The Worst Word To Live By: Dieting

Why the word “dieting” is such a terrible word

There is just something about the word “dieting” that I absolutely hate. Maybe, it is because this word demonizes something that our bodies need to survive, or maybe it is because this word has controlled my life for the last five years. Regardless of my personal reasoning, dieting is the worst word to live your life by.

My Health Background:

I was a happy person in highschool. Sure, I was picked on, but it was not enough for me to want to change my lifestyle. Then I went to college. You know the phrase “the freshman 15?” Well, I doubled that. I ended up packing on nearly 30 pounds of fat my freshman year of college. I wasn’t able to look at myself in the mirror and did not feel comfortable in my own skin.

The start of my sophomore year of college, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. During my treatment for depression, doctors told me if I kept exercising and changed my “diet” to eat healthier foods, I would feel better. I lived by this. I immediately cut out every piece of junk food or fattening food from my diet. The doctors told me to do and I took it to the extreme.

The weight fell off, and it fell off fast. After about 6 months of dieting and exercising every single day, I managed to lose 40 pounds. Everywhere I went people would tell me how good I was looking or how fit I was. This only fed fuel to the uncontrollable blaze going on in my head. All of the compliments that people were giving me were acting like the high of a drug. The more I got, the more I had to continue what I was doing. The more I continued to do what I was doing, the  more the weight continued to fall off. After I continued to lose weight, people finally started to worry about me. They would ask if I was okay, or if I wanted a sandwich. At the time, I thought they were joking, I thought that they were just jealous of the weight that I had lost.

The winter of my sophomore year would forever change my life. Prior to moving home because of my depression, I collapsed in the school cafeteria. Ironically enough, I was getting a sandwich for lunch and started feeling dazed and tired. My hearing went out and blackness covered my vision. I rushed to the nearest table and placed my head on my hands. The next thing I remember, I was awake on the ground with a handful of other students around me who were telling me not to move. I had completely blacked out from starvation and dehydration, and I fell off of a high-top table straight onto my head.

I was rushed to the hospital and was put through a wide variety of tests. My parents were called to come and see me because the doctors didn’t know what the outcome was going to be. Needless to say, the only thing that was wrong was that I was starving my body to the point where it shut down. The terrified look on my mother’s face is something that will never be able to leave my head. She came in balling because she didn’t know if her only son was going to be alright. All of this, and I still wasn’t ready to change my lifestyle and dieting habits. That was until recently.

Concluding Thoughts:

My reason for writing this post is to encourage others who are like me. I followed one word so strictly to the point where it changed my life, and almost took it. Until recently, I wasn’t ready to face my fears. Until recently, I wasn’t ready to make memories instead of missing out on them. All of this fear because of one word, “dieting.” I encourage you to live your life. I encourage you to face your fears and make memories. Most importantly, I encourage you to see yourself as the beautiful, unique, and amazing individual that you are. Enjoy everyday like it is your last, because you never know when it might actually be.

Michael Bonnell



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