Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Dieting" Rules

You might deduce from my title that I'm going to take this topic lightly, and yet not.  I will be the first to admit, and those of you who know me may say it's obvious, that I hate the word, "diet".  Not because I'm against healthy eating, but because "diet" has so many ugly connotations attached to it.  There are so many different diets out there that I couldn't keep track even if I wanted to!  I did a little research on the Internet to see what kinds of statistics are available on dieting.  While I knew that the statistics wouldn't be favorable, I think I was even a little shocked at some of them:
  • Young girls are more afraid of being fat than of cancer or losing their parents
  • One study reported that by 13, 53% of girls were unhappy with their bodies, and by 17, this number increased to 78%
  • In teen magazines, 37% of articles included focus on appearance.  In women's magazines, this number increased to 75%
  • Americans spend over $50 billion on dieting and related products each year
  • In 1970, the average age of a girl who started dieting was 14, by 1990, that age dropped to 8
It's these types of statistics that make me hate the word "diet".  Americans, especially girls, put such a strong focus on weight and appearance, that even eight-year-olds are putting themselves on diets!  According to Hollywood and the fashion industry, the "ideal" woman would be 5'5", weigh 100 lbs and be a size 5.  I don't know about you, but I don't think I know anyone who fits that image!

Dieting, and body issues are not just a "woman" thing either.  I personally know some young men in high school who have gone through some ridiculous measures to either gain or lose weight for various sports activities.  Some of the things that they did to accomplish their goals could NOT have been healthy!

So, while I do not want to make light of a potentially serious topic, I do want to share some of my desired "diet" rules.
  1. If you want to eat a candy bar (snack cake, ice cream, etc.), and you don't, you should automatically lose 1 pound.
  2. If you go for a nice robust walk, especially if you gasp for breath by the end, you should automatically lose 5 pounds.
  3. If you go out to dinner at a restaurant, and take any part of your meal home, you should automatically lose 3 pounds. 
  4. If you work out, and get all sweaty and gross, you should automatically lose 15 pounds
  5. If you're tired and don't feel like making dinner, but pass up the fast food restaurant and make dinner anyway, you should automatically lost 10 pounds.  This one would be a bonus because it applies to your whole family.  Unless of course, they're already at nice healthy weights, then YOU get to lose 10 pounds for yourself and every person that eats the home cooked dinner with you that night.  
If number 5 was a real rule, you can be sure that I would pass up that fast food restaurant, and start calling all of my closest friends to join us for dinner!  By the time that meal was over, people would be telling me, "You know, you really need to put on some weight!"  I'm euphoric just thinking about it!

Sadly, I don't get to make the diet rules.  But I do know, and am trying to put into practice, some things that might help us replace the word "diet" with "healthy eating".
  1. Avoid processed foods, even if they are low in fat or calories, they are probably loaded with salt, preservatives and artificial colors and flavors
  2. Shop the perimeter of the store, stocking up on fruits and veggies, meats (in moderation), and dairy products
  3. Get plenty of rest, I have seen many statistics that show that the more tired we are, the more likely we are to overeat
  4. Drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated.  If you are thirsty, you are already a little dehydrated.
  5. If you get a craving for something unhealthy, try to hold out for 20 minutes before indulging, it will probably go away.  See number 4 to help "quench" your craving
  6. Avoid making any food "off-limits", you may end up overeating it later
  7. Avoid fast food! I think that one's a no-brainer!
I am not an expert; again, obvious to those of you who know me, but these are some tips that I have read in various sources, and they make sense to me.  I'm working on it, but number five is a killer for me.  Especially at work!  Although, I have found that if I don't pack extra snacks in my lunch, I don't eat them.  Shocking, I know! Whenever I am doing "routine" tasks, which pretty much encompasses my whole workday, I have this overwhelming desire to snack!  Bad news for the waistline and overall health to be sure!  Sleep has always been an issue for me too.  There's just too much to do, not enough hours to accomplish it all!

Well, there you have it, it's out there, so now I'm going to try to live it!

Here are some verses that I want to keep focused on. While they may not deal specifically with body or health, I think they are still appropriate:

Romans 12:1 - "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

1 Corinthians 6:19 - "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and are not your own?"

Colossians 3:2 - "Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth."

God Bless!

1 comment:

  1. These are some great rules to live by. I often struggle with these dieting rules even though I may not look like it. It's nice to know someone else shares a lot of my thoughts and opinions.