Today there are so many diets out there that you can go on, it's almost overwhelming. There are diets for weight loss, for "quick and healthy" weight loss, the South Beach Diet, the Jenny Craig diet, and so many more. But so many times, people may be on a diet, but it's not in the sense that you would think.
Often times, when people say they are on a new diet, there are one of a few reactions.
1. "Oh," they say awkwardly, pausing, "um... that's uh great, great for you." Trying to sound enthusiastic, but failing miserably. Not sure what's the best way to react.
2. The false assurance, "Oh, you don't need to go on a diet! You look fine!" But sometimes it might not be the outside that needs the diet.
3. The best friend. "It's about dang time." They say, the only one who can be brutally honest with you. The one who has been trying to get you on one for a long time. Trying to replace your french fries with veggie chips or your coke with water.
But with all of the diets out there, the fads that come and go, the meal plans that last a few days, sometimes the word "diet" gets misconstrued. In the dictionary, there are several definitions of a diet. The second one listed when you search "diet" is: "a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons." But the first one that is listed is: "the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats." Which means that a diet isn't just restricting yourself, sometimes it really is just what you eat.
So many times, the word "diet" is used for the latter, and rarely with the former. As someone who has recently begun a new diet, one that my doctor instructed me to start due to stomach issues, it's almost like a game, trying to figure out a way to say when I have to explain to someone that I'm on a diet. I've since gotten the first two reactions from several people, and my mom was the third. Though she didn't say it quite like that. When I brought home the food I could no longer eat. what I didn't want staring me in the face, she did say something along the lines of "Now don't you see how much you need this?"
The problem with the word "diet" is that it almost has a bad connotation, almost as if it is taboo to say. But it really isn't. It's not always about getting the perfect beach body or getting rid of excessive weight. Sometimes a diet can literally save your life. Or perhaps it can save your stomach from constant pain, your head from constant aches.
Being on a new diet doesn't mean you are fat. Being on a new diet may mean you need to cut something that is hurting you, and it may not be chocolate cake, it may be green beans, broccoli, even asparagus (I had to cut those). Sometimes it's the green that you cut, not just the fats. Perhaps even something like gluten can be the bad guy.
The problem is, sometimes when people hear the word "diet," it scares them. But diets don't have to be a scary thing, they really don't. We've just made them scary.