What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you read or hear each of these words? Is there a particular picture, person, or word that represents the meaning of these words to you?
People use to ask me, “What diet are you on?,” and when I tell them I work out and eat better they give me a look of disbelief. I must be lying. Surely, I’m starving myself by eating tons of veggies, pizza, chicken, cake, and drinking water instead of drinking soda, but honestly, some people have a hard time accepting this information. A few years ago I took the initiative to consult my good ole’ buddy, Webster’s Dictionary, because I wanted I wanted to know how it is truly defined by the expert as oppose to our society. Everyone, if you will, take out your Kindles, Nooks, Iphones, and PCs and read along with me in the words of http://www.webster-dictionary.net:
I grew up dreading the word. When my mother or family members would say that they were going on a diet, I would cringe because in my mind I visualized them becoming grumpy, unbearable people to be around. I knew that anything that was considered “bad” would be thrown out and to a 10 year-old child living without the comfort of an Oreo cookie, I was headed towards starvation. Nothing would be able to satisfy my hunger like a bag of Doritos or grape kool aid. I would be in complete hell, but not for long. When you put yourself on such restricted programs, you may see results fast, but it didn’t last long because they soon had Oreo withdrawls too. Fortunately for me everyone quickly came back to their senses and the “diet” phase in my house would only last a week at best. My idea of diet now is far less critical. I think of it the same way my friend Webster does and I’m okay with that. I love food and I now know that it loves me too. It’s okay to eat a little of the bad stuff from time to time, but most importantly I know that eating the healthier options will keep me around a lot longer. The word, diet, is A-Okay with me!
But what about the word, FAT? Some people believe that if someone who they identify as being fat is also “lazy.” Is that true? Maybe for some, but I know people who are obese, but more active than my overweight self. Does HEALTHY always mean SKINNY? For some people, that’s exactly what it means, but what about my friend who is petite, skinny, and beautiful, but suffers from high blood pressure, is prediabetic, and has heart related issues. If you’re SKINNY, does that mean you’re SEXY, SMART, HEALTHY, or UGLY? Of course, not. It’s all a matter of perceptions and stupidity in some cases, but I will always believe that beauty is skin deep. In my book, there’s nothing worse than meeting someone who has the body of a goddess, amazing style, and car-stopping sex appeal, but has a crappy attitude.
I think negative word association is what holds us back in this society. There are so many horror stories of women or men being hired over someone else who is more physically appealing, but may lack the skills necessary to complete a task. There are so many of you super-sexy, awesomely intelligent people out there who many not have the perfect body or life, but you’re beautiful because you are a great person and a joy to be around. Maybe we have the media and society to blame, but it can’t be their fault completely because lets face it people, we buy into it and we buy the magazines and watch the television shows. We’re basically creating standards in our society based on the hype created by the media. Word association is a major issue because some believe that if they do not fit the image of these celebrities and live their life then they are not SEXY, SMART, or, HEALTHY. They may believe that they are just the opposite. I’m primarily speaking about our youth on that one, but there are some adults who feel the same also. You know, I could go on and on about this, but I think I will step down from my soapbox now to get lunch. No, I’m sorry, I’m going to add to my diet.