Why Making Your Diet Part of Your Identity is Bad for Your Health
Whenever you start a new diet, it’s important that you don’t make it part of your identity. While the idea of making your diet part of your identity can sound weird, many people actually do this without realising it.
Imagine someone, let’s call him Steve, goes on a vegan diet and changes his social media handles to @vegan.steve to tell the whole world that he’s a vegan. He starts surrounding himself with other vegans and tells everyone he meets that he’s vegan. Being vegan is not just the way he eats, but it’s part of who he is.
Now imagine that his health starts to suffer as a result of his diet. He’s not doing so well without animal foods and wants to add them back into his diet, but now he has a problem. His entire online persona is “vegan Steve”. All the people who follow him and interact with him online know him as a vegan, and starting to eat animal foods can shatter his online image and be met with a lot of backslash.
What if his social circle consists of fellow vegans who will heavily judge him and maybe even stop being his friends if he does start eating animal foods.
Plus, if Steve kept telling everyone that a vegan diet is the perfect diet and he’s realised it was actually bad for his health, he now has to confess to the world that he was wrong.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with saying you were wrong and changing your mind about a particular diet as you learn more. But, if your diet was part of your identity and you presented yourself as “vegan Steve”, this can become incredibly hard to do and many people will actually stick to a diet that didn’t work for them because they fear the backlash. Or, they change their diet but then hide it from everyone.
Neither of these situations is ideal.
You want to allow yourself the freedom to experiment with your diet and change things up as time goes on and you learn more about what’s actually healthy and what works best for your body. You don’t want to trap yourself in a particular way of eating because you made it part of your identity.
Don’t be like vegan Steve, don’t make your diet part of your identity.