March 2, 2013 § 41 Comments
Shuffle shuffle shuffle, shplop, clump, clump, clump…(that’s the sound of me hauling in and climbing up on my soap box, actually no, let’s go with it being me setting up my 2 cents booth, and special for you, today only, there’s no charge!…)
So a study came out and suddenly everyone’s all abuzz with the Mediterranean Diet all over again. Perhaps you’ve heard?
Which I suppose must be nice for the Mediterranean Diet and all, given it was probably feeling a little dusty and lonely and ignored from several years of being quite out of the spotlight. And maybe, if things go well, it’ll get some people to eat a little extra olive oil and seafood.
But, here’s what I worry. I worry that this is just going to add back one more way we measure ourselves and judge ourselves when it comes to what we eat. It provides one more set of potential boxes to constantly fret about ticking off so that we can feel good about ourselves because we “were good” that day, and to feel bad about ourselves if we deviate from because we “were bad” that day.
This is actually my problem with all the diets I hear about these days be they “paleo,” “vegan,” “raw,” “4-hour body,” “bullet proof,” or what have you. It’s not a problem with the diets themselves, actually, but a problem with how we – or, well, let’s personalize this, how I – respond to them emotionally. They make me judge myself. And if there’s one thing I don’t need extra help with, it’s judging myself. I’m super good at that all on my own, thanks.
When I’m trying to adhere to one of these carefully delineated ways of eating it becomes a constant rating game, just like so much of the rest of life can feel. When I’m getting praise at work or I’m on a run of eating no grains at all or something, inside I start jabbering, “I get a star for this, ooh that means I’m a good person. Must try to maintain stars at all costs”… and then I get worn out and feel bad about myself because I’m just trying to maintain my internal idea of how many stars I have, and then I do something “wrong,” like eat a scone or get a negative comment back from a journal I’ve submitted a paper to. “I get a big black X for that, oh no! disaster!! despair!!!!!! I must be a bad person. I am a horrible person…” And then I feel bad about myself.
Either way, it turns out, I feel bad about myself because I tie myself to my rating system of the moment (and I have a feeling I can’t possibly be the only one who does this, including with regards to food). And with diets, this winds up making me feel frightened of my food. And I’m quite certain that when you’re frightened of your food, it can’t really nourish you, no matter how many micronutrients it might contain. « Read the rest of this entry »