Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stages of Dieting Grief

During some downtime recently, basking in the post-consumption euphoria of a particularly amazing Chipotle burrito whilst also fighting the powerful urge to indulge in a double chocolate chip cookie dessert, I found myself pondering my relationship with food.

I had a revelation: My emotional process for dieting mirrors the psychological process for grieving. If I look back on my Whole Life Challenge experience or any other attempts to diet, for that matter, the phases are evident. As an example, let's take my thought process for said cookie that is lingering in my line of site for the entire time I am composing this post:


"I don't need to be on a diet. I'm not that fat and I workout a significant amount. Maybe I should just get the cookie. Look at it. It's scrumptious. Mmm. Cookie."


"Damn everything. Damn myself for pining for the cookie even though I'm not hungry. Damn society for making me feel like I need to diet. Damn Starbucks for stocking it. Damn Nestle Tollhouse for making the first chocolate chip cookie that was the domino to ruin so many lives."


"I mean, Chipotle was a realistically healthy dinner – I got the salad and used no dressing, cheese or sour cream. And really, although a large potion at once, it seemed like a very reasonable volume of food in the context of my intake for the day. I could probably afford the cookie...But wait, I'm getting drinks later and this cookie will cause me to forfeit a beer or two."


"This sucks. I really want that cookie and beer later. Why does it have to be one or the other? I'm going to miss out on all of it's chocolatey goodness. If only I had a little better self control, I wouldn't have eaten like crap all weekend and would be able to eat this cookie. And if I had much better self control I wouldn't have this debate with myself in the first place. And I wouldn't be such a fatty. I'm worthless. A fat, worthless, self-control lacking slob."


This stage is usually not afforded to me, and I proceed to eat all of the aforementioned feelings. When I do arrive at acceptance, it's begrudgingly: "Well, I guess I need to make the healthy decision (so I can drink beer later)."

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