We have a modern obsession with dieting. From Jenny Craig, to Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, Diet Shakes, Bikini Boot Camps and Detox Teas.
It’s a $580 BILLION industry.
There’s no denying that DIETING SELLS.
Here’s the thing. We know dieting doesn’t work. Well, certainly not in the way these pills, potions and programs promise you it will.
And yet we hold onto these false promises that they hold the answer to improving our quality of life.
We are looking for the magic pill to pop that will provide everlasting weight loss in a world that perpetrates unhealthy and unsustainable lifestyles. But if you keep up all the negative habits that got you there in the first place, how can you expect these long lasting changes that you so desperately desire?
You’re trying to headbutt with nature in the form of manipulating your own body in unnatural ways.
When you cut your calorie intake to below natural standards, your body just wants to protect itself. It thinks it’s starving. So yes, it’s going to fight to pack on the pounds and hold on to dear life. Then it’s going to resort to eat away valuable muscle and organ tissue before it gives in.
Similarly, when your body is chronically stressed, it’s going to conserve energy and shut down bodily functions that it deems unnecessary for its current survival (like the reproduction system).
When your body is sleep deprived, it’s going to seek out instant energy to keep it awake and functioning so expect those sugar cravings to skyrocket. You may find yourself face-planted in the WHOLE cake.
When your body doesn’t get enough movement on a daily basis, it’s going to down-grade your cardiovascular functioning. Why pump more oxygen and blood when you don’t need to? No wonder you can’t catch a breath climbing those stairs when you haven’t done so in a whole year.
The premise of many modern solutions is to treat the symptom rather than the root of the problem. We see this happening in conventional agriculture, pharmaceuticals and yes, the dieting industry.
Easy Solutions = Easy Money
This isn’t to say easier solutions aren’t out there. As humans we tend to complicate many simplistic situations. But what I’m getting at here is that rather than addressing the underlying problems, like inadequate sleep, unhealthy eating habits, not enough movement, an overload of stress manifesting through various physical ailments and so forth, we look to diet shakes to replace our meals, pills to quench our hunger and detox teas to cleanse our inner plumbing system and wash away our guilt.
We look to synthetic chemical sprays to kill the weeds and annihilate the pests while continuing to rip up and degrade valuable top soil rather than fostering a healthy micro-ecosystem.
We continue to pump exorbitant pollutants into our environment while popping pills for physiological ailments that come about from toxic water, air and food.
This is a sad reflection on society’s attitude at large that we can simply fix a problem by slapping on a band-aid and turning our head away while the bleeding wound continues to seep out the side.
What doesn’t surprise me is that this pattern of our increasing obese waistlines are mimicking the increasing size of our obese lifestyles. Our insatiable appetite for meaning, purpose, love, recognition, peace, connection with nature and all the things we are being disconnected from by the busyness and distractions of modern living, is being medicated by accumulating more ‘stuff’.
Is the answer to put our lifestyles on a diet?
In the case of our lifestyles, I think it may help but I don’t believe it’s going to be the solution that saves the world.
Certainly these things will help reduce your overall carbon burden on the planet and are vitally important. Such as, cutting your consumption of plastics and other petroleum products, reducing your consumption of processed foods, minimizing your reliance on conventional agriculture, cutting your spending on buying ‘things’, forgoing the urge to upgrade lifestyle luxuries, and so forth.
But this is only part of the picture. This lifestyle ‘diet’ needs to be adopted as part of a grander plan that’s executed on a global scale.
Sounds like hard work, right? Well, we did get ourselves into this mess. We can’t expect to dig ourselves out of a problem that we’ve spent our whole existence on this planet creating.
We need to start looking for ways to give back outside of ourselves. To regenerate life on planet earth where we have previously taken life.
What do I mean by this?
By planting more trees. Establishing perennial gardens that feed the soil year after year. Allowing animals to graze the grasslands like their ancestors once did. I certainly don’t have all the answers. No one does. But there are people out there who are making a start and doing good work that warrants our attention.
Putting your lifestyle on a diet is critical to reducing your personal impact on the planet but regenerating life on earth is fundamental to ensuring you actually have a future life on this planet. And this is where I’m personally at now. I feel like I understand what it means to lead a low-carbon lifestyle. I’ve got that part dialed down for the most part.
But now I’m looking for more. The next step. The one that involves implementing grand changes in society at large.
What about you? Where do you stand?
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support!