Understanding The HUGE Difference Between Your Diet And Dieting Will Change Your Life

Understanding The HUGE Difference Between Your Diet And Dieting Will Change Your Life

Everyone has a diet, but nobody has to "go on one."

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Whenever I speak publicly about Health at Every Size™ and the dangers of dieting and fatphobia, it's inevitable that I hear at least one comment trying to catch me in some sort of mistake or call me out. "If people can eat whatever they want, what about people with peanut allergies! Can they eat peanuts?!" "I have diabetes, are you trying to kill me by telling me to eat cake?!?"

My answer? Well, no, of course not. To understand this, we have to understand the difference between our diets and dieting, or as I like to say, between dieting and nutrition. At its root, a diet is the type of food a person, animal or community habitually eats. However, diet culture has given diets a whole new definition. Now, a diet is about restrictive eating—cutting out certain types of foods, eating at specific times, or minimizing intake in order to control one's shape or weight—which we often use with the verb "dieting."

Dieting, or restrictive eating, is harmful and not healthy. It is the most common predictor of an eating disorder and is also associated with a myriad of other mental and physical health issues such as depression, heart problems, and low metabolism. However, our diets, or nutrition, are neutral. They are simply what we feed our bodies, and food has no moral value.

Obviously, though, there are certain limitations to intuitive eating and for many eating whatever we want isn't possible. There are people who are gluten-free, have certain allergies or insensitivities, live with diabetes or deal with other limitations to what is available. The answer to this, though, is not "going on a diet," it is making certain changes to our nutrition. Refraining from eating peanuts because you're allergic is not a diet, substituting pasta for a gluten-free kind is not a diet, and drinking dairy-free milk because you're lactose intolerant is not a diet. The only reason we call certain changes in nutrition for people with diabetes "diets" is due to medical fatphobia.

Following the Health at Every Size™ teachings and research, fat people are not inherently unhealthy and it is possible to be healthy and fat. However, because of statistics showing that most people with Type Two Diabetes are in higher weight bodies, many believe that their weight, rather than imbalances in insulin levels, is the cause of Diabetes-related health issues. In reality, with the help of a nutritionist and/or doctor, a person could make changes to their nutrition to regulate their insulin levels and restore their health and remain the same weight or even gain weight.

Dieting is not a necessary part of life. Not for fat people, not for skinny people, not for people with celiac disease, allergies or even diabetes. Yes, sometimes changes in our nutrition are necessary to maintain health. But the facets of diet culture which involve striving for weight loss by restricting intake should be avoided by everyone at all costs.

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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The Only Diet You Actually Need To Get The Body You'll Feel Happy In

Make this your year to shine!

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I remember a few years ago scrolling through Pinterest looking for a new diet or exercise regimen to discreetly try out — losing weight without my parents knowing that I was doing so.

"11 Lazy Girl Hacks That Will Help You Lose Weight Fast"

"How To Burn 1000 Calories"

"How To Lose 5 Pounds In 2 Days"

"Top 30 Fat Burning Superfoods"

Honestly, they did work. I lost weight fast. Then again, not eating and overexercising tends to do that. However, while the scale kept dropping, I never reached a point of contentedness that I thought I would. All I wanted was to keep going, to keep dropping that number. So, I looked up even more new diets and workout regimens.

At some point, I realized that it was never truly about the number; no specific number would make me happy. It never did and it never would.

So, I decided to come up with my own diet. Here are the rules:

1. Instead of counting calories, count the memories you make with loved ones while enjoying delicious foods.

2. Instead of cutting out carbohydrates from your diet, cut out toxicity from your life.

3. Instead of envying other peoples' bodies, appreciate the body that you are already blessed with.

4. Instead of thinking about how you can improve your body, think about how you can improve your mind and soul.

5. Instead of drinking diet teas, toast to special occasions with people you care about and love.

6. Instead of working out to the point of exhaustion, work on spreading kindness to those around you.

7. Instead of watching what you eat, watch a sunrise, a new movie, your favorite show, a sunset.

This is your year to shine. Embrace it.

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