Get ready. Here it comes: Dum dum daaaaa: to go on yet another diet.
Yeah. Woooo. Like nobody ever thought of that before.
However, my friends have all sworn on their mothers' honor that this is the anti-inflammatory diet that will finally cure all my aches and pains, shrink me to a size 2, stabilize my moods, erase all my grey hair, clear up my skin and make me three inches taller. Not only will I be happy to stay on this diet forever (I'm committing to three months with an option to renew), but "real" food will taste so much better that I won't even want to eat cheesecake or a hamburger ever again.
To be clear, I'm all in favor of vegetables. I'm even in favor of eating them. I am on a lifelong mission to seek out new vegetables and new ways to make them edible.
I don't mind the actual diet itself--cutting calories, counting carbs, eating weird stuff, that's all fine. What I hate is the promises.
Because every diet is guaranteed to transform your life from crap to incredible, and if it doesn't, that can't be the diet's fault. The diet is perfect. The diet is guaranteed. If the diet doesn't work, refer to rule one. The diet is perfect.
If you don't lose weight or feel great, it's your fault. You must have "cheated." You must have eaten too much or too little or something not on the approved list. You must have been lazy. You didn't try hard enough. You didn't obsess enough, didn't brutalize yourself enough.
I'm tired of the grinding, brutal burden of trying to be absolutely and unrelentingly perfect. Feeling grumpy? You must have eaten something. Tired? Too much sugar. Hips hurt? Must be food additives. No appetite? Too much caffeine. Too much appetite? Get more exercise.
Too many carbs. Too much protein. Not enough fat. Too much stress. Take B vitamins. Take C vitamins. Take this supplement. Take that herb. Read this book. Take this class. Follow that guru.
And the subtext is that you have to pound and grind and mutilate yourself until you've carved out every microscopic imperfection, and when you're invisible and inaudible and emotionally numb, you'll finally be a winner.
Every time somebody tells me, "You're going to feel so much better," or "You won't believe how good everything will taste," they're setting me up not just to fail but to be a failure. A loser. An outsider. An alien. Because the diet is perfect, so the failure has to be in me.
I've done all this before. Diets to lose weight. Diets to balance my blood-sugar. Diets to control my moods. Diets to cure inflammation. Diets to eliminate allergies. I don't lose weight. I don't lose pain. I can't seem to eliminate enough foods to get rid of all my allergies. Maybe I didn't do the diets "right." Makes sense. I mean, a hundred and one diets can't be wrong.
I'm going to do this anyway because three months of obsessive eating won't interfere too much with the important things in my life, and it's always worthwhile to try to be healthier.
Just keep in mind if you're one of those "helpful" types who can't resist telling other people how important it is to be "healthy" (ie thin), mind your own business and keep your promises to yourself.