Lisa Wehr's Public Health Blog

Lisa is originally from Sigourney, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Music in 2010. She is currently a first year Master’s of Public Health (MPH) student in community and behavioral health (CBH). Lisa works on the medicine-psychiatry unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). Through this blog Lisa hopes to let people learn about the CBH department.

This student blog is unedited and does not necessarily reflect the views of the College of Public Health or the University of Iowa.

04 February 2011

The "D" word


What is it? Is it something you do for a couple weeks or a month to "get healthy"? Or is it a way of eating over a lifetime?

I always use it with the second definition. Mostly because there's no other word to use that easily describes what a person eats day in and day out. Vegetarians/Vegans have it easy: I'm a vegetarian, I eat a vegan diet. But what about the majority of the population? "I eat mostly foods based on plant leaves and lean meats, trying to minimize my intake of cereal grains and saturated fats." That just sounds pompous.

And I think that it was originally intended for such purpose. It is only recently that we have begun to try all sorts of strange, short-lived methods to lose weight. The atkins diet, south beach diet, cabbage soup diet, weight watchers diet, cottage cheese diet are all recent inventions. Although I suppose something similar to the cabbage soup diet could have occurred in history during famines, I'm guessing weight loss was not the reason. ["I've got it; we'll kill off our corn plants and eat cabbage soup for the winter! Think how great we'll all look for planting in the spring!]

I think it's ridiculous that people honestly believe they can eat differently for two weeks, lose weight, go back to the way they had been eating, and not gain the weight. And if I run an ultramarathon tomorrow do I not need any more exercise this month? Any pattern of eating that a person cannot sustain over a long period of time is counterproductive.

I could continue this rant for a few more paragraphs, but I'll stop here. (though I might mention that any "diet" that doesn't include rice krispy bars of epic proportions like in my previous post is not a diet worth eating). 

And it's time for the weekend! (one filled with work for me) and the Super Bowl (I really hope the packers win simply for my boyfriend's sanity), and some warmer days ahead. Other than that I will be filling my time with homework, reading, cleaning, running, flute practice, and probably some yoga too because my hamstrings are killing me. 


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