This morning I weighed in at 133.6 lbs. At first I was concerned; then I figured, this might not be such a bad thing. I'm going on vacation in a couple weeks, and I tend to overindulge when I'm not at home. If I weight 133 lbs. and gain a couple more, I won't be so upset. Of course I don't want to lose too much weight, but I don't want to stress over it either.
One thing I want to make perfectly clear: I am not ON a diet. I am learning to adjust my diet to foods that are healthful and that will give me energy and strength rather than foods that make me feel sluggish and tired. As a culture we are obsessed with dieting, and in finding ways to lose weight. There are all sorts of tools available: milk shakes and cookies that replace meals, boxed meals that are pre-measured, weight loss groups, and books galore. These work for some people, but many find that it only works while they stick to the program; once off the program, the weight comes back on. That's because, instead of learning to eat a proper diet, we are way too focused on dieting just to get thin.
I'm not knocking these tools. They work for many people, especially those whose weight has gone out of control and drastic measures are called for. But I believe what we need is to learn to eat properly from the start, so that even these tools can be weaned off of. No one wants to eat diet foods forever. I know. I tried the milkshake diet many times. I'd lose a few pounds, but get sick of drinking the shakes. I'd quit them, and gain the weight right back. I also tried the boxed foods. Have you seen how much sodium is in these?! I wouldn't call any of them a healthy choice.
I'm amazed at how much more obesity is found in America, compared to other countries around the world. It isn't that people in other countries don't eat; but most Europeans don't eat convenience foods. They learn to prepare fresh, healthy meals at a young age. They shop at local fruit and vegetable stands rather than mega-marts so there's less temptation to buy unnecessary foods. The culture is very different from ours; they eat to live, whereas Americans seem to live to eat. Just drive down any street in America and count how many fast food places there are.
Our outlook on food needs to change. Food is a necessity, that's true. It's enjoyable too, because God not only provided food for sustenance but He made it tasty and with pleasant aromas. But it can't be what we live for. We need to stop turning to food for comfort and turn to it for nutrition. When the focus is on nourishing our bodies rather than indulging them, we feel stronger and better about ourselves. Diet should not be how you lose weight; it needs to be how you eat to live.