HOT TAKE: Dieting is the exact same thing as Religion
Which means, of course, I’m going to write a public blog post on it under my own name. Come fight me, broseph.
So many people take religion seriously. And rightfully so: studies have shown that people who define themselves as religious lead happier lives, give back more to their community, and, very occasionally, firebomb doctor’s offices.
The passion and drive it requires to believe in something without any concrete evidence, and devote so much time and effort into it, requires a lot of personal sacrifice, lifestyle changes, and a good deal of monetary investment.
In the process of the last 10 months, I’ve found myself proselytizing one simple phrase: “calories in vs. calories out.”
It’s the golden rule of dieting. Whatever else you do, from kale to no carbs, etc., if you’re eating fewer carbs than you’re burning, you’re losing weight. But much in the way that “Do unto others” is a great Golden Rule that can summarize most religions, the problems are in the details.
You would be SHOCKED at how many times people have told me I was losing weight wrong. In March, I was down 100lbs, and was told that I needed to go Paleo, because it was the “only way to lose weight.” I was told this by a woman who had, over the course of a year, GAINED 5lbs.
I know you think you’re top shit because you’ve dropped a few pounds but you’re going to kill yourself if you don’t switch to Paleo. Everything you’re doing is unhealthy, and I am TRYING to look out for you. – Direct quote from someone I hadn’t talked to in YEARS who had no idea what my diet plan was, exercise, or anything.
Seriously, the level of vitriol, spite, and hatred that I experienced while dropping 150lbs was incredible. I don’t consider myself to be the expert in weight loss, but certainly, by now, I’m not a novice. It shocked me how many people were ANGRY I was successful, because I didn’t follow their method. Or because I suggested they try something new that worked for me.
That you might do things differently on such a personal decision is seemingly impossible to consider. By not choosing their specific diet strategy, you’ve seemingly invalidated everything that person stands for. We’re unable to sit down and take that hard look at ourselves and self evaluate. Every diet but our own is a hoax diet by some quack, or that other person’s God is a myth, and not real.
The dangerous part of both of these industries is how much money they generate, and how protective of that income the people selling you are. Joel Olsteen is making $100 million a year selling you prayers, and GNC isn’t exactly poor selling you supplements and protein bars. They both NEED the confusion in their markets, because they’re selling you the idea that they alone can offer you certainty in the void.
Can you get into Heaven, Valhalla, Karmic points, etc; if you’re courteous, consider the needs of others, and go out of your way to help people? Can’t hurt, can it?
Weight loss is calories in vs. calories out. Go for a walk. Change your portions to have more salad on your plate instead of pizza. Mow your neighbor’s lawn. Eat carrots for a snack instead of chips. Don’t dismiss someone else out of hand because they’re doing it slightly differently. You can be a good person, lose weight, and be less confused. All it takes is the change of pace.