Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
Are you still sticking to your new year’s resolution to lose weight? Have you found a magical diet that’s making you drop pounds? Did you wake up super early to pack a special lunch for your wizard diet to ensure you’ll be half your size by 3pm? Good for you – but don’t tell me because I don’t care.
I have absolutely no interest in your diet plan, your mystery calorie-counting app that’s better than surgery, or the secret vegetable that chews fat while you blink. I have no more desire to feast my ears with tales peppered with paleo than I have to hear about your ‘fascinating’ dreams or what position you slept in last night. Get on with it, and when you look fantastic I’ll tell you. But when I do, let’s keep the conversation brief; I don’t want a menu plan, timeline photos or a 30 minute step-by-step breakdown of how you did it.
Dieting may make you physically thin, but it’s also in danger of slimming down your interesting conversation fodder if you become obsessed with it. All this talk of gluten-free, sugar-free shenanigans is less interesting than sitting in silence watching the hands of the clock tick by. Those are minutes of my life I will never get back, and you are not welcome to eat into them, no matter how ravenous you are.
There are some things in life that, much as our oversharing society may scream at us not to believe, we are meant to quietly get on with ourselves. What we put into our mouths and what comes out at the other end falls into that category.
Weight loss is not complicated; eat less, move more. And yet dieting has become big business, with the revenue fatter than our waistbands. As obesity levels rise across the globe, we’ve become weighed down with analysis and obsessed with dieting, and have ballooned into a world of weight watchers. We’re fixated with weight but are still overweight, and talking about it isn’t any more interesting than it is slimming.
Everyone’s waiting for the ‘next big thing’ in weight loss, yet just two weeks ago research greeted our morning headlines that the paleo diet can cause rapid weight gain. It turns out the promised step forward to a healthier land was actually a leap backwards, and with a nickname like ‘the caveman diet’, are we really that surprised?
It was 1997 when American doctor Steven Bratman coined the phrase ‘orthorexia nervosa’, the disorder of becoming obsessed with eating healthy food. Since then, one fad diet has rolled onto the menu after another, applauded by money-making raw lifestyle movements.
The truth is, there is no magic diet more complicated than putting in fewer calories than we burn off, so let’s all hush before we alienate our friends with dire diet talk.
As Bratman himself says: “Rather than eat my sprouts – or kale – alone, it would be better for me to share a pizza with some friends.” And when we do meet up for pizza, just remember I don’t have any queries about quinoa or want to chat about chai. If you’re trialling no gluten, no dairy or no sugar, may I please request that they come with a side of no lectures? Tell me about your cat/child/thoughts on world peace instead, because your superfoods are super dull and leave me craving donuts.
Image via firstwefeast.com.
Comment: What’s the worst thing you’ve heard come out of the mouth of a ‘healthy’ dieter?