Food for thought: Do any of these sound familiar?
These are all examples of 'diet talk.' Diet talk is EVERYWHERE - television, magazines, at the grocery store, at work, it's almost unavoidable.
Diet talk places a huge emphasis on self-worth being defined by our food choices. If you follow your diet, you’re 'good.' If you fall off, you're 'bad' and feelings of guilt and shame are quick to follow.
The below diet talk scenario is from an article written by a fellow dietitian from the perspective of a child:
Imagine you are a child.
You're happily sitting at the table enjoying your holiday meal with family and friends.
Then you hear it.
It's subtle, but it's there.
Aunt Kathy is talking about cutting carbs again when the holidays are over.
Uncle Ned mentions that his doctor told him he needs to go on a diet and lose weight.
Cousin Linda laments that she'll go over her calorie limit for the day if she eats the pumpkin pie and Mom tells her, "just make sure you work it off at the gym later" with a laugh and a wave of her hand.
The diet talk.
You stop chewing for a second and wonder why your family members are so concerned with diets, losing weight and changing their bodies.
You look down at your plate.
What is it about this food that everyone is so afraid of?
Isn't food wonderful and shouldn't everyone enjoy it and want to eat it?
You start to wonder whether you should have a slice of pie.
You start to wonder if it's okay to just be you or if you should be trying to change your appearance or "be healthier."
Your grandma says you are perfect just the way you are, but you start to wonder if all those adults are so unhappy with their bodies, maybe just being you isn't good enough.
This scenario is one we all can relate you, what's scary is the unintentional repercussions of it.
What are we teaching our kids about body image and healthy eating by constantly focusing on negative diet talk and weight?
Sadly, we live in a culture where we are flooded with advertisements and individuals that discuss their latest diet with almost a religious passion. The reality is 95% of diets fail.
As a dietitian, I can assure you that listening to your body and nourishing it with food and movement that you enjoy will ultimately serve you much more than any diet ever will.
Ultimately, the food that you eat and the size of your body do not determine your worth or value as a person. Re-read that last sentence again.
If you are interested in making an appointment with Shelby, ask your primary care provider for a referral.