I grew up in a culture where at some point every effort one makes to improve her health is considered a diet trend. It is a culture where thick and big-boned women are [were] cherished. Similar to some of the African countries, Haiti’s culture appreciates the type of women people overlook here in America and in other parts of the world. I remember from growing up there, women were being chased because of their beauty and size. At that time, women of smaller sizes were considered sick and not wealthy ( body size was considered a sign of wealth) enough to marry. Growing up, I was not a thick girl. As far as I can remember, I have always been short and small. However, my parents and other family members expected me to grew up and become a thick woman ( like them). Needless to say, that did not happen. Instead, I became very interested in my health and developed into a health nut in training. I love my body the way it is, I am consistently looking for ways to improve my physique and health. My family does not understand that very well. There is not a time my mother or grandmother sees me that they don’t complain about me being smaller than the last time they saw me and that I need to stop “hurting” myself. They always tease me about which diet am I on this time. I gave up trying to explain to them that everyone has a diet; your diet consist of the kind of foods you choose to eat on a regular basis. Similar to popular beliefs, my family seems to think that a diet is something you go on simply to lose weight. That is not always the case. My diet consists of healthy food to help keep my body healthy and strong. On my defense, I am not small by choice -not necessarily. Actually, it took me some time to completely become ok with height and size. I keep in mind these women also grew up in that same culture that appreciated women of bigger sizes, so they retain the mindset from the old days. They believe the bigger you are the richer you are, not knowing that the bigger you are the more health risks you will encounter. Therefore, I forgive them for their lack of knowledge on the subject. Personally, I don’t ever go on any diets because I know apart from exercising and eating healthy, any other diet is just temporary. I am more interested in the permanent dietary changes. When it comes to my body, I look into long-term effects, not short terms.
What is my diet?
I try my best to consume the daily recommended amount of each food group in the food pyramid ( now called my plate). I keep in mind that variety and moderation are key. I strategically plan my meals so that with each meal I am eating all the necessary nutrients my body needs and tried to reach my goal by the time I am done with dinner. I have not mastered it all yet, but I am getting better with practice.