I get this a lot – and the range of sarcastic responses is so vast I am sometimes paralysed by choice. When that happens my colleague helps me out and says "No, he has a funny diet." This is the point at which most questioners wish they hadn’t asked.
There is apparent confusion between diet as in ‘what I eat’ and diet as in ‘a campaign to lose weight over a set period of time.’ This is odd, because given the right circumstances, most people understand the distinction. If said “Hey, I was watching a wildlife program last night and it turns out this one animal has a diet of soil and twigs,” few people would assume the animal was attempting to lose weight and would in a few months would return to burgers and fries.
Yet if I said “My diet is composed entirely of meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts and fruit,” many would ask “Wow – how long are you on that for?”
Somehow, society has given us the message that as humans we are entitled to have the things we enjoy all the time. We have grown up believing that the de facto state of affairs should be that we are deriving pleasure from what we do. Is this a western phenomenon, or worldwide? I am not sure. Either way, because of this, we tend to assume that when someone describes a diet that limits what they can eat, they must be “on a diet” rather than “this is their diet, period.” The idea that someone has taken the decision to restrict what they eat permanently, by and large, does not compute – and the more radical the change, the bigger the computational challenge.
Rather than rail against the world, I have decided to celebrate the opportunity this gives us for pithy, sarcastic responses. The rules are simple – either share the response you would most likely give to this question, or, if there is a different question you are sick of being asked, share that along with the response you prefer to give. The more sarcastic the better!
I’m tagging Modern Forager, Rob Wolfe and Natural Messiah....
Five Great Health and Nutrition Quotes