diets, again

May 11, 2008

I was going to start by saying “I don’t care if other people diet; that’s their business,” etc. But I realized that I *do* care if people diet. Why do I care? The reasons range from (what I hope is) altruism all the way to self-preservation.

(1) Dieting is not a healthy state of being, physically or mentally/emotionally. Countless studies have borne this out. I can think of many, many, many fatosphere bloggers who will stand up and attest to this. So, yeah, I care about people voluntarily hurting themselves.

(2) Diets don’t work. [Unless, of course, your dieting goal is that you want to lose X number of pounds but then don’t give a shit if you put them back on. Which is kind of insane.] Again, countless studies have borne this out. I care about people driving themselves batshit by engaging in futile behavior.

(3) I don’t want to hear about how skipping the office birthday cake means you’re “good” today, or how the latest issue of Men’s Health listed how many calories are in a Cinnabon. [True story; I went to the deli in my office building with an uber-health-conscious co-worker, and I got a cinnamon roll — not an actual Cinnabon, just a generic cinnamon roll — and co-worker immediately said “Men’s Health says that Cinnabons have 800 calories!” My response: “Huh.” And then I paid for my not-Cinnabon and happily ate it.] I care about my piece of mind, damn it.

(4) I’m well aware of at least one person in my office (oddly, NOT the co-worker in #3) who mentions her diet and her Weight Watchers POINTS, etc., in an attempt to shame other people into dieting. In fact, she gets *really* blatant about it with me, thanks to the unfortunate period I went through literally 10 years ago where I went to Weight Watchers. Ever since then, because she knows that *I* know what WW POINTS are, she’ll “casually” bust out with a comment expressing surprise that I’d eat something with so many POINTS. Like, office birthday party, everyone but her is eating ice cream, and she’ll sit next to me, drinking her water, and say, “Wow, I always find it amazing that people are okay with eating 16 POINTS in one bowl!!!”

I try to make sure I sit where there isn’t an empty seat, so she can’t do that, but when she does, I’ve gotten to the point where I just say, “Well, obviously I *am*. I think I’ll have seconds!”

I care about not being shamed for what I choose to eat while I’m sitting there being fat at my co-workers.

(5) Oh, and — hearing about your diet BORES THE SHIT OUT OF ME. I care about my boredom level, damn it.

There’s probably many more reasons that, yeah, I *do* care if people diet, but those are the general reasons. Now, I acknowledge that any mentally competent adult can choose to diet. I’m not going to stop you. I just don’t think it’s a good idea.

Can you diet and be a fat acceptance activist? You tell me. The cognitive dissonance, for me, is too great.