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Dieting -- The New Christianity


Kurari
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I've been doing some meditation on weight loss lately, and I realized a lot of the practices and attitudes are very similar to christianity.

 

If you eat too much it's a sin. Theres a long list of things you should and shouldn't eat. If you're fat, you must be in Hell. The only way to "salvation" (thiness) is hard work, pain, and sacrifice. There is constant societal pressure to be "perfect" and if you aren't, there is guilt, guilt, guilt. People constantly try to diet to be worthy of...something. Their scale, their love interests, their health, their doctor/family/friend's approval.

 

It hit me not too long ago that this is exactly the same shit I went through as a christian. Why, for dog's sake, am I allowing myself to go through this mental torture again?! I've got No reason to lose weight. I don't care about dating. I'm fine with how I dress. I'm healthy enough as it is, I exercise and eat healthier than anyone in my household on a regular basis. I've got a successful job doing what I love most.

 

It's all a rediculous myth. It's another concocted fairy tale we've enslaved ourselves too. You can be fat and be healthy and skinny and unhealthy. You can find love and success and confidance and everything you want in life without losing a pound. And it's amazing how someone's actual body size can have NO impact on how they percieve themselves. Look at anorexics. We see bone and skin, they see fat. It's madness.

 

I'm starting another deconversion process. Everything I eat gives me knee jerk guilt, and I'm sick of it. I don't ever want to count another calorie like a rosary bead or steal myself to try not to "sin" by eating a cookie. I've realized now all my eating problems are stemming from this guilt. I think I can't have something, I want it all the more. My new goal now is NOT TO CARE anymore. If I can learn to laugh in the face at the threat of Hell, I can laugh in the face of obesity.

 

P.S: I don't mean that exercising and eating nutritionally and taking care of our bodies is not important. I just mean the "OMG WE HAVE TO BE THIN OR WE'RE BAD PEOPLE!" mindset is totally bogus.

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Hm... depends on the person. Some people don't mind living with obesity, some people do. Just do whatever works for you - it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. Do whatever you think you'd be happier with.

 

**Editted because I suck at giving advice

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You go girl! I can totally relate.... whenever I start to get insecure and down on myself enough to start dieting, I always make the connection to religion much the same way you have, and I always feel like a food for giving in. I see it as this need for approval and acceptance, unquestioning acceptance of society's "authorities" on beauty and health, yadda yadda. I'm not say we shouldn't be healthy to a certain extent, but I do believe our society's neurotic obsession with the extremes of both health and unrealistic beauty, extravagance juxtaposed with restraint, all this... makes us neurotic in much the same way religion does. No wonder we're unhealthy!

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Indeed, you are correct. I was once obese myself, in my teens. I lived on what is commonly known as the "Seefood Diet". I'd see food, Id eat it. It didn't really matter if I was actually hungry. I just couldn't pass up food.

 

In addition, I was not an active kid; I never got into sports, seldomly played outside, and never had many friends. Low self esteem plus that "Seefood Diet" mentality created a cycle of self loathing. I was unhappy because I was fat, and so I ate alot. Of course, eating alot just makes you fat.

 

Now I know you said you didn't care about losing weight...more power to you. But for those who do, there is no mystical trick to losing weight; you dont need some goofy informercial gadget. All you gotta do is eat less calories per day than you burn. The average person burns about 2000-2500 calories per day, just by existing. Active athletes burn more. Bodybuilders burn a hell of a lot more. (all that muscle needs alot of energy) Ever hung around a bodybulder? they eat ALOT.

 

The reason most people gain weight is because they dont know that most popular foods carry alot more calories than they realize. Especially fast food; That #3 from Burger King caries more than half of the average person's required daily calorie intake. Eat somthing comparable to that 3 times a day, and you'll start packing on the pounds. Even "healthier" foods can still carry alot of calories. You think that Seseme Chicken is really better than a whopper? It isn't.

 

A major hinderance for most dieters is the "splurge day". "Gee, I been a good boy/girl this week....a pizza and a burger combo wont hurt!!" Well, bad news...it actually can. You spent the last week, eating only 1500 calories a day, thuse burning off about 500 a day. By the end of the week, that adds up to 3500 calories (1 pound of fat). Unfortunatly, that pizza and burger combo, plus a few cokes, added up to 3200 calories!!! You just voided all that effort you did over the last week...in just one splurge day!

 

You see those stupid bowflex commercials say "to lose weight, you gotta build muscle...with a bowflex!!" Well, thats partially true. Muscle does indeed help lost fat, and keep it off, as it increses your metabolism. This is because stronger muslces require more energy per day just to exist. This is why athletes and bodybuilders can suck 5 milkshakes a day and not a gain a pound...all that muscle helps burn off those milkshakes.

 

Also theres always gonna be those skinny fucks who just have high metabolism for some odd reason, and can eat all they want and not gain a pound. Yeah, hate them if you will.

 

Finally, shedding the fat is gonna take a LONG time, no matter what you do. You can torture youself with strenuous excercise, starve yourself for days, but its just gonna hurt you. You can safely lose only up to 3 pounds of fat a week...any more weight loss than that is unhealthy...and possible good weight, like muscle. Like I said, theres no secret to losing weight, its the same shit that nutritionist have been telling us for decades. Problem is, its a bitch to do, and takes some focus and willpower.

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I think a lot of the dieting hype is tied to Christianity. Gluttony is one of the 7 deadly sins, after all, and a lot of people make food and weight a moral issue. I know my own mother did, and gave me quite a complex about it.

 

:ugh:

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I hate when people assume people who are overweight or fat are lazy, immoral, what-have-you. I do think a lot of that kind of discrimination stems from Christian thought processes and attitudes.

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But...it is often said that overeating is the one "sin" that a Christian can indulge in. You best not be imbibing Bud, peeking at porn, or toking weed or even a cig; but don't worry about all the fried chicken, potato salad, and chocolate layer cake at the church potluck. Does it depend on the church background? Baptist = chow time; Seventh-Day Adventist = watch your plate? Episcopal = remember the social gospel and the poor; Charismatic = they're poor because they sin, so where's the cheesecake? Or am I way off on this?

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