Side of Taco: Why Wellness Doesn’t Work For Me

My generation does not diet.

We eat paleo and keto. We go on juice or bone broth cleanses. These sure sound like diets to me but, diet is a four letter word so all of the special food restrictions we cycle through have been rebranded as “wellness.” Even Weight Watchers, the most globally recognized name in the diet game has rebranded itself as “WW: Wellness That Works.”

To the extent that our culture has actually shifted away from striving for thin, and often unattainable bodies, I support “wellness.” But I do not think that is really what has happened. Instead, we have conflated living a healthy and fulfilling life with being thin, and wanting to lose lbs with needing to live healthier.

This state of affairs has been pretty confusing for me as I try to lose the ten lbs I put on while I was on doctor’s orders to stop all exercises that engaged my hip flexors (basically all of them). When I started dieting, even though I was ten pounds heavier than normal, the heaviest I have ever been, my BMI and body fat percentage were still well within the healthy range. And since my injury required that I was rely only on diet to lose the weight, I started supplementing meals with bone broth and trying to eat only veggies and lean protein. I can tell you, feeling hungry, cranky, and constantly craving a huge slice of cake, plus not being able to exercise has made my time dieting (because that is surely what I am doing) feel about as far from “wellness” as I have felt in a long time.

And mislabeling my weight loss journey created challenges of its own. For instance, it was very difficult to continue skipping meals for plain bone broth when I was so obviously no healthier for not eating a tuna fish sandwich.

I had to buck convention and admit to myself that I was not and am not seeking to live healthier. My goal is simply not to have to buy new pants before my hip has fully healed (I am allowed to exercise now, but only in moderation and I have to stop for a week if my hip pain flares back up). And that is ok.

In case you are interested in the bone broth diet, I have to admit that I am not following it very strictly. The real diet is, essentially, a paleo diet that replaces some meals with bone broth, and has a series of cleanse days where you only consume bone broth. That is not what I am doing. I have to work and my brain doesn’t function without a solid breakfast.

Instead, I have tried to limit my diet to vegetables and protein, but I eat carbs and sweets when I really want to. I eat 2-3 small meals a day, and supplement one meal with bone broth, which I buy in bulk at Brodo once a week. I lost half of the weight I gained, and hope the rest will melt away once I can start exercising in earnest again.

Anyone else frustrated with the conflation of weight loss with wellness? Have any tips for a novice dieter to curb cake cravings?

Healthy breakfast
Breakfast: dressed micro radish greens, over easy egg on grilled bread

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