Aging is an Attitude: Food and diet fads

Since my transition from an 8-to-5 career to one that allows for more creativity, flexibility and actual brain space to consider the world around me, I’ve started noticing the way that Media targets our sensitivities about food, diets, body shapes and — of course — weight loss. While I’ve never been one to moralize about the personal habits of others (although I do usually speak out against tobacco products), I take note that we’re all susceptible to the repetitive messaging that coerces us to commit our cash to achieve perfect health, vitality, longevity, whatever goal they believe will resonate with us. Checking-out the grocery store magazines: Paleo, Keto, Vegan Delights, Juicing and Mindful eating. There’s nothing wrong with any of these options, of course. On broadcast and cable television there’s a slightly different spin: packaged and delivered pre-portioned meals (Jenny Craig)- as if we didn’t already know how much is “too much”. The “new psychology” of eating (Noom)-as if we didn’t already know about how our emotions impact eating. And, the challenge of Peloton and Peloton digital: planting a niggling notion in our brains that competitiveness is essential to the mastery of fat burning. “To each, his (her) own”, as far as any of these tools go.

What I observe is the constant insertion of Media into our personal choices. If it really wanted to help, instead of simply sell products and subscriptions, it would back off and let us all figure out what foods and portions work best for us. This is, after all, a personal responsibility: a choice that we make each time we feel hungry (physically or emotionally). There’s plenty of information out there about the importance of clean, versus processed food and how it affects overall health. We pretty much know our stressors and triggers (I used to binge Oreos after a grueling day at work). Living lives at high-speed and often in a state of exhaustion, we under-estimate and even ignore our inner voices: what our bodies tell us is needed in terms of food, sleep, exercise, relaxation. Today, and hopefully tomorrow, I’ll choose to honor myself by listening and consciously choosing what my body asks for. Hey Media? I don’t need any prodding, thank you.

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