It is Not You That is on a Diet. It is Everyone Else!
‘Diet’ has such negative connotations. It smacks of sacrifice and discomfort and exclusion and difficulty and inconvenience. For the ‘western world’, the ‘set point’ of nutrition is characterised by highly processed carbohydrates causing a cascade of associated chronic conditions and health problems. All too often, we perceive a ‘diet’ as the exception to this norm.
And it’s from this ‘set point’ that the problems stem. You see, people see a ‘diet’ as going AWAY from the norm. In a sick way, the westernised diet is considered normal. And that’s the problem. Human’s are creatures of routine, thriving on familiarity. Any deviation from this routine takes effort and willpower. Because the ‘set point’ of our culture is a widely regarded unhealthy way of eating, escaping from this is difficult.
And hence, when we stop eating unhealthily, and start eating like we’ve evolved to, WE become the freak. WE become the outsider. WE become the one ‘on a diet’.
This needs to be flipped. Healthy eating needs to become the norm. You’re not on a diet, you’re just eating like you should. It’s EVERYONE ELSE who we need to perceive as the exception.
Even the origins of the word support this much needed reversal. ‘Diet’ comes from the Greek diaita, meaning ‘a way of life’. Not a temporary, sporadic flirting with better heath, but a new set point.
When your family is closed minded and stubborn to your removal of breakfast cereal from the pantry. When your work colleagues continue to fuel meetings with muffins and croissants. When your friends insist that social events can be only an unhealthy affair. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE ON A DIET. THEY are the exceptions to the rule. THEY are the ones breaking the guidelines of millions of years of evolution.
It’s not you. You’re kicking arse. You’re redefining the set point. You’re the normal one. Drag the people you love along with you. Keep fighting it. The reward is worth the effort.
Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion and leads a team of Exercise Physiologists, Sports Scientists, Physiotherapists and Coaches. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology.