Chick Literal I Am Done Dieting Andrea Greb

I unabashedly love Mindy Kaling.  I loved her before she got huge, when a friend introduced me to her amazing shopping blog.  She was my first celebrity sighting in LA.  She’s funny, she’s fierce, I want her to be my friend.  (Mindy, read this and be my friend, okay?  I’m totally not creepy, I promise.)

So obviously I was wildly excited when her book came out.  I could not wait to read it and discover all the things we had in common, to fuel the friendship we were going to have when I ran into her in some totally normal LA place and I complimented her on her shoes and then we became best friends and I got to be in a TV show with her (this was before she had her own show that doesn’t have me in it).

Alas, while Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is hilarious (if you haven’t read it yet, get on it!), it revealed very few similarities between me and Mindy.  I didn’t go to Dartmouth.  I don’t act.  I don’t write for a wildly popular TV show.  I’ve never lived in New York.

What Mindy and I do share, on the other hand, is a general hatred of exercise and love of dieting.  While an accident of genetics has prevented me from ever being anything close to overweight, I, like Mindy, am not an athlete.  A desire to support charity and gain karma points has reluctantly gotten me into running, but that’s about it (thank you, Mindy, for your awesome running tips).  Given that I’m not super sporty and I no longer have the metabolism of a 10 year old, there’s only one way to stave off obesity, and that’s dieting.  Mindy believes that dieting’s kind of a hobby for a women, and she’s not sure what she’d do without it, and I’ve become the same way.  While I haven’t tried the variety of diets she has (mine would be limited to Weight Watchers and a juice cleanse), I definitely understand dieting as a recreational pastime.  While some people spend their idle hours reading about things like politics or philanthropy, I spend my time browsing health blogs, hoping that eventually one is going to tell me the secret to eating as many bacon cheeseburgers as I want and still remaining thin.  Obviously this hasn’t happened, and instead I have learned about things like flax and chia seeds and superfoods and how apparently, if I’m not doing interval workouts, and am instead reading Glamour while on the elliptical, I am totally wasting my time at the gym.

I used to think this was an acceptable hobby.  And then today, while contemplating the ice cream display at the grocery store, I realized I had no desire, now or ever again, to eat any product that had “diet,” “skinny,” or “fat free” in the name.  Life is too short to eat a bunch of chemicals that have been formed into a “frozen dessert product.”  Life is for the eating of real ice cream.  Life is too short to just eat half the avocado (and the other half always goes brown before I can finish it, no matter how hard I try to avoid it).  Life is too short for food scales and measuring cups and always doing everything by the book.  Life is too short to know the calorie count of everything.

Here’s the thing:  if I took all the time I spent obsessing about weight and food and exercise and devoted it to something that contributed to society rather than my own neurosis, I would probably get a lot farther in life.  I know I’m not alone in this problem.  It makes me a little sad that we live in a society where two amazing female comics both felt the need to devote chapters in their books to food and weight.  Granted, they were hilarious chapters, and it’s awesome that Mindy and Tina can be honest about their struggles in this area, but I’m still looking forward to the day where this kind of thing doesn’t matter.

Yes, I get that there is an obesity problem in this country.  Yes, I understand that I can’t actually sit around all day stuffing my face with Cheezits, the most delicious food known to man, and expect no health consequences to come of it.  But I am done worrying about the number of calories in a clementine.  I am done writing down every bite I eat in any given day.  I am done obsessing about whether each and every food choice I make is good or bad.  I am done cutting back on reading magazines that inform me I can choose a 1 oz. square of dark chocolate or a glass of wine as an indulgence; I will have both of those, and the bruschetta, deal with it.  I am going to be the girl who attacks the bread basket with abandon.

So, Mindy, I guess we don’t have dieting in common anymore.  It’s cool, you’re a comedy writer and you were probably kidding about dieting being a hobby anyway.  I still love romcoms, food and shoes, so that’s enough to kick our friendship off, right?

Image via South Bend Seven

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  1. You’re so right. I hate that everyone around me is constantly worrying about what they are eating. It starts to make you fell down after a while. So, thanks!

  2. Love love love this post. Hilarious! I warded off exercise (http://www.newyorkminutemag.com/2012/05/fyogawing-by-sarah.html) because I got sick of trying to love something I loathe.

  3. I think one big problem is that many people have lost a healthy realtionship to food- in both ways. Eating because you’re frustrated or bored is as bad as focussing on the whole diet thing. Food should neither be the substitute nor the reward for anything but it’s also stupid to deprivate from it if you feel like eating. Like Ana above said, it’s about why you’re eating and I think we should learn to listen what our bodies tell us. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating a burger and fries from time to time and having your daily portion of sweets but I think that people just tend to go into extremes and that always has negative effects. We should stop focussing so much on food, eat when we’re hungry and what we feel like eating at that moment. I speak from experience when I say that after a while you automatically eat more healthy because you’re body tells you what it needs when you’re head doesn’t interfere too much and after having eaten a full fast food meal one day I just don’t feel like doing so the other day as well. The secret is not to overthink those things. ;)

  4. I had the same epiphany a few weeks ago.. I realized that I eat compulsively because I’m stressed, then I obsess about dieting, which causes me more stress, so I end up eating a whole lot anyway! VICIOUS CYCLE!
    So I decided to stop dieting and focus on relaxing.. I eat what I want, when I want it (when I’m truly hungry) and put the fork down once I’m full. If I feel that anxious “need a cookie” feeling, I try to breathe, and I ask myself “are you hungry?” if the answer is no (it always is) I just focus on breathing and what do you know? a few minutes later the craving subsides.
    It’s not what you eat, it’s why you’re eating it!

