the first date.
“Dude! She’s calling! What should I say?”
“Uh, uh, hi! Great! How are you? Yes, that’s the place. Did you get the map I texted you? Great! Sounds good. See you soon! Bye!”
“So is it still on?”
“Yep! Dinner in 3 hours…I hope I don’t mess it up!”
I’m sure we’ve all been there.
The first date.
The unsure, casual conversations at first and finally one of you asks the other to make the big jump to actually get together and do the real thing. You make preparations, you google them, you talk to your friends about their experiences on first dates, you research a good restaurant and maybe you even have an “in” with one of their friends to give you some tips and pointers.
A first date is fresh. new. exciting. and filled with unexpected but highly anticipated results. And the best part…they’re usually immediate! You either walk away pumped for the next one or you’re trying to figure out if you misread something or it really was that bad.
and you’re left with a question…now what?
I’ve come to realize that we treat diets just like first dates and the results aren’t so great.
Webster’s Dictionary has four sub definitions of the main usage of the word diet:
a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed
b : habitual nourishment
c : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason
d : a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight <going on a diet>
It’s not until the last definition that you get to the way that most people use the word. The first definition is food and drink regularly provided or consumed.
I love the way Webster’s online dictionary explains the origin of the word even better.
from Greek diaita, literally, manner of living, from diaitasthai to lead one’s life.
So, a diet, literally, is a manner of living. Why in the world then do we go on a diet?
So, think back to the first date scenario. Now imagine it’s not a date with a person, but a date with a diet. You research, you talk to your friends, you’re kind of nervous, you want it to work out, you’re looking for immediate results (or quickly) and then…you usually get them! Yes! Success!
and just like the first date you say….now what?
the next step.
After the first date, you need to decide if this is something you want. Now I want to stop you right there. If you didn’t want it to begin with, why did you even start? Did you like the idea of a relationship or did you truly desire to change your current relationship status and perhaps…for the long term? Did you feel that? Yep, that tingle at the back of your neck when your brain flashed a scary word…
A second date doesn’t mean marriage, but it means you’re ready to make some changes. So, maybe you can’t go out on the weekly girls shopping on Saturday afternoon or the guys’ poker night on Friday, because you’re choosing to put this new person first. He or she requires time, effort, continuity, your attention and yes, some sacrifice. But isn’t that what you expected?
Wasn’t the first date just the door to a new life that would improve upon the current one? Or weren’t you ready to make room for the slight adjustments that would provide a mountain of benefits in order to- how did Webster say it?- lead one’s life?
The past six months have really opened my eyes to eating. Read more about that journey here.
I’ve realized that after I changed my eating habits I felt better, my attitude was more positive, I lost weight, I had less body aches and my tastes even changed!
It was incredible. But then Thanksgiving and Christmas happened.
I tried to maintain my healthy eating through it, but realized I still wanted to indulge in those “contraband items.” I gained a little weight back, but worst of it all, I didn’t feel good. And that’s what I missed more than anything. It’s like those loving relationships. Yes, they take work. Yes, they can restrict your “wants” sometimes. But, they make you feel so good.
I still plan to eat Oreos and milk with my son. I’m going to have a s’more at a campfire and I will definitely drink my share of beer and eat ice cream….maybe not at the same time…but you never know!
I do know one thing. I won’t go on another first date.
So, on a day-to-day basis I will choose to have a long-term relationship with quality food, for the good feeling my body receives from it. It’s worth it.I will learn about new ways of preparing veggies so that they taste phenomenal! I’ll choose water and put a lime in it instead of having a soda.
A diet will always be about “losing those extra pounds” until your relationship with food changes. And so far, I’m having a great time getting to know my food in a different way!
It’ll be an exciting new adventure where commitment tastes and feels great.