Opinions: Rocca-ing the world: Mad measures

Diets taken too far


Lauren Rocca

Mannequin wrapped in measuring tape

Lauren Rocca, Opinions Writer

With Spring Break just around the corner, the amount of diet plans and weight loss goals swirling around me has stopped me in my tracks.

While I understand the importance and even vitality of a healthy lifestyle, people tend to take “healthy” to unhealthy extremes. It becomes something they cannot stop thinking about. The diets start to control and suck the fun out of their lives.

These days, when I get ice cream with a group of friends, there is usually one person who refuses to get anything. Which is honestly fine with me… until they start complaining about how good the ice cream looks. I just laugh and shake my head. They should’ve gotten some.

I mean, seriously? We’re teenagers. Our metabolism is peaking and our fun should be peaking along with it.

Even when their diets are not physically unhealthy (they’ll just cut out sweets which is actually healthy) they are mentally unhealthy.

I’ve seen people throw frustrated fits as in, “UGHhghgh, I just want some fries.”

Um… then eat some.

The thing is, the more I’ve seen people deny themselves their favorite foods, the more they end up binging on it during their “cheat days.”

People will miserably give up sweets completely during the weekdays, constantly eating salads and soups and fruits. However, they’ll give themselves a “cheat day” and eat whatever they want. So they end up eating about five bowls of ice cream, three fast food meals and a bag of chips to themselves.

…and then they complain about how bad they just ate and the weekly “health” cycle starts all over again.

I’ve found that a truly happy and healthy diet is simply a matter of balance.

So maybe I’ll order the small ice cream instead of the medium or large. I’ll stop eating when I’m full. I’ll eat healthy when I’m alone.

But when I’m out with friends or family and just trying to enjoy myself, I refuse to let a stupid diet plan infiltrate my good time with guilt or negative thoughts about how much weight I’ll gain from a burger.

While I think health is awesome and praiseworthy, my respect toward a person’s lifestyle stops when the person on the diet becomes unsatisfied because of it.

Girls exercise and eat themselves sick with different routines and detoxes trying to get a model figure. I, myself, have tried.

Somehow, our mindsets have been set to “Skinny people are happier people.” But working towards an unattainable goal of looking like a person in a magazine, whether it’s from Athletica or Victoria’s Secret, is the most unsatisfying and disappointing thing people can do.

Because here’s a hard learned fact: I will never, ever look like an Athletica or Victoria’s Secret model. It’s not how I was built. My actual bones and organs and muscles are not shaped right to look like a model.

So what.

Those same parts in my body keep me alive and functioning. They let me dance with my friends and go on hikes with my dog and family. They even let me eat some ice cream and fries when I want to.

Lately, I’ve challenged myself to think about adventures and going places rather than dieting. Getting out and about gets my mind off of food and lets me have a good time. I’ve learned to love my body for what it allows me to do rather than hating it for what it doesn’t look like.

That in itself has satisfied me more than ice cream or a salad or a six mile run ever has.