  5. All I can ever say, is would I like to be a thing as I was in high school – sure… Is it possible or even healthy NO! I am curvy, vivacious, and try to enjoy life rather than obsessing (but we all have our moments).
    Look at the sex symbols that have lasted through the ages- Marylin Monroe. Curvy, busty, and not a stick… I am PROUD to be a real woman, not a size 0 runway model or that girl that everyone sees and comments that I should get a cheeseburger – proud to make healthier choices in food but mostly… Proud to be WHO I am without letting that become entangled in my web of “good enough” or “should be” or society’s “definition” of beautiful – Beauty starts inside and if we miss that integral part, the most in shape person can be the most ugly.

  6. I couldn’t agree more. As a female in this society, we are somehow brainwashed to believe that we are supposed to look a certain way, fit a certain size, and even eat a certain way? Everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way and we should honor that in ourselves. We are smart and intellegent and our bodies are very intuitive. Going back to the basics is what we should do. Be intuitive! Dance or run because it makes you feel good! Eat the cheezits because you’re hungry and stop when your body(not your brain) feels satisfied. Being healthy doesn’t mean knowing the calories in a cracker or tricking you brain into thinking something is “good” or “bad”. Being healthy is taking care of all parts of yourself, mind, body, and soul. Yes, there is an obesity epidemic but theres also a rise of eating disorders and food addiction-part of that in which, stems from obsessing about food and never being skinny enough.
    I want to live in a society where strong, successful women are just that, without worrying about food and weight. I think that can start now because we damn well deserve it. :)

  7. Every time I try to diet all I can think about is food, so I end up gaining MORE weight because I’m stressed out about it and thinking about it ALL THE TIME. I’ve decided it’s much better for me just to not worry about it, but still try to make healthy choices and eat less. And be active and do things. Don’t spend the entire day on the computer. Which can happen easily. ;)

  8. Diets don’t work. It takes a lifestyle change. I think you look great. Don’t give up on being healthy, you don’t have to kill yourself at the gym or eat lots of yucky diet food but you shouldn’t just go crazy either.

    • Boo to this comment. Respectfully, of course. But boo.

      • This is the only comment I agree with! Diets don’t work. They tell you to cut this or that, when in reality your body needs these things to properly function. Feel tired? Eat some carbs! Sustaining a healthy weight IS a lifestyle. I lost quite a bit of weight and have kept it off for years by controlling my portions (no counting), cutting back on snacking (was a bad, bad habit for me), and getting active by doing things I enjoy (like walking). And, of course, eating that slice of cake if I wanted it! It all just kinda takes care of itself.

        • Diets work but when you stop – it’s all back. You just need a healthier lifestyle – eat veggies and fruit try to stay away from all the processed gunk (most of the time) and you’d be surprised what you crave. Now I crave carrots and salads (of course cheese and bread sometimes) but rather than fried wings etc I can eat as much as I need to be full without worrying about all this BS — Change your lifestyle don’t yo-yo diet.

          • Definitely appreciate and agree with everyone’s advice about lifestyle change being better than dieting, though it’s not really the point I was trying to make. Like I said in the article, I’ve never had an actual weight problem, and I find it ridiculous that we live in a society where women like me or Mindy Kaling or millions of others who are not even remotely obese still consider losing weight or dieting to be some sort of recreational pastime. I don’t think people who are healthy in their current state have any reason to obsess over dieting, and yet so many of us still do.

            Andrea Greb | 7/28/2012 06:07 am
  9. Basically I shout a wild “YES” to all of this. Also…hell yeah, bruschetta.

  10. When I met my wife (online) she said “the sexiest thing about you is your mind, you’ll have to seduce my mind before you meet me”. At the time I figured that was code for “I’m overweight” but I didn’t care. She’s not, I’m not, and we are comfortable with our bodies, because even though we love each others touch, everything that happens passes through our brains, and that’s where we fell in love.

  11. ” if I took all the time I spent obsessing about weight and food and exercise and devoted it to something that contributed to society rather than my own neurosis, I would probably get a lot farther in life.” EXACTLY!!!!!!!!

  12. Three cheers for no dieting and being BFFs with Mindy :)

    P.S. Holy inbound links Batman.

  13. I started dieting about a month ago..and you’re right, sometimes it does feel like a waste of energy…focusing on calorie counting, etc. When you’re hungry, you’re hungry. I have lost weight quickly with this diet, but its so so so important to give yourself off days…or off weeks…or off months. You cant sustain a good lookin’ bod if you are miserable all the time. I pigged out on AMC popcorn the other night, and Dairy Queen! I had TWO blizzards. Are you kidding me? Two. Did I gain all my weight back? Of course not. But it had to be back to dieting the next week. You have to be stable in your efforts, but also have some fun. Nobody wants to be fat…How can fat people be happy? Just kidding. Kind of.

  14. you’re so right! i love this post.
    i’ve been wanting to read mindy’s book for a while now,
    i’m definitely heading to the bookstore today.
    xo, cheyenne

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