A good friend of mine re-posted a blog that she wrote almost two years ago on why she quit dieting – check it out here at Body Positive Yoga. It was wonderfully timed for this current challenge that 18 of us are participating in. She writes “I learned that dieting almost never works” after years of she had failed attempts, years of various different exercises, doctors visits and nutritionist consults. And I have to agree. The word diet has evolved in to more than what I believe it’s original meaning was intended to be. It’s defined by my Mac as the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eat. Our diets have evolved with the food that is available in the moment that it need to be consumed. Here in the states we have a LOT of options for food and lots of decisions to make regarding what we put in to our bodies. I’d like to see the word diet go back to the simple meaning and not the subset meaning of “what diet are you on?”….Paleo, Atkins, Vegetarian, Vegan, etc???….Our diets are the most manipulated and diverse of any animal, and we’re likely lucky and haunted at the same time with all of that power. Think about it – dogs, cat, fish, bears, all eat basically the same things every day of their life without little variation. We, on the other hand, can eat different things every single day if we wanted to. Granted, our guts are a little more evolved to do so (I’m sure there’s some argument here), but we could change our diet almost every day with the types, quantity, quality, etc of food that is available to us (given the means to do so of course). The rest of Amber’s post goes in to her personal evolution of acceptance and it’s definitely worth the read.
I’d like to highlight some of the best and worst from the challenge participants. Everyone is working so hard and finding out little tidbits more about themselves and their environment. Last night I asked them all to share their experiences thus far…and in no particular order….let the drumroll please….
The Best Parts so far….
- Feeling GOOD! A lot of participants echoed this thought, noticing a difference in how their bodies feel and operate. Bonus = having random strangers validate how great we are all feeling, even if they were possibly intoxicated (we all know that’s a truth serum). Extra bonus = having your spouse validate it (there are a few couples doing this challenge together).
- Trying something new! As part of the challenge bonus points were awarded for trying something new with friends. Some chose a local ropes course with their family (super bonus! hanging out with the kiddos!). Some chose yoga. Some chose cardio kickboxing.
- Becoming more mindful about the food that has been put in to our bodies – what are we eating, why are we eating it?
- Eating out less, which means spending more time at home with family. (I love this one!)
- Drinking less alcohol.
- Awareness of the bad habit we’ve challenged ourselves to squash during the month. Drinking less caffeine = more sleep. No scale = less obsession over things that really just aren’t that important to begin with.
- Feeling more productive, energetic and motivated in every day life and living with more clarity.
- Getting back on track after loosing sight of any type of control over diet, exercise and life.
- Experiencing this with 18 other people, sharing in this challenge. Since we share a group FaceBook page a lot of participants have really enjoyed the encouragement, motivation, humor, confessions, knowledge, etc.
The Worst Parts so far….
- Loosing points without realizing it. Sugar has been a HUGE culprit, that shit sneaks in to everything without our knowledge!
- Once a point is lost – just going ape shit and eating everything or drinking everything that caused that point to be lost because we don’t loose more points, just more self control. This “defeats the purpose of the challenge, which is more important than the points” one participant laments.
- Missing foods that were enjoyed pre-challenge. Sushi was a big one (we must all have distinct pallets).
- Drinking less alcohol (yes, that appeared in both categories) = also goes with hibernation during challenges as we find our voices within the community….participants tend to socialize less in fear of loosing points and/or having to deny themselves the potential illegal challenge items in such situations.
- Boredom = online shopping (more than one participant admitted to shopping more).
- More dishes – yes…lots more dishes! I think the wife and I do a load in the dishwasher EVERY DAY!
- Not even half way and already getting a little misty eyed that it’s coming to an end.
- Finding foods that are gross…
I don’t know about you, but I see a lot more positives on this list than negatives. 17 days left, tomorrow is the halfway mark!
Today’s Total: 10