So, the fact that the dieting industry is full of crap is, like, the opposite of news. Lots of people have written lots of excellent things about how the dieting industry is full of crap, and I don’t have anything particularly groundbreaking to add to that discussion. But I was struck by something this morning that I do want to write about, if only because it was something of a personal realization for me.
ASIDE: Before I go any further, I feel there are a few things I should establish about my attitude toward dieting and weight loss in general. These are all things I hold as self-evident from reading and discussion on the topic elsewhere, but since I’ve never written about it here I feel like I should lay down the basic stuff before I do. I believe automatically equating thinness with beauty and health is bullshit, I believe the emphasis on thinness and dieting in Western society (for really everyone but especially for women is kind of messed up), I believe if someone wants to lose weight or doesn’t want to lose weight it is basically their own business either way, and I believe that trying to be happy in your body no matter what size it is is an admirable, wonderful thing that is made a lot harder by society constantly reminding you that you should be dieting, you terrible terrible non-dieting person, you.
…This may be just a bit of a sore subject. Y’know. Just a little.
So, anyway, this morning as I was driving to work I heard a commercial on the radio for…some kind of dieting thing. Probably a supplement of some sort. I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention to that part. What caught my attention, because it was repeated several times, was the woman in the commercial (of course it was a woman) gushing about how thanks to this wonderful dieting thing, she got back to the weight she was at in high school. That was basically the selling point. Weigh the same as you did in high school! Wow! Who wouldn’t want that?
And as I was listening to it, I realized…I don’t. Sure, I was a lot thinner in high school than I am now. I was also in high school. I was an adolescent. I wouldn’t want to go back to having the hair, the skin, the fashion sense, or the level of knowledge and experience that I did when I was in high school (…I wouldn’t turn down the energy level I had in high school, though). Why should I want to go back to that weight?
Even if I did lose a lot of weight, I doubt I would ever again be as thin as I was in high school, because my body’s changed. My hips and bust are wider and probably going to stay that way no matter what. And I’m okay with that. I’m almost 26 years old and I have the almost-26-year-old body to go with it. If I were more religious, I would thank god that I’m not a teenager anymore. As it is, I thank the passage of time.
So, yeah, basically, you can keep your wondrous dieting things that would help me be more like the teenager I’m glad I’m not anymore, dieting industry. Thanks all the same.