Emotional Wellbeing



Mandy Kloppers

Similarities between dieting and dating

Dieting and dating

There are many similarities between dieting and dating although it may not seem obvious at first. Let me explain …

Some foods are great for healthy functioning. Foods such as fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean protein all contribute to a body that functions well and produces energy. If your body is functioning well, your mind tends to follow. When we are tempted by things that are bad for us such as fast foods fatty foods and foods with high sugar content, it can affect our healthy functioning and cause negative side effects such as weight gain or irritability.

Dieting and dating are similar in that when we avoid toxic foods and toxic partners, we will live a healthy life. When we value ourselves we are more likely to steer clear of people that aren’t good for us and engage in positive behaviours such as exercising, eating healthily and resting sufficiently. When we don’t have much self-respect – we don’t engage in self-care, we overwork ourselves, people-please and allow others to undermine us.

Dating toxic people

When we date someone that is not good for us or doesn’t bring out the best in us, it stifles our true potential. There are many negative side effects from spending time with someone who is toxic. The common side effects are reduced confidence, lowered self-esteem, self-doubt, resentment and feeling undervalued. Often we will turn these negative side effects inwards and blame ourselves. We may tell ourselves that we are not good enough or that we are too sensitive and we continue to remain in the presence of a toxic person. S

Strangely enough, people that are bad for us can sometimes be addictive. This is often due to faulty wiring in our brains caused by abusive or neglectful parents when we were growing up. This default setting causes us to feel a sense of familiarity when surrounded by chaos and criticism and we then seek it out, unwittingly, in our adult relationships.

The negative effects of an unhealthy diet

When we eat an unhealthy diet, we can become addicted to the sugar rush or the ‘endorphin explosion’ that we receive when we eat fast food or sugar loaded foods. In the same way as being addicted to a toxic partner can be, we can also become addicted to toxic foods. We may know that they are bad for us but we can’t seem to help ourselves.

This may seem like a strange comparison but this different perspective might just help you to be more aware of your toxic environment whether that be your diet or your romantic partners.

When you love yourself enough you will not want to self-sabotage by eating foods that make you unwell or lethargic, nor will you want to surround yourself with people that make you feel bad about yourself.

A healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle involves people that support you and genuinely care about you, as well as providing yourself with decent care and love that you deserve. It’s often easier said than done but it is possible. When you know your worth, you will be less tolerant of people who treat you badly and you will be less likely to engage in behaviours that don’t work for you. Behaviours such as a lack of exercise, poor boundaries with people that are unkind to you or treat you badly, and treating yourself with the lack of respect.

Stay away from self-sabotage and treat yourself as you would someone you really cared about and loved. You would advise them to avoid people who treat them badly and you would also encourage them to look after themselves. All very good advice, especially as we head into a new year. New beginnings are always possible!

Mandy X


Photo by Darrell Fraser on Unsplash