Let’s go ahead and just put this out there, F$%^ diet culture. Feel free to scream it from the rooftops, I most certainly do. If you aren’t there yet, or have no idea what diet culture is, sit back while we learn about the whole multibillion dollar industry that exist to strip your joy and make you feel inadequate. Diet culture is a system of beliefs that values thinness and equates it moral virtue. In short, diet culture is behind Instagram favorites like #bodygoals and sponsored flat belly tea ads. Let’s dispel some diet culture myths shall we?
Myth: Thin values hold more value than all the other bodies.
Fact: Body positivity and smashing diet culture does not mean we don’t care what we look like. For me, it is knowing that my value does not exist in the way I look or the size I wear. Let me say this real loud and clear for those in the back, you and your body have value. There is literally nothing you or anyone else can do to change that fact. Your value exists because you are a living breathing human being. That is it, that’s all you have to do. You don’t have more value because someone loves you, you birthed a baby, you have a super cool important job that pays a ton, or because you can run a marathon. Those are all awesome things that contribute to how wonderfully unique you are as a person, but they don’t change how valuable you are.
Myth: You can only love your body when it is thin.
Fact: You can love your body while wanting to change the way to moves, functions, or even looks. These are not mutually exclusive ideas. So you want to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, eat more vegetables, run faster, jump higher? Cool go for it, personal growth is fantastic! Along the way realize that you have already accomplished so much. Shrinking your body doesn’t make you a better person, just a smaller one.
Myth: Bad people eat bad food and deserve to be fat.
Fact: There is no good or bad food. Food is an inanimate object that does not have morality. What you put in your mouth does not impact your moral virtue. (What comes out of your mouth does, so be kind to people.) Food is either nutritious or it isn’t. Nutritionally dense food will keep you fuller longer and contribute to improving your overall health. Food is not healthy, you are. Eating a nutritious diet helps keep you that way.
These myths aren’t things we typically say out loud, but they are certainly lingering in our subconscious. When we tell our bestie “Oh my gosh, I did so bad today,” after having a couple chocolates at the end of the night. Diet culture is quitting that restrictive diet after grazing the appetizer table at the party, because you “fell off the wagon” again. Diet culture is the wraps and shakes guaranteed to make you skinny by Monday. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t work! It is constantly feeling like you’d be happier if you could just lose 10lbs.
The way you eat does not have to have a name or be supported by all the famous people to be healthy and right for you. It just has to meet your nutritional needs and help you reach our goals, whatever they might. If it came with a whole lot less judgement and body shaming along the way we’d all be doing ourselves a whole lot of good. That is how we smash diet culture.