What is the arrogance of dieting?
Arrogance followed by a fall
Of course my arrogance was followed by a fall—as arrogance usually is.
Like Oprah, Kirstie, Valerie, and millions of others, I experienced shame when “the honeymoon was over,” even without the burden of public scrutiny. I assumed, as these women all described in later interviews, that I had somehow failed the diet.
Examples of the arrogance of dieting:
- You talk incessantly about your diet, and what you eat or don’t eat (or post it on social media).
- You’re sure that somehow this time (or this diet) will be different.
- You secretly judge (or openly shame) others for their food choices, weight, or health status.
- You think you’re doing other people a favor by telling them what they should and shouldn’t eat.
- You feel that restaurants, your workplace, and your friends and family should cater to your meal plan.
- You assume that if people only knew what you knew, they’d be better off!
- You assume that everyone else lacks willpower.
- You believe that you’ve discovered the secret!
- You think weight and health can be reduced down to a math problem.
- You think you can override millions of years of evolution and outsmart your metabolism.
- You think you can underfeed your body without consequences.
- You think you can fool Mother Nature with fake foods and food substitutes.
- You assume you are healthier (or more attractive) because you’ve hit an arbitrary number.
- You believe that a case study of one is enough evidence to convince everyone else.
If you have experienced the arrogance of dieting, you know that it not only contributes to the inevitable disappointment when the diet fails (as it does 95% of the time), it increases the shame that contributes to the downward spiral.
The Confidence of Body Wisdom
Trade in the arrogance of dieting for the confidence of body wisdom! Mindful eating is a non-judgmental, flexible approach that frees you up to focus on living your life instead of counting, weighing, measuring, and obsessing about food.
Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly!
Michelle May, M.D.