Diet Culture is very sneaky!
It’s continuously hiding itself within the words health, wellness, and fitness. No matter what diet culture hides behind, its roots are the same:
The ongoing body shaming, self disconnection and fat phobia
Its rigid set of expectations place your appearance above physical health and well-being. It manipulates the vocabulary you use around food, emphasizing ‘good’ versus ‘bad’. This subsequently makes you feel ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in comparison to what you eat. It makes you believe that calories of food know your body better than you do. You begin to deprive your body and restrict calories. Trying to satisfy diet culture, by upholding the standard of thinness and attractiveness sold in media today.
Diet Culture is sneaky! It’s time to opt-out!
So, how do we opt-out of diet culture?
It’s simple. Keep in mind, ‘Simple’ does not translate into ‘Easy’.
This is going to be challenging because we are facing the cause of the problem. Not the symptom of a problem. These are harder tasks. Think of it like a headache. We can all relate to having a bad headache, at one point in our life. Headaches are symptoms of disfunction or lack within the body. You can take Tylenol to relieve the pain; temporarily. It’s a simple, easy, over-the-counter solution, that resolves it quickly.
But, since you didn’t fix the underlying cause, you are likely to get a headache again. Right? To resolve your headache, you will need to take more time, visit a few professionals, maybe a chiropractor, nutritionist, naturopath. Find out what’s really going on, so that you can solve the true cause of the headache. It’s a longer process, a little more costly, and more hard work.
The same thing goes with ridding yourself of diet mentality. Diet mentality is the cause and your dire need for weight-loss & fatphobia is the symptom. It’s the reason you feel this way around your body and are feeling the pressure on your emotional & mental well-being.
I think it’s time for a change, don’t you?
The first step to changing anything in life is to become aware of it! Only through awareness can we create meaningful change, that lasts.
Firstly, you want to get Intentional with your surrounding and your thoughts about them.
Set an intention for the week (even longer if you like, this isn’t a race).
You want to just recognize diet culture around you. When you notice it, mentally call it out. Like a ‘Oh snap!’ moment of realization. Think of it like a game, similar to I Spy. I Spy diet culture. Consider looking at what surrounds you: conversations with friends, family, or coworkers, podcast, social media feeds or followers, gyms, hair salons, healthcare facilities, ads, commercials. and even eavesdropping on the conversation in line at the grocery store.
Becoming aware of diet culture is the first step
It is not about judging others or yourself. Rather it’s about noticing its sneaky nature, and how it can be disguised. Most importantly, how does it make you feel about your body and the way you eat?
Secondly, take a personal note:
When you hear diet culture language or behaviors, how does it make you feel?
Do you begin to compare yourself to others? maybe you feel anxious or less confident in your outfit? Does it create self-doubt? It’s important to deeply remember, that there is not right or wrong way to feel here. Just notice how it feels. Take a personal note. Maybe write it down in a journal when you get home.
You want to reconnect with your mind & body, by practicing a new self-care eating framework
The connection to your body’s innate language, through Intuitive eating. This framework integrates instincts, emotions, and rational thoughts. It was originally created by two dietitians Evelyn & Elyse in 1995. This will help you navigate back to your body’s natural ability to nourish. Intuitive Eating is a personal and dynamic process, which includes 10 principles. The first is ‘Reject the Diet Mentality’.
This is where you begin your journey, on becoming the expert on YOU.