The Ugly Truth About Diets: Reflections on International No Diet Day

0

How do I qualify as Senior Director, Product Management, to write on this subject? Here is why- I had always been conscious of my appearance, clothes, and image in physical and virtual social circles.

However, after giving birth to my second child in 2016, I struggled to lose my pregnancy weight.

At my heaviest
At my heaviest

While breastfeeding and catering to my baby’s needs helped me lose some weight initially, I gained 17.5 pounds within a year and a half due to my sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits.

I became self-conscious of my body and started to feel the societal pressure to achieve the so-called “ideal” body image. I began to indulge in greasy lunches without cooking and sitting all day in front of the laptop, which made things worse. I started to feel the need to disguise my flab by finding poses that made me look slimmer, and I became increasingly unhappy with my appearance.

This was a turning point in my life, and I decided to embark on a rigorous diet and exercise routine. I calculated my protein intake, cut down on carbs, and exercised 4-5 times a day. I deprived myself of all the good things in life and gained titles like irritable, always angry, and not fun to hang out with. My boss even joked at one of the team lunches that I couldn’t go to because they didn’t serve broccoli (Ouch!). I was losing weight, but at what cost?

My best friend and husband repeatedly told me that I was becoming obsessive, and it took me a while to realize that they were right. I was becoming malnourished, my hair and skin were beyond dry, and I was depriving myself of all the things that brought me joy. I decided to listen to their advice and stopped following the diet and exercise routine that was making me miserable.

At my all-time low

I gained back some weight, but I also gained a new perspective on body positivity. I realized that the societal pressure to achieve the so-called “ideal” body image can be harmful and that everyone’s body is different. The media often creates an image of beauty and body standards that is not realistic or healthy. It does not show the eating disorders, ailments, anorexia, and mental health issues that people can suffer from when trying to conform to these standards. However, if you are consuming unhealthy food, overeating, or not engaging in physical activity, that is entirely your responsibility and reflects ignorance.

Disrupt the mindset, challenge the conventional body standards, eat the right portions, exercise, and gauge health by your mental and physical fitness, not by a number. Trust me, it’s not worth it!

Happy me

Today I celebrate body positivity and reject the harmful dieting practices that I once followed. I eat normal food, exercise 4-5 times a week, and focus on being healthy and happy. I encourage everyone to embrace their bodies, gauge their health by their mental and physical fitness, and not be driven by a number on a scale.

So on this International No Diet Day, celebrated every year on May 6th, let’s take a moment to reflect on our relationship with food and our bodies. Let’s embrace self-love and self-care, and strive for healthy habits that make us feel good inside and out. Remember, your worth is not determined by your size or shape. Let’s celebrate the diversity of body types and focus on being the healthiest version of ourselves, both physically and mentally.

Author Swati Sahai is a visionary and influential product executive, health advocate, and people-focused individual. She’s a wife, daughter, and a loving mom to three beautiful children including a fur baby

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Ugly Truth About Diets: Reflections on International No Diet Day

How do I qualify as Senior Director, Product Management, to write on this subject? Here is why- I had always been conscious of my appearance, clothes, and image in physical and virtual social circles.

However, after giving birth to my second child in 2016, I struggled to lose my pregnancy weight.

At my heaviest
At my heaviest

While breastfeeding and catering to my baby’s needs helped me lose some weight initially, I gained 17.5 pounds within a year and a half due to my sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits.

I became self-conscious of my body and started to feel the societal pressure to achieve the so-called “ideal” body image. I began to indulge in greasy lunches without cooking and sitting all day in front of the laptop, which made things worse. I started to feel the need to disguise my flab by finding poses that made me look slimmer, and I became increasingly unhappy with my appearance.

This was a turning point in my life, and I decided to embark on a rigorous diet and exercise routine. I calculated my protein intake, cut down on carbs, and exercised 4-5 times a day. I deprived myself of all the good things in life and gained titles like irritable, always angry, and not fun to hang out with. My boss even joked at one of the team lunches that I couldn’t go to because they didn’t serve broccoli (Ouch!). I was losing weight, but at what cost?

My best friend and husband repeatedly told me that I was becoming obsessive, and it took me a while to realize that they were right. I was becoming malnourished, my hair and skin were beyond dry, and I was depriving myself of all the things that brought me joy. I decided to listen to their advice and stopped following the diet and exercise routine that was making me miserable.

At my all-time low

I gained back some weight, but I also gained a new perspective on body positivity. I realized that the societal pressure to achieve the so-called “ideal” body image can be harmful and that everyone’s body is different. The media often creates an image of beauty and body standards that is not realistic or healthy. It does not show the eating disorders, ailments, anorexia, and mental health issues that people can suffer from when trying to conform to these standards. However, if you are consuming unhealthy food, overeating, or not engaging in physical activity, that is entirely your responsibility and reflects ignorance.

Disrupt the mindset, challenge the conventional body standards, eat the right portions, exercise, and gauge health by your mental and physical fitness, not by a number. Trust me, it’s not worth it!

Happy me

Today I celebrate body positivity and reject the harmful dieting practices that I once followed. I eat normal food, exercise 4-5 times a week, and focus on being healthy and happy. I encourage everyone to embrace their bodies, gauge their health by their mental and physical fitness, and not be driven by a number on a scale.

So on this International No Diet Day, celebrated every year on May 6th, let’s take a moment to reflect on our relationship with food and our bodies. Let’s embrace self-love and self-care, and strive for healthy habits that make us feel good inside and out. Remember, your worth is not determined by your size or shape. Let’s celebrate the diversity of body types and focus on being the healthiest version of ourselves, both physically and mentally.

Author Swati Sahai is a visionary and influential product executive, health advocate, and people-focused individual. She’s a wife, daughter, and a loving mom to three beautiful children including a fur baby