This past week I was catching up with some folks I’ve not seen in a while and eventually the subject of my weight loss came up.
“How is that diet thing going?” they asked.
Now, as I explained in a previous post, the word “diet” carries a lot of negative connotations in my world. “Diet” implies the changes I’ve made are not permanent, and I don’t like that. Of course, the people in my life that are not very close to me may not know that, so I usually just politely answer that things are going just fine and just leave it at that. However, this week I just wasn’t able to let it go.
“I’m not on a diet,” I replied.
Because I’m not. I’ve changed my diet, yes, but I’m not on a diet. It’s a distinct difference, and I found myself explaining it to this person in detail. And perhaps I was overreacting, but it’s important to me that people understand the difference. It’s important to me that people understand these changes are not temporary, that I’m in it for the long haul.
Why the sudden sensitivity to a question that up until now I’ve politely blown off with polite replies? Two words: high cholesterol. The folks providing my family’s health insurance instituted mandatory health screenings for all their adult members, and my cholesterol levels are high. Suddenly the importance of my dietary changes remaining permanent seem even more so. In fact, I find myself thinking that there will be one more permanent change in the very near future. I will most likely be transitioning from mostly vegetarian to vegan within the next couple of months. Under the circumstances, I think it is the right thing to do, and that I will be better off for it.