Welcome to the Start of Diet Season

Now that the holidays are essentially over, Diet Season is officially open. Considering that weight loss is the most common New Year's resolution, we can look forward to being inundated with the following:

  • ridiculously expensive fitness equipment
  • diet programs galore
  • ridiculously expensive diet food
  • gym memberships
  • weight loss articles galore
  • how we're all fat and going to die* of obesity
I hate this time of year. And given our current culture, it's not going to get any better anytime soon. The worst part is that it's almost impossible to escape it. No matter what I do or where I go, the diet mentality follows me. I don't want to be a part of this, but I don't know how NOT to. I try to stay away from it as much as possible, but even just reading the "Health" section of the New York Times, there's almost always an article on weight loss/obesity/fitness. Nutrition is more about weight loss than nourishing your body properly.

Honestly, as much as I preach about it on my blog, I still feel incredible guilt when I buy "junk" or "snack" foods, or items that are full-fat. I get that my recovery means I have odd caloric needs, and that these foods are healthy for me. I also get that these foods aren't inherently unhealthy. Yet at this same time, that mentality is SO PREVALENT that it still worms its way into my brain.

I worry what the other shoppers in the supermarket must thing as they look at my cart: are they judging me? They must be. I have too much food, not the "right" foods, not "healthy enough" foods. And the stupid checkout boy. He sees so much food, so many choices. How do mine stack up? Can I do better? Yes. Yes, I can do better. I must.

It really screws with my head, and I don't know what to do about it.

*I initially typed "diet of obesity" which is almost certainly true.


MelissaS said...

it's comforting to hear that someone else hates this time of year. first, all the parties. then, all "diet" mentality. bah, hum bug. i can't quite clear my head of all my ED notions. i'm guilty of starving all day before the (too numerous) parties. i don't binge or starve when i get there, but i do feel some relief that i haven't eaten anything else that day. and i firmly believe that breakfast IS the most important meal of the day -- but that doesn't mean i eat it. i hope this all seeps in some day. we work sooo hard at new behaviors...i look forward to my brain following my actions.

MelissaS said...

by the way, my verification word was "plumpse". my ED immediately thought it made sense -- if i started to eat breakfast, i would certainly get...plumpse. how can an ED be so embedded and so quick?

mary said...

There are diets that are unhealthy. Fat free has to be the worst! Think of it as a junk food ...the one which lacks one of the most important fuels for your body.Other bad diets are more obvious as there's no balance...like just candy or just carrots...in other words not a good balance of nutrients.
BTW, most people except for a person who's on a diet or has an ED will not care what you buy. There are some days my carriage looks like a teenager gone wild is shopping for the house (chocolate is often half price the day after a holiday) and other times it's the regular stuff.
Hard as it may seem NEVER BE ASHAMED of what you eat or who you are. If you want a big bag of chips then buy them! If it's a BOGO then get 2! They keep. They keep even longer if I hide one bag.(I learned when shopping in the UK that they only sell teeny tiny bags of crisps...poor things) And for MelissaS as well, LET YOURSELF BE who you really are and eat! You don't deserve any less.

mary said...

"BTW, most people except for a person who's on a diet or has an ED will not care what you buy."
I MEANT that they won't care what you buy but couldn't edit the "not" out.

sarah-j said...

oh my gosh, i know, its soo hard to ignore the existence of Diet Season!

i love the fact that we're even talking about it critically here. its like a small act of resistance against the horribleness.

It really is so prevalent and hard to escape. At a family dinner the other day, my aunt, who was the first adult i ever talked about my eating problems to, was talking about her new years resolution to go on a giant health kick.

Still, I'm going to try to ignore it as best i can. I'm kind of getting a kick out of telling people, if they ask me, that i don't believe in new years resolutions and that I'm just not making any

Its like the pressure to diet feels oppressive but resisting that pressure feels liberating.

Thanks for this post Carrie.

Sarah said...

I really, really struggle with this too, Carrie. I wish I had an answer for you. I will say that one thing I have learned in AA is that people who tend to be obsessed with who is drinking what, how much, etc etc are people who tend to have alcoholics. "Normal" people really don't care who is drinking and who isn't. I think -- I hope, I am trying to convince myself -- that the same is true for supermarket carts. The average person just isn't paying attention to my cart. Besides, most of us humans are pretty far up in our own heads. We barely notice other people's existence, let alone what they are buying.

At least that's what I'm trying to convince myself.


Crimson Wife said...

What I hate about this time of year is that every supermarket checkout is loaded with diet/fitness magazines and tabloids with cover stories on weight loss.

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About Me

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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