It’s still January, the month when a lot of people in our society start dieting again. Most people view dieting as a ‘good intention’ for the new year. I know a bunch of people around me who are dieting right now. New year, new me, right? Well, no. There are so many reasons why diets don’t work and I think most of us know that very well. But today I want to talk about a specific downside of dieting. Today I’ll tell you more about how dieting distracts us.
All human beings need food to survive (even though there are people who believe they can survive off only sunlight, but I think that’s bullshit). We eat multiple times a day. And so, if you start dieting, you’re entire day is focussed on food. You think about when your next meal will be, what it will be, how much it will be, and you also think a lot about food in general. Unfortunately, I know this because I have been there too. Dieting takes up a big chunk of your headspace in a day.
Loss of time
And that is so wrong. We human are capable of doing the most wonderful things. We can built things, help others, teach others things, learn something new ourselves, make art, have fun, love, etc. But instead we waste out time on keeping ourselves as small as we possibility can, just because marketing taught us to do so. If I think of the time I spend dieting, I think of a loss of time and headspace. I could have used that time to learn how to play the piano. Or I could have volunteered and helped others. I could have written many more blogposts too.
But those thing that I just listed are all output-focused (another thing capitalism taught us: you should always be productive). But that’s not what I mean, I don’t think you should always be productive. You could have used the headspace you spend on dieting on leisure as well. Enjoying a good movie or book, or wandering in nature, maybe even philosophizing about politics. And maybe even more important: you could have focussed on what makes you happy and what you want in life. When dieting, we waste our headspace and time on something others expect from us. Dieting distracts us from what we want in life. But we should live the life we want ourselves.
Another thing dieting does: it makes us delay life. We think: ‘when I have lost 5 kilograms, I will give myself some relaxation’. And that relaxation can also be replaced with fun, happiness or something else. We wait with our plans because we think we’re not worth all those things unless we lose weight. Most people think that being ultra-skinny will make them happy. But it won’t. We should focus on the things that actually make us happy, right now. Not when we’re lighter.
We only have a limited amount of days on this planet and nobody knows how long they’re going to live. But we all know one thing for sure: one day we will die. So please, don’t waste your time on dieting. It’s not worth it.
That’s how dieting distracts us. And even though things are changing and men are the victims of diet culture increasingly too, I still think dieting is mostly focussed on women. And that is extremely anti-feminist. If women are occupied by dieting, they don’t focus on the things that are actually important. Not on politics, not on equal rights, not on any kind of empowerment. I would not be surprised if dieting was invented to (besides making a shitload of money) keep women occupied. To distract them from politics.
So please, don’t waste your time, headspace, effort or money on dieting. You are worth and capable of so much more.
Follow my personal journey on Instagram.