As I scan item after item on my checkout, I sigh as heaps of processed junk sweeps past me. Piles of sausage rolls, pies, chips, crisps and sweets go by, always with the obligatory bananas and cucumber hiding at the end. I bite my tongue, smile and wish my customers on their way. But when someone arrives at my till, with a basket filled with the-next-day’s-diet-food, I want to scream and plead with them to search a different path. I have to force myself to stay silent. Calorie deprivation is not the answer. If someone in this country restricted food to any other animal, they would rightly be accused of cruelty. But apparently, it’s fine to encourage people with insecurities to starve themselves on a daily basis.
You know the drill, perhaps like me you’ve once packed a similar basket yourself. There will be low-fat yoghurts, rice cakes, ample amounts of salad leaves, porridge oats, lean chicken breast and there will always be celery. Anything else that doesn’t fall under the green light of goodness is shunned with a bright red sticker on its back, incorrectly labelled as a “syn”. How have we got to a point where we associate the food that sustains us with such strong feelings of guilt? Greed is a sin. Gluttony is a sin. Choosing to have a bit of chocolate after dinner is not a moral crime.
The diet industry preys on one’s insecurities, doubts and unhappiness. They thrive on it. Let’s not forget, if everybody was healthy, active and happy, there would be no industry, and therefore, there would be no money to be made. But to keep making money, the diet industry needs a steady supply of willing victims. So they will encourage you to eat obscene amounts of sugar. They will encourage you to restrict your calorie intake. Because then you will buy their bars and their shakes and their books and you will buy completely into their lifestyle until they have ensnared you into thinking this is a great idea.
Checks, points, syns – the only thing you really need to be counting is how many nutrients you can get into your body. If you can shift your mind set in such a way, I promise, a much happier life is waiting for you. Believe me.