I should preemptively qualify this blog by saying, “The only person who needs to care about your diet is you.” There’s my effort to avoid the criticisms from someone’s quick read of a harmless blog.
I understand everyone wanting a support system. I’m not shaming anyone, except for that one person who knows what they did. We’re all still ashamed on their behalf.
I’m not coming from a dismissive place, either. I’ve worked on my own weight and fitness ever since I realized binge drinking and heavy cigarette smoking were things that weren’t helping my longevity.
So this isn’t about people not needing to watch what they eat, or saying that healthy lifestyles are a fad, or any of the typical garbage reads & hot takes that happen on the Internet.
I’m talking about the tedious, tendentious topic of diets. I’m talking about how boring they’ve become in our daily conversations.
It’s a conversational blight in any given social space. It’s as boring as people who discuss their gym memberships, workout routines, or latest sleep fad they’ve chosen to follow. It’s as engaging as hearing about a new blanket.
The thing that makes it worse is that the only people who engage in the conversation are other people who are already converted, and want to talk about their own diet. Like political screeds on social media, the only aim is to validate choices by looking for agreement.
It gains momentum from there. No one wants to be outdone with what they’re doing to look better, feel better, or be better. It quickly becomes a passive-aggressive contest, and the people who don’t want to listen desperately search for other points of interest. They pray for headphones or, like an animal caught in a trap, consider removing a limb to escape the trap.
The worst part is that you can’t even fire off a zinger to shut it down, the way you could with a “hot take” discussion about the latest event movie. You can’t shout “no spoilers” as someone prepares to divulge how they’ve decided to cook their food while on a new supplement.
So let me repeat myself from earlier. The only person who needs to care about your diet is you. It’s great if you’re on one, it’s fine if you’re not, and we all love you no matter what. Well, except for the people who don’t love you, but a diet won’t change that.
I’m just pleading for people in general to pick more interesting topics in the public square. Perhaps we could all discuss the weather.
None of this applies reflexively to me, either. I always jump into group conversations with minutiae about movies.
That’s never boring for anyone.