December 2nd, 2009
by Jodi · Filed Under: Nutrition
During a typical work week I come across a myriad of people with all kinds of fitness questions.
Can I eat this food?
I heard that this makes you gain weight.
Tell me honestly, do I really have to do that to be successful?
Those kinds of questions. And normally the person asking me seems to be pretty balanced in their approach to me. They are not too tense or too overly anxious; some of them are genuinely interested in all I have to say whereas others just want me to get to the punch line: so, what’s gonna make me hot? All in all I am pretty used to a Q & A session when I either go to meet a client or speak somewhere and etc. Yesterday, however, I was reminded again of how important it is not to take life or dieting to seriously and to be aware of how your dieting may be affecting others.
You always hear people say it’s the journey that counts—not the destination—and etc. How they should take this one day at a time. They cannot be perfect so don’t try to be. Cut yourself some slack and be prepared for pitfalls. This is all true and so imperative to hear and take in. When I encounter a barrage of questions about dieting and they are all about the “rules”:
Don’t have fruit after….
Sugar is bad for you…
Fruit is bad for you…
Don’t eat late at night…
I tend to shy away and steer the person in a more productive direction than just following a bunch of rules because you honestly can start to become “wiggy” with it (downright obsessed; deer caught in a headlight; manic; very unhealthy). Can you imagine how surprised I was when the person asking me all these questions was a male and he was quite young.
I honestly do not know how young he was but he was young enough that it was alarming to me that he had all those rules in his head and was quite concerned about getting them right. Honestly, it made me stop dead in my tracks (mind you I was presenting in front of a group) and think to myself, “Holy moly. Someone is really feeding this person some information and boy is it affecting him.” He is either around someone who is dieting or had someone close to him lose a bunch of weight (because he was perfect weight for his height and has always been) and he was truly affected by it.
I finished the presentation by really driving home the fact that these rules are not necessary to be successful in life and there are so many different ways to diet/life life/eat right/etc. that getting hung up on way is counterproductive. I think I made some head way there but I am not sure. In the mean time, I am deeply affected by that meeting.
Dieting is a personal decision and it should be your decision. Bringing everyone else along in the family for the healthy ride is awesome and encouraged, but if you have a list of diet rules that you have made yourself a slave to, please rethink passing them along. Not only is it unhealthy for you to be tied to an arbitrary set of rules in the long run, but you may be affecting someone else close to you without you even knowing it. You can get the body that you want and the health that you desire without having to get all wiggy with it.