(A friend of mine read my recent post about summer break and asked me how I’d define “diet mentality”. Here’s the answer to that. Part two will deal with ways out of diet mentality.)
- Diet mentality means going through your day thinking, “I’m fat. I’m fat. I’m fat.”
- And, “I shouldn’t have eaten this. Should I eat this? I shouldn’t eat this. Oh, what the heck. Now I’ve eaten it. I shouldn’t have eaten this. I’ll make up for it by not eating [insert food or meal of choice here].”
- Diet mentality means that you’re defining yourself and your worth by the number on the scale.
- Diet mentality thinks, if only this number were right, everything would fall into place.
- Dieting means, you’re trying to starve yourself or live on a restriction for a finite amount of time and then your life (and your eating) can turn back to “normal”.
- Diet mentality focuses on the number of the scale like, “Oh, I lost 2 pounds already. Now I can reward myself with ridiculous amounts of chocolate.” Or, “Oh, I gained 2 pounds. How could that have happened! I’ll eat only bread and water (or more likely vegetables, yoghurt and water) until they’re off again.” (Unless you believe in water-retention like I do.)
- Diet mentality means trying to fight for losing the same 5 pounds over and over again.
- Diet mentality means that if you’d only manage to be good for a few weeks, everything will be fine again.
But guess what, nobody’s going to give you a medal for “being good” or losing weight. (Well, apart from Weight Watchers, maybe.) And like Geneen Roth says,
“Thin people get cellulite, get sick and die, too.”
(I couldn’t find the source of this quote, but I can recommend all Geneen Roth‘s books. For starters try “When you eat at the refrigerator, pull up a chair.“)
And when you’ve finally lost that elusive two pounds, there will be the next goal:
- When I weighed 84 kg, I thought, “If only I were back at my pre-pregnancy weight of 78.”
- When I weighed 78 (before that) I thought, “If only I were back at 71.”
- When I was at 71 I thought, “I’m real fat, if only I were back at 69.”
And then 67, 65, 63, 60, 56. There it stopped, because I never weighed less as an adult or teenager. I was 16, I was love-sick, I was depressed, and I looked like a stick figure with ears for handles.
Look, stick-figure Susanne:
And here big Susanne:
Which one looks happier? (I know you maybe can’t see it, but big Susanne is much happier than stick-figure Susanne. Even though she feels fat all the time.)
So, the question is: How do you come out of diet mentality?