A 7-year-old shouldn’t have a ‘diyet’ list

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

Perhaps you’ve seen it by now — the “diyet list” a 7-year-old wrote that was found by her mother.

“17 pooshups 2 times a day.”

“3 appals”

“1 per”

“5 glases of water”

“jog up and down the driv way 3 times”

Wow. The list, found by Australian Amy Cheney, hit news sites and fitness blogs with a collective gasp.

Has the concept of dieting, the pursuit of unattainable ideals gotten so bad that a 7-year-old feels the need to diet? How on earth does a 7-year-old even think of making a diet list?

It should be a frightening sign that even a 7-year-old girl has become so body conscious she creates a diet list. We are, apparently as a world-wide culture, obsessed with how women look (and now pre-teen girls).

This is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. And as a culture, we should be ashamed.

Please do not mistake this as a rant against losing weight — in addition to being over-obsessed with skinny, we aren’t worried enough about obesity. Obesity isn’t a problem of appearance, it’s a problem of health, or the lack there of.

No, on the contrary, this is a rant against a culture obsessed with dieting; a culture that holds up as ideal something most of us can’t achieve.

I consider myself fortunate. My mother never emphasized traditional ideals of beauty, instead encouraging me to be as athletic as I wanted to be, even (or especially) when it came to the sport that has had me hooked for half of my life.

For nearly 20 years (off and on), I’ve been a certifiable gym rat.

I was introduced to powerlifting as a high school senior and fell in love with it.

I love the feeling of putting a loaded Olympic bar on my shoulders and squatting — I still remember how I felt the day I squatted 305 pounds for two grueling reps. I also remember the day I cranked out 100-pound squats until I couldn’t move anymore (about 60 reps). And I loved every minute of it.

I especially loved what it did for me physically — lowered blood pressure, a through the roof metabolism, and I love being strong.

We should encourage girls and young women not to diet in order to reach unattainable standards, but to find the sport or activity they love and go after it with gusto.