I don't do diets. Ever.
I work with a gaggle of body image and diet, and food, obsessed women. Which I struggle with. My mother was a dieter, of the yo-yo type. All the women in my family were from peasant stock, not tall, a bit dumpy, and I express the phenotype just as much as my cousins and my aunts, and my granny as well. My mother pushed her pudginess into obesity.
Oh, I'm sure there were reasons, which she hid behind her eating habits. Her father was quite a piece of work, from what I have pieced together. She married another, who made her life miserable. She really never gorged, kept her treats small and rare, but she went on drastic diets, lost a lot of weight, then gained it all back, and more. I remember coping with it, as a small girl, thinking about her choices. I defended the protein diet she got on, to my aunts and granny who worried about her health. I went on some with her, like the apple diet.
The summer before I started high school, allowed to borrow books from the adult side of the library, I read through the romance section. By the time I was done, I was thoroughly sick of the genre. Which is exactly the way I felt about diets by the time I reached adulthood. They seemed unreal and toxic. I would never indulge in any fad diet, and talk of food as a subject tended to sicken me. Nor, indeed, ever read another romance novel.
So, hearing my cow-orkers go on about food makes me despair of women today. Not all, of course, but this mind-set dispirits me. I figure this is part of why, although I am certainly dumpy-body-shaped, I'm not obese. I've never lost or gained a lot of weight quickly. I was thinner in army basic, but I also stopped my periods and got severe bronchitis. I was thinner in Boston because I had to walk so much - but I also had more foot and back pain. I'm not a natural runner, and I'm getting older. I look very much like my cousin, who is also, (and I mean this with great warmth and affection and admiration) a dumpy woman like (but 20 years older than) me. She has no issue showing a photo of herself in a bathing suit by the pool on vacation. I strive to have such confidence. I'm getting there.
The only food I enjoy is the stuff I actually get to eat. Otherwise, it's pictures of food, and since I can't smell or taste it, I can but shrug and say, "eh." I eat more or less what I want, while listening to my body. When I have enough, when I've overindulged in sugar or bread, when I need vegetables or fruits, or need concentrated protein. And I adjust. I listen when part of me says, 'enough' and I stop. I don't drink soda, I never plan dessert, rarely order any when we eat out, don't keep candy in the place. Most of the sweets I eat are, have you guessed? Yup, at work, brought in by the dieting women.