Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a bridal shower. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining, and everyone was smiling. It brought back lovely memories from my wedding festivities.
The thing that made it extra special was seeing my friend with her family – the laughs, the love – it was so amazing.
While enjoying the party, I noticed how often women talk about their bodies, dieting and restricting food.
I’m not trying to take an utterly incredible moment and turn it black, but it stood out because of the age of these women -most in their late 20’s and early 30’s (aside from the aunts and grandmas).
As I sat around a table surrounded by youth and hope, I, unfortunately, heard a lot of talk about stuff that didn’t matter – restricting food and dieting.
One particular gal was doing the Whole 30 diet. Sitting next to her was eye-opening. She wasn’t doing the “normal” thing – merely enjoying her lunch. She sat there, with a pile of lettuce in front of her and no dressing. No wine. No 1 oz of champagne when the brides were toasted. No desert which wasn’t even indulgent. Everything put in front of her was off limits.
When she told me she was on a diet, I asked why. She said, “I’ve gotten out of control with food and my weight. My husband and I started eating so poorly, and something needed to change”.
Ya know this is fair. It really is. When you come to a place in life where you feel like crap, and you’re not even 30 years old yet, it may be time to think about your lifestyle.
But my problem with diets such as the Whole 30, (aside from the fact that it’s a diet), is it’s so extreme. Why does cleaning up food choices and increasing physical movement, i.e., taking care of yourself, mean a 20 something goes extreme and misses out on an entirely innocent day of celebrating her best friend?
There’s a normal way to go about taking care of yourself without it meaning an extreme diet.
So why the extreme? It’s because the focus and goal is weight loss and not self-care.
I harp on 100% no dieting – and I’ll stick by it because I think anything other than is a recipe for insanity and breeds the binge/diet cycle – not addressing other issues. But I also can get why people want to shape up – with their food choices, physical exercise, etc. because feeling bad bleeds into so many things in life – confidence, relationships, ability to enjoy moments. But…
…..there’s a better way than going on an extreme diet with the primary focus being weight loss. In fact, a slow and steady progression toward health is more sustainable than any diet and is only considered normal if it’s honestly done out of love for oneself and not to lose tons of weight in thirty days.
Making drastic changes isn’t normal and will only end you right back in the same damn place you started – especially if the goal is weight loss. You’ll go back to feeling tired, frustrated, sick, hating yourself and sluggish. Because here is the thing, after the Whole 30 is done- what do you do? You go right back to the BS that made you feel bad in the first place. And not to mention, you binge like crazy on day 31.
Don’t punish yourself by extremes. If you genuinely want to nourish your body and feel good, consider focusing on just that, versus jumping on the scale every day – replace extreme with love.
Consider changing one thing that might mean love for yourself and take a tiny step. It’s much more sustainable and won’t mentally crush you. And most importantly, do it for the right reasons. As mentioned many times, when the goal is weight loss and controlling food, the result is diet/binge cycling.
Bite sizes win the race. We all want to live vibrantly. We all want to feel good. This is great – all I’m asking is we stop with the extremes and focus on weight loss – it’s not the answer!