If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve heard me mention diet culture and all the ways it steals our happiness. While I’m definitely going to talk more specifically about diet culture, I wanted to put together 5 ways to reject diet culture today so you can be ready for all the “summer body” BS coming our way in the next few months.
But before we get into it…
What is diet culture?
The name “diet culture” is used describe the media culture we live in, which cares more about thin bodies and dieting to achieve a thin body than it does about the mental and emotional health of the people viewing these messages.
And if you’re like, “no way the media loves health and mental wellness” then you are definitely falling for the diet culture trap (which is totally okay and to be expected since it’s really sneaky!!). Here are a few sneaky ways diet culture shows up in our daily lives:
Diet culture is…
- The fact that we’re totally cool with starving ourselves to achieve a thinner body
- And not only are we totally cool with it, we CONGRATULATE people for starving themselves with diets
- The fact that so many people feel the need to justify eating “unhealthy” foods online by adding captions like, “I was craving it so I had to!” Like nobody was worried about your ice cream except you 🙂
- Instagram and Snapchat ads for weight loss programs that show cartoons of white women with a normal and healthy amount of body fat running to their thinness
- Weight loss books and “health” bloggers using words like “intuitive eating” and “mindfulness” to sell weight loss methods and body “solutions” (read: your body is not a problem that needs fixing)
- The obsession with demonizing otherwise innocent foods. I can’t even tell you the number of people who come into my office and tell me they’re scared of bananas because of belly fat. WHAT BANANA HURT YOU?!
- Oh yeah, and the fact that we’re scared of perfectly normal things like belly fat.
- RX Bars and GG crackers. Can we all just admit they taste like dirt?? When did we decide to start eating sh*tty food in the name of “health” (aka in the name of dieting and thinness)
- AND THE LIST GOES ON!
I’ll probably do an entire post on all the sneaky ways diet culture shows up in our daily life, so for now, let’s get to why we’re here… learning how to reject diet culture today!
5 Ways to Start Rejecting Diet Culture Today
Get rid of your diet books.
This is one of the first things I do with clients. In order to start your intuitive eating journey, you have to get mad at diet culture and actively reject it. No more flat belly solutions, no more detoxes or juice cleanses, and no more of anything that encourages you to change your eating for a new body. If that scares you, just remember that dieting has never worked (if it had, you wouldn’t be here).
Detox your social media feeds.
Unfollow #fitspo #bodygoals #bikinibody and any other Instagram models or wellness influencers who cause you to question your body, fitness, or lifestyle. And yes, even the most well-meaning influencers. You and I both know it’s not helpful to look at their bikini posts all day.
Replace to create a positive environment!
It can be pretty scary to get rid of diet books if you have nothing left to fill the gap. We’ve spent so long trusting diets more than we trust our bodies that there’s a LOT of uncertainty at the beginning of this journey. I’ve included my favorite books and resources to get you started over on my freebies page. Books like Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size will help guide you to food freedom.
Throw out the “when I lose weight” clothes.
They are not doing you any good, they are just taking up space in your closet and reminding you of some idealized version of yourself. There’s nothing wrong with your body changing, but we need to stop pretending like “skinny” clothes are motivating. Plus, if you’ve been struggling with dieting for long enough, chances are you weren’t actually happy when you fit into those clothes. It’s important to stay focused on moving forward, not backward.
Stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad”.
This one is going to be hard, but it always ends up being an “ah-ha” moment for my clients. The media has convinced us that some foods are good for you while others are bad. While it’s true that some foods are more nutritionally-dense than others, labeling foods as good or bad places judgment on us every time we eat.
The fact is that food does not have a moral value, it is just food. Removing the “good” and “bad” language helps free us from the idea that some foods are off-limits so you can stop obsessing over these foods. It also forces us to stop talking about food and health so much. You have so many other skills and passions, let’s talk about those instead!
Start healing your relationship with food!
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