Please note — I am not a professional nutritionist, dietician, or medical practitioner of any kind. Everything I am sharing on this topic is experiential. Do not take this as canon and please feel free to disagree.
I love food. Yes, that’s evident by the size of my belly. That, in fact, is where I carry all of my excess weight.
But food is not just sustenance for me. It’s a source of comfort, it’s an experience of the senses, and — of course — it’s fuel to keep me energized.
I know some people only eat because they must. They take no joy in savoring food. I love the taste, the smell, the texture. Food assaults my senses in a way that can be deeply pleasant.
If you consider yourself a foodie, a cook, or otherwise take joy in eating certain foods — I suspect you understand where I’m coming from. It’s not simply fulfilling a biological and physiological need. Food has an impact on mental, emotional, and spiritual health, too.
So how come food is used to make people feel shame and guilt?
Food is not the enemy
There is an obsession with getting “in shape”. I am not in any way disregarding, ignoring, or stating that getting in shape isn’t valuable. It is. To live a happy, healthy life — being in shape helps.
What “in shape” looks like varies from person to person. Some of that is due to body type (ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph) and genetics. What’s more, many of the factors that go into being in shape are invisible. Measurements like A1C, cholesterol, liver function, and the like aren’t obvious.
Hence — a skinny person can have ludicrously high cholesterol and a fat person can have normal blood pressure.
I can’t tell you how many different diet programs exist. Some are well-known, like Atkins, Weight Watchers, and the like. Others are more obscure and/or have a very specific focus. All of them come with variable degrees of potential for weight loss, adjusting those numbers, and overall sustainability.