You know, I absolutely love this phrase! Our bodies are our responsibility, and it is up to us to decide what goes into them. Someone on a group I visit shared a link today http://evidencemag.com/clean-eating/ and it dawned on me what had been really really annoying me about some anti diet posts I’d been reading. They were going on, relentlessly about Weight Watchers items being touted, and how they were full of artificial sweetener and bulking agents., and how it’s all bad, and how this diet isn’t showing people how to cook good “wholesome” meals from scratch and so on and so forth. It made me angry, and I wasn’t exactly sure why, but the article above has kind of helped. The anti diet posts are so very judgmental, not only towards Weight Watchers, but in being so, to the people who then decide to go to Weight Watchers, and then use the products to help them. I don’t use the products. I don’t have a sweet tooth, so I don’t often feel the need for sweet bars, and on a vegan (my choice) diet, I can’t easily help myself to an off the shelf bar. These bars full of bulking agents and artificial sweetener serve a purpose. They help people transition from high fat, high calorie foods, to a more calorie controlled routine. They satisfy the sweet tooth when needed.
I’m sure in an ideal world we’d all be able to cook wonderful meals from scratch. but actually, the world around me at this moment in time isn’t like that. The arrival of ready meals and a high paced lifestyle means that many people have lost the art and time to cook. Their priorities are different. So low fat ready meals and ready made sandwich fillers etc help people who don’t feel they have the time or inclination right now to sort out those things for themselves.
One part of a blog I read suggested that Weight Watchers did not encourage people to cook their foods from scratch because of all these branded foods they want to tout. This was one particular point that stirred me up the most, because it’s plain wrong. I’d go so far as to say it’s a lie. A quick visit the any Weight Watchers website, and you’ll see page after page after page dedicated to making meals, having a well stocked kitchen and so on. Since following the plan I cook mainly from scratch, and I haven’t used a jar for the menfolk’s meals since before Christmas. But it’s a habit that took time in being established, and occasionally a ready meal is still what’s needed to hit some spot, or scratch some itch.
It’s all very well being against dieting (I learnt much as I spent years NOT dieting, and know that I am approaching things from a very different place), but scare mongering around ready meals, artificial sweeteners, and bulking agents is alienating those who find them helpful. Rather than hating on the foods, and diet plans, these anti diet campaigners could spend more time spreading the message of self worth. Because THAT IS IMPORTANT. Reminding people they are always more than a number on the scale is key. Encouraging people to start living now, not just when they have lost a few pounds. Those are the things that moved and inspired me and encouraged me when I was not dieting. And those are the things that actually carry me through a slow and steady weight loss. Because for many, weight loss IS important. And if those artificially sweetened bars are helping people then that’s great. Put what you want on your plate, and keep your eyes there!