Done with Dieting: Why the Perfect Diet Doesn’t Exist

Heather Creekmore

Host of the Compared to Who Podcast
Updated Feb 20, 2024
Done with Dieting: Why the Perfect Diet Doesn’t Exist

After twenty years of dieting, I've finally stopped dieting and started doing this instead. It's made all the difference.

“Why You Should Add Sea Moss to Your Diet”

I just scrolled by this headline. Food proclamations always catch my attention. You see, I’ve been on a lifelong quest to eat the “right things” because I believed that mastering the perfect diet would yield the body of my dreams. Though I’m not even sure what sea moss is, now I’m curious. I’m also pretty sure it was the color of a bridesmaid’s dress I wore in the 1990s. I didn’t know it was edible.

Apparently, sea moss is the new superfood. Move over kale! Quinoa, you are so 2007. In 2024, if you want to boost your immune system and have a trim, fabulous body, you should definitely start putting sea moss on your salad. Or on your toast? Or, in your smoothies like the açai superfruit that we like to eat but can’t pronounce. What’s the best way to take your sea moss? I have no idea.

This is the year I turn fifty, and now I face a stark reality. Sea moss won’t change my life. At least not in the way my heart hopes it will. I’ve been around long enough to remember when eating Special K cereal was going to prevent anyone from ever “pinching an inch” on me. I diligently avoided avocados in the 1990s and sprayed chemicals on my food instead of using real butter because back then those headlines read, “Avoid Fat to Be Thin.” Ironically, just twenty years later, I stood in my kitchen with a jar of coconut oil, a stick of butter, and a mound of cashews and almonds, trying to figure out how to make something called a “fat bomb.” Yes, the same fat that would prevent me from being thin in 1993, was 2014’s magic ticket to a better body.

Are eggs good, or are eggs bad? Breakfast was the most important meal of the day thirty years ago, but now we’re told not to eat until noon (in the name of Intermittent Fasting). Is it just me, or are these ever-changing rules around food and how to care for our body enough to give a person whiplash?

Yet every season we’re presented with the same dilemma. In January, pressure from every direction tells us to get it “right” with our food this year. By April, commercials flood our televisions and ads overwhelm our social media feeds telling us swimsuit season is coming, we better be ready! Before and after pictures of those who’ve seemingly unlocked the secret code and found the better body they always craved lure us into trying, yet another, new program. Maybe this is the plan that will change my life!

But I’ve been on this ride before. I know it never leads to the destination I desire. Diets aren’t an airplane ticket to paradise, they’re a merry-go-round. I try the plan. I eat their specific way. I drop a few pounds. My body grows weary of only eating certain foods. I gain it all back. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Changing Food vs Changing Thoughts

After twenty-plus years of dieting, I’ve lived out that hackneyed definition of insanity. I’ve done the same thing over and again and expected different results. I’ve eaten the proverbial sea moss and still felt like my body wasn’t good enough.

Truth is, the next best way to eat won’t fix my poor body image, which is what drives my desire to try the next plan. I long to be rid of the shame and to feel confident and loveable in this body God made for me. Yet, I know there’s no food plan, size, or weight, that can fix that problem. My issue isn’t on my plate or scale, it’s in my heart. I’ve let culture confuse my identity in Christ with my ability to use food to try to control the size or shape of my body.

How The Bible Has Directed My Thoughts on My Body 

Though diet fads will dominate and then fade into oblivion, I don’t have to eat like the crowd. God created our bodies to run on all three macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates). Mark my words, just like wide-leg pants, even carbs will come back in style. As Solomon noted, there really is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Culture won’t change, but I can.

So instead of holding my nose and fixing up a big batch of make-me-skinny sea moss, I’m going to change where I put my faith. Instead of following the influencers and their latest, greatest food plans, I’m searching scripture to find out what God has to say about the way I eat. I’ll make 1 Corinthians 10:31 my mantra, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (NIV) Surely Paul wasn’t limiting that verse to rice cakes or kale chips. What if I’ve been free to eat what nourishes and satisfies me all along?  I’m sad to think of the years I’ve wasted in bondage to other people’s food rules.

First Timothy 4 instructs us to eat with a heart of thanksgiving. I’ve put my trust in diets long enough. Now, I’m ready to have faith that the God who designed my body may have the best answers for how to take care of it.

Related Resource: What Do You Do When You Want to Be Thinner?

"I want to be thinner." Have you said it? Have you thought it? It's a reality that many of us face because culture tells us that thinness is what we should desire and our culture values the way we look only if we are thin. Today, on the Compared to Who? Podcast, Heather unpacks what we can do, biblically, to explore that desire we have to be thinner or a longing we have for any sort of body change.

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Heather Creekmore writes and speaks hope to thousands of women each week inspiring them to stop comparing and start living. Her first book Compared to Who? encourages women to uncover the spiritual root of body image issues and find freedom. Her latest release, The Burden of Better, offers women a journey into the depths of God's grace to find a way off the treadmill of constant comparison. Heather has been featured on Fox News, Huff Post, Morning Dose, Church Leaders, and For Every Mom, along with dozens of other shows and podcasts. But she's best recognized for her appearance as a contestant on the Netflix hit show, Nailed It. Heather and her fighter-pilot-turned-pastor husband, Eric have four children and live in Austin, Texas.

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