Diet culture is one of the most controlling systems within our society. It permeates nearly every part of our lives and is completely destructing. A huge part of my life as been plagued with the symptoms of diet culture and after years of trying to fix myself I’ve learned that I never had to in the first place. Let’s have a talk about diet culture, my experience with it and where I want to go now.
For as long as I can remember I have been aware of my weight and feeling bigger. I remember being as young as seven or eight and wanting to go on a ‘diet’ or wanting to be slimmer and ‘skinny’. It’s only dawned on me in the last year or so that I have been struggling with my body issues for over ten years and I’m only twenty-one.
Diet to me, and to most other people, meant changing the way I was eating for a particular period of time to lose weight and visibly smaller. Never did I think that I could/would continue that way of eating forever. A diet was always a thing that would ‘fix’ me and once I was fixed I could be happy, feel confident, live would be better and THEN I could eat what I wanted.
My dieting behaviour got to an all-time worse in my teens and I was completely obsessed. For a few years now I have tried my best to cut those behaviours out and although I’m doing pretty well, some of the same mind-sets are still there and I think it might always be. When I’ve got an event coming up, when it’s coming up to summer or when I’m just not feeling great, a part of my head comes up with a mini plan for the next few weeks that will fix everything.
I’ve tried every diet, cranberry juice cleanses, protein shake meal replacements and slimming world. Everything has ended up with my trying to control all my intake and feelinghorrendous after one little cheat or slip up. I was so miserable. Diet culture and
wanting needing to be slim has completely and utterly consumed me the for majority of my life and found its way into the happiest of situations. Is this just my life? Will it ever go away? The answer is no, it won’t ever go away completely, with the world being how it is and female beauty equalling skinny, there will always be a part of me that believes that I need to be smaller, but I’m so sick of DIETING.
It upsets me to think how many girls, boys, women and men, suffer from disordered eating of
some sort (no that doesn’t mean eating disorders). Most people will have these mindsets without even knowing because it has been drilled into us that we need to eat less fat, eat less carbs, eat less chocolate, run more, workout more. Even with new things coming forward like women’s weight training, it’s all adding to the pressure to live a certain way. Well, I’m saying NO.
I’m not going to say that I have completely accepted myself and my body and I never want to change, I would like to change. But I will change over time by doing the exercise that I like and eating in a HEALTHY way. Change doesn’t have to be attached to words like restrictive, hard, good or bad. I want to eat food that is good for me, food that helps my body run, do workouts I enjoy and eat what I enjoy without feeling guilty or that I need to gorge on all the forbidden foods.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel strongly about people living in healthy ways, but this NOT the same things as calorie counting, points counting etc, this is not that same as drinking special tea every night to get a smaller belly and it’s not the same as temporarily changing in order to ‘fix’ the problem that is your body.
As a society, we need to stop and reject the diets that we are constantly being bombared with. We need to learn to listen to our bodies and treat them with respect. We need to learn to love our bodies from the inside out and do what best for them and we NEED to learn that fitting into the ideal that’s plastered on our tvs, magazines and social media isn’t the same as being healthy and it’s not worth risking your health and happiness.
I am making a vow to myself to treat my body right. I am making a promise to never diet again. Yeah, I might slip up along the way but that’s fine, its life. We were never made to be perfect and we shouldn’t sacrifice our happiness in our attempt to become it.
*the photos in this post are taken from a book ‘The Goddess Revolution’ a book about making peace with food and loving your body. It’s a great book but I haven’t finished reading it yet, when I do, I will review it.