Here is the truth: At large dieting isn’t really about fixing your body and losing weight.
Dieting is accepting the idea that your role in your life is to control your body.
Diet culture teaches you to second-guess what you want to eat. Wake up call! Eating is your most basic and intuitive desire. Nobody knows better than you what you need.
Spoil Alert: If you second-guess what you should eat, most likely you are second-guessing other parts of your life too. Because how you do one thing is how you do everything!
Here is a reminder what you really mean when you say:
“I am on a diet”
- You became part of the diet culture, who is terrified of weight gain
- You let the diet industry decide how your body should look like and how to spend your precious time on (diet and exercise)
- You have set of beliefs that ever shrinking thinness (dieting, exercising) is expected from you and it’s your moral duties and social responsibility to be thin
- If you are not thin you deserve to be targeted to public shaming and being punished
- The diet culture effects you in a way that you believe that you will never be good enough until you lose weight
- You are part of the diet culture, which tells you that it is ok for other people to comment on your body without your consent and what other people think of you is more important than what you think or want
- The diet culture teaches you that you can’t trust yourself
- You don’t believe that you are a grown up who is able to tell what you want to eat
- You have internalized fat phobia via fat shaming, food policing, or weight discrimination
- You experience weight bias and weight stigma (although almost everybody has this experience if you live in the western society)
- You want to experience “thin privilege”, which is really about buying into the idea your body exists to please others
- You are afraid of experiencing fathpobia head-on
- You buy into the “magical thinking” mindset that when you diet everything will be okay in your life without hassles
- You are sold on your “pain point” by the diet industry feeling not good enough in the first place and you take it out on your body
- You believe thin is good, fat is bad, which is only an idea to keep you small and the diet industry loves your insecurity because you will be coming back for more diet pills and exercise gadgets to keep you in shape
- The diet culture keeps you under social pressure to be thin to feel good about yourself
- Diet culture teaches you not only that your body is wrong but you are wrong. It is a form of harassment. Wake up!
- You think your inability to meet an ever-shifting, increasingly impossible idea of thin is your fault
Now you might NOT eat certain food or food groups for different reasons including any reasons except for weight loss for example:
- medical restriction
- religious reason
- health reason
So you might ask: How do you honor these choices without being on a diet?
It’s not about what you eat or what food choices you make but the degree to which you let your food choices affects your self-esteem and self-worth.
Here is something important to remember:
If you make food choices because you want to honor your health that’s a self-loving act, which is very different from making a choice to NOT eat certain foods because you don’t think you are good enough without a certain body size or type.
If you make food choices to control/manipulate your body is very different than make choices from a place of wanting to treat your body well and let your body take its own shape in the process.
Even though you eat certain foods and others don’t, you can tell when you are NOT on a diet when:
- There is no “moralizing” like - I am bad or I suck.
- You don’t feel guilty or ashamed by making up stories in mind why you are a horrible person because you ate certain foods.
- You don’t think it is a personal failure and lack of willpower when you eat certain things
- You don’t feel “clean/dirty” or “good/bad” based on how you eat
Don’t forget whether you diet for weight loss or health reasons, none of them are moral obligations. You are not a defective, a bad person if you choose to eat something, even though it is not the best choice for yourself.
Staying healthy is not only about what you eat. Mental health like being sane around food is also part of a healthy lifestyle. So don’t make the mistake saying “no more dieting for weight loss” but still eating carrots and exercise 2 hours a day.
Your personal value might be NOT to eat certain things but even if you do at any moment you don’t feel bad about yourself. Only acknowledge the fact that some days you make better or less good choices depending on circumstances in your life.
In a nutshell:
Diet culture teaches you that you are the problem. Your body is wrong, admit it and fix it.
Dieting is rationalizing self-hate and why you hate your body.Dieting is rationalizing self-loathing.
Dieting is rationalizing self-punishment.
Your body is yours and you are not sentenced to diet or exercise. You are not failing humanity if you don’t do these two or helping humanity if you do them.
Savor food and live again is about freeing yourself form the dieting culture, which is about a set of morality fueled rules to keep you afraid to make them rich.
Hope this helps,