30 Days of Health and Contentment: Day 22, This Is Not A “Diet”

photo of white onion bloom

Over the weekend, I traveled to Pennsylvania to visit my family. My sister asked me what foods I wanted, “Because I know you are on a special diet.”

“I’m not on a diet,” I answered.

“That’s what you’ve been writing about, you know, in your blog,” she responded.

Oh, no.

I hope that I haven’t mislead anyone into thinking that these 30 days are about some “special diet.” Maybe we need to clarify the vocabulary.

The word “diet,” has multiple meanings:

1. food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on
health: Milk is a wholesome article of diet.
2. a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a
person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease: a diet low in sugar.

3. such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight:

No pie for me, I’m on a diet.
4. the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group: The native diet consists of fish and fruit.
5. food or feed habitually eaten or provided:The rabbits were fed a diet of carrots and
lettuce.
6. anything that is habitually provided or partaken of: Television has given us a steady
diet of game shows and soap
(Source: Dictionary.com)
The definition of diet that I’m using is the first definition, consideration of what we eat and how it affects our bodies.  The “diets” we’ve looked at (Mediterranean diet, MIND diet) fall into the second definition, a selection of foods designed to benefit overall health and well-being.
What I’m not talking about is definition 3.  30 Days of Health and Contentment is not prescribing a weight loss plan; weight loss may happen (especially if you are addicted to junk food and processed food), but the goal of these posts is to help us become autonomous “consumers” in the most basic sense.

The idea is to be healthy and content, mind and body.  We know that being overweight increases our risk of contracting many diseases. But, if you’ve seen the TED talk that’s been circulating on social media, you’ve discovered that it is not the most significant indicator of longevity. That prize belongs to “social integration.” (See the video, below.)

 

This is a really important finding. It could change so much about how we think about diet, being overweight, and healthy life styles.

How does “fat shaming” hurt people’s health?

Why do we keep spending money on fad diets and restricted calorie diets when we know that these don’t work?

Why is the food industry allowed to continue producing and marketing addictive products that are harmful to our health and extremely costly to the public in terms of obesity-related medical care?

Our 30 Days of Health and Contentment is aimed at achieving a healthy body and happy spirit.  Let’s recognize that to get there takes some knowledge and commitment; that it isn’t always easy, especially when powerful special interests have an economic stake in keeping us unhealthy; and that some of what we’ve been taught is completely wrong.

And let’s promise not to spend another dime on weight-loss products. Buy some good food, and invite your friends over for dinner, instead.

 ♥

This post is not intended to offer medical advice. Check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan.

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3 comments

  1. I understand completely. My “diet” just means avoiding junk food — most of the time — but eating pretty much what I want in moderation.

    1. I think that’s the only way it really works!

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