can't" have.  It's not about the forbidden fruit.  It's about the many alternate options - wonderful, delicious, nutritious foods that taste good (they really do!) and are good for me.  The foods that make me feel good and look good.  
Now looking good and feeling good?  That's my kind of fun.  Have a playful, healthy day!