Diet is a four letter word.

The galloping housewife is well known for her potty mouth. 10 years of working in A&E will do that to you, along with raising two brilliant, but exasperating teenagers and training a lifetime of horses. OK those are all pathetic excuses, so let’s just settle for the conventional wisdom that those who swear a lot are of above average intelligence and more honest than their ‘smiling assassin’ counterparts. Either way, the galloping housewife is of the opinion that d-i-e-t should be removed from every woman’s vocabulary.

Diets are all about restriction and categorising food (and often ourselves) as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, about making changes until we reach our goal and putting off the indulgence of deliciousness until we have earned the reward. The galloping housewife calls bollocks to that. Of course, we need to be aware of what we eat, and we should always be nourishing our bodies with the best nutrition possible. We need to have awareness of what food does to us – how it provides energy, how it interacts with our endocrine system and triggers various hormonal responses, what nutrients are essential for our health and ‘hauora’ (a Māori word loosely translated as wellbeing or vigour). Yet food is so, so much more that fuel and to ignore that fact is to cut off an essential part of our existence.

Food is a core part of our emotional well-being – our social interactions, our celebrations, our commiserations. To deny oneself a glass of champagne when we finally jump a double clear or a slice of cake at our best mate’s birthday should be criminal. Really and truly, possibly the worst time to restrict your intake is when you’re trying to lose weight. It might be counterintuitive, but it’s certainly counterproductive. It is possible to ‘eat yourself skinny’.

 

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