Sweet, Salty & Sexy

Dieting and Dating: Having a Mind of Your Own

Woman contemplates dieting Keep dating the wrong guy, again and again?

Jump from one restrictive diet to the next, only to lose and gain the weight many times over?

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to look for patterns of behavior, and the answer may be simpler than you think. Believe it or not, ineffective dieting and disheartening dating have something in common.


Instant gratification is the new normal for many of us. Quick fixes and gimmicks only feed the need to have the ideal partner or a svelte body now. This impatience spills over into the most important aspects of our lives—our love affairs and general well-being. In our haste, we lose touch with the values required to sustain good relationships and a naturally healthy weight. I’m here to tell you there is no sidestepping the requirement for thoughtful, deliberate and honest evaluation of yourself as you seek the perfect eating plan or a soul mate for life.

Insecurity plays a role too. In a world airbrushed to perfection, no matter how exquisite we are, it can seem hard to measure up. Patti Stanger tells us in her book Become Your Own Matchmaker, “Confidence is the key to any endeavor. Women don’t realize that when they do things they love and are passionate about—their confidence soars. Men are attracted to women who feel happy and decisive about life.” Patti knows!

Pretending we’re something we’re not just to make our new partner comfortable is a common dating disaster that will always catch up with us—mostly in the form of a nasty breakup in which our ex feels duped. Resisting the food we crave will only leave us wanting it more—in this scenario, we’re duping ourselves.

Changing your preferences for the sake of another or ignoring them to meet the requirements of diet dogma is a personal betrayal that will eventually lead to a breakup, a breakdown, or a binge. 

Relying on external cues rather than internal messages when you’re seduced by a diet rather than embracing an individual eating plan will yield, at best, short-lived weight loss, just as choosing a partner based on superficial characteristics rather than an intuitive connection will guarantee lost romance. Self-possession and authenticity are the keys to holding ourselves steady against the currents that pull us from our center. When we work from the inside out we’re sure to find our way.

You can manage your weight and eat the foods that you want by making choices that reflect your taste and preferences in balance, moderation and quality.  Lifelong, effortless weight management is to a large degree an informed, committed decision.

When you accept anything but the very best—settling for Mr. Good Enough rather than waiting it out for Mr. Right, letting fake foods stand in for the real food you desire and deserve—you can be sure that’s what you’ll get.

In the movie Runaway Bride Maggie Carpenter (played by Julia Roberts) becomes so involved in her fiancé of the moment that her identity changes like the colors of a chameleon. As she loses touch with herself, she becomes increasingly afraid of marriage, gets cold feet, and runs. Repeatedly.

Maggie has left three men at the altar. As she prepares for a wedding with her fourth groom-to-be, we meet writer Ike Graham (Richard Gere), who is working on a story about her failed attempts to tie the knot. When Ike and Maggie become romantically involved, he makes her face her fears and herself.


That’s right. You’re so lost you don’t

even know how you like your eggs.






With the priest, you liked them

scrambled. With the Dead Head, fried.

With the bug guy, poached. Now it’s

egg whites only, thank you very much.



That’s called changing your mind.



No, that’s called not having a mind of

your own. What are you doing, Maggie?

Later in the film Maggie goes through an elaborate taste test with a spread of eggs prepared every way imaginable. She reports back to Ike.


Eggs Benedict—I LOVE eggs Benedict.

If it’s happily ever after you’re looking for, there’s only one pathway to that ending. Whether you want a way of eating or a life partner, you must know your own mind. Be happy, accepting, honest, and realistic—about yourself, first and foremost. Scrutinize your own life and your own identity in order to know what you like, and what you can and cannot live with or without.

Carol Cottrill