Weight Loss Thoughts: Meals are the Problem, Not Food

When I think about dieting, it’s easy. All you have to do is eat less food. Sounds simple enough. Anyone can do that. Some dopey kid in an orphanage is probably doing it right now.

The problem is not food. Meals are the problem. Blood is on their hypothetical hands. Or tongues. Or whatever it is meals would use to grope people inappropriately then high-five their buddies with after.

I’ve written before how pointless it feels to diet while married. This post is about a year old. Nothing has changed. It’s still difficult to drop extra poundage whilst engaged in holy matrimony. That’s because no matter what, I know Jenny won’t leave me. Thank you very much, blackmail.

cake eater
Our marriage started with eating cake. She can’t use me ballooning up to 400 pounds as an excuse. Ever.

Dieting while married certainly seems tough. It’s not the only reason why we struggle with our weight. Eating is no longer about survival. Eating is an experience, sometimes called meals.

As great as food is, eating a meal is better. Meals encompass everything. The environment, the service, the taste, the quality, the variety, and everything about what’s going on factors into creating a meal. Meals are best when shared and a huge social moment in all of our lives.

Sure, I could diet perfectly. I could eat 100% clean and never go over my calorie allotment. How fun is that?

yummy donuts
Not nearly as much fun as devouring these together…

About ten years ago, I went about three months eating perfectly. I ate the exact number of macronutrients I aimed to and reached my goal weight. Then, Thanksgiving came. Shortly after, I was offered free donuts at an event. Everything got out of control and I ballooned back up to a healthy weight and not the women’s size four I had been briefly.

I never thought it was hard to diet back then. I know exactly why, too. I never ate meals. I ate food.

I rarely shared food with other people. I had few friends and very few goals other than eating right. It’s a lonely journey and requires sacrifices.

The sacrifices the ancient Aztecs made for their diets was a lot tougher than quitting carbs for a week. (Photo Courtesy of 9fact.info)

Now that I am an adult I can appreciate meals more. Recently, I drove to Jenny’s workplace to eat lunch with her in the car. We made our food into a meal by being together.

I’m beginning to realize that normal people cannot diet perfectly. All social events require you to deviate from your goals, even slightly. The next time I see my dad, I can’t imagine what we’d do if I’m too stubborn to eat anything not on my list of approved foods. When I see family, food is always involved. It’s not because we’re gluttons with no other interest. It’s because meals are an important element of family-life. I’d even argue it’s one of the most important relationship-building activities we ever do. Like, how will you ever know who to hate if you don’t see them disgustingly chew with their mouths open?

In my attempt to lose weight, I’m going to skip out on food a little more often. When it comes to meals, I’m willing to bend the rules. You should too.

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