My friend has a ‘first date’ this week. She is all excitement and nerves at the moment and it has been really nice to re-live the experience with her. We have been discussing hair and outfits, meeting places and do’s and don’t’s. It’s the start of the honeymoon period, when everything is shiny and new. Both sides make more of an effort to impress. You must be perfectly coiffed, you have to laugh in all the right places of the conversation and the jogging bottoms are either buried in the wardrobe or incinerated with the understanding that you should buy a shiny new pair when you reach the ‘nights in’ stage. You make a fresh start with everything and decide that you WILL make more of an effort this time. This is the exact same way all new diets start.
The honeymoon period of my diet is over. We are making less of an effort to show our commitment to one another. I am no longer gazing at my diet with loved-up puppy eyes and seeing nothing but perfection, the joggers are out and the make-up is gathering dust in the crevices of my handbag. I have passed the stage where all I can hear is wedding bells and dreaming up my children’s names. Instead I have reached a more steady phase wherein I am living relatively comfortably with my diet but the spark has died. Things are not perfect, we don’t always get along. We have our little tiffs every now and again, and there have been several occasions when I have almost been drawn away by some delicious creation who was prepared to offer me more excitement than my regular old diet ever could, but I always come back begging for forgiveness and promising to try harder.
I know my diet gives me what I need, even when it cannot give me what I want. We are comfortable, even if we are no longer head over heels. But I am BORED.
Now however, there is a new spice in the mix. Something to shake things up. Something that has shown that it is OK to misbehave (and punishment is sometimes not completely bad…) Fifty Shades has re-invented diets.
Think about it for a second before you dismiss me as insane. If Anastasia Steele was dating a diet, it worked really well. She does everything she can to make her man happy and it turns out that she actually enjoys her new lifestyle. Eventually, just as she starts wondering if this really is the diet for her, the diet starts to give her things in return for being so well behaved (wink wink for the readers). It becomes a relationship well on course for years of mutual benefit (another wink wink). As it turns out, she’s actually dating a man (oh, that man…) And they compromise for each other to make the relationship work, and boy, does it work.
This is exactly how a good diet should and can be. It is possible ladies, (and gents, but I’m thinking you may not find this analogy really helpful…) A good diet will show you how to incorporate your cravings into a healthy lifestyle, so you aren’t deprived but you still watch what you eat. You do have to be prepared to make changes, and it may not always be an easy ride, (pun not intended… maybe) but you eventually come out with something that you can live with quite happily. You just have to find the balance.
And this is the conclusion you come to at around the third date. You begin to ease up on the hairspray. You start to share the less fantastic things about yourself. Your partner also starts to relax into the swing of things a little and you can begin to see where it is all going to go. If it works out then you are left with a relationship of compromise and cooperation. You give and you get. This is how a diet has to work. After all, isn’t a diet just a relationship with food? It won’t work if one side does all the work, you have to meet each other in the middle. You have to try things a different way and come to a mutual understanding that meets both of your needs.You need a Mr. Grey.