If you ask me, diets are a joke. Not the funny kind that make us chuckle or laugh, but the mean kind that make us feel worse than we did when the joke started. Why? Because the joke is on us.
Let’s start by assuming diets are dysfunctional. What am I saying? I’m saying that, like families, despite their best intentions, diets tend to screw us up. Sometimes they screw us up so much we no longer know what’s normal.
The Diet Joke is about what’s screwed up and what’s normal. If you need a hint, what’s screwed up is a weight-obsessed culture set smack in the middle of a culture that encourages us to constantly consume everything in sight. What’s also screwed up is the message of inadequacy we’re fed 24/7 to drive our consumption. Screwed up, too, is the long list of never-ending, quick-fix solutions available for purchase, most of which deliver light results and heavy self-loathing. What’s normal is knowing that, as much as we may hate to admit it, if we really want to change something about ourselves, then we have to do the work.
The Diet Joke is about reprogramming ourselves, maybe not to be normal (since when did that become the ultimate goal), but to not be so screwed up by the storm of messages we get.
Those messages include:
- More is better, and
- We’re never enough.
When it comes to food, those messages brainwash us to:
- Eat constantly, and
- Rely on “diet” products to lose weight.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. As with all reprogramming, let’s start at the beginning, with the word itself.