Is starting my first diet the most adult thing I've ever done?

Coco Khan


A few years ago, the word “adulting” seemed to reach its peak. I’d see it referenced everywhere – in ad campaigns, in real-life conversations, on mass-produced gifts like the mug that reads: “Coffee, because adulting is hard.” As a hashtag suffix to the truly mundane and simple, it saturated social media (“I did laundry! #adulting!”).

I never liked the word. I didn’t like how easy it made adulthood seem, as if the stuff we’ve been doing since our teens (buying groceries, doing admin) was all there was to it. It suggested we have some choice in the matter; as though we can choose to adult when we want, when in fact we’re all dragged into adulthood, no matter how unprepared we are.

I’ve been thinking about this because last week I started my first diet. It is the most adult thing I have done, and pure suffering: hell is a dry Ryvita. But I do it because I am grown-up enough to engage with the idea of my mortality. I am mature enough to subject myself to the misery, knowing the best outcome is not my wildest dream come true, but something just…OK.

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I am up for being a bit more honest about it. I can see it now: an Instagram vid of me snapping at a colleague because I’m hungry and have nightmares where I’m chased by a burger. #adulting! Me, smiling over a bowl of couscous created in the hopes it is so boring I won’t eat it. #adulting. Me, 4am, having given up the diet and drunk-tweeting pictures of fried chicken claiming it is part of the vodka diet (lose three days in a week) #adulting.

Still, I’m not sure my approach will go viral any time soon. But perhaps we could make a new hashtag to truthfully sum up the adulthood experience. SurprisinglyDifficultDrudgery, anyone?