First, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone! The last two weeks were kind of sucky, and I really appreciate everyone’s kindness, patience with the blog delay, and prayers!
Now, back to the blog!
Two weeks ago, I posted about causes, treatment, warning signs, and an overall look at eating disorders for NEDAwareness Week. There is so much that I couldn’t get to, as this is a blog and not a novel. However, if there is one thing I could go on and on about, rant about, or hop on a soapbox for – it is my passion for diet culture and eating disorder awareness.
After reading all the facts, with a little bias, you’re probably wondering,
So, Like, Now What?
Now, we talk about my opinions – which are about as controversial as I’ll ever get for my blog.
Here are two things that I think need addressing with my unfiltered opinion. There is a laundry-sized list, but I narrowed it down for the sake of Monday morning concentration…especially if the coffee hasn’t hit your bloodstream quite yet.
Why is it okay to comment on people’s weight unsolicited?
All these people sliding in Instagram DM’s like, “Want to lose 15-20 pounds!? I’ve got the product for you! <3”
First of all, I’ve never met these people. Second, why do they automatically assume that I want to lose weight?! I used to take these constant DM’s so personally. Does it look like I need to lose weight? I’d wonder, while feeling horrible about myself. Not a good sales strategy, girlfriend.
Why don’t we market products as things to help you feel healthier rather than capitalizing on weight loss? I’d rather be able to run a mini-marathon than shed a couple of pounds. So, why isn’t it about feeling healthy as opposed to always losing weight?
In addition to asking if someone wants to lose weight, which is wrong on several levels, it isn’t okay to comment on someone’s food intake.
I posted a picture of my favorite lemonade, and someone told me to be careful of my calorie intake and claimed they’d be interested to see how many calories I consume a day. Now, why is this an acceptable thing to say?????? It’s a lemonade? Which, by the way, I can have. I could have two if I want, three if I’m feeling frisky, and thirty-eight just to spite your remark.
This goes for food, too.
No one but me can dictate how hungry I am. If I eat twenty pounds of popcorn, so what! What does it matter to you? Do you know how hungry I am? If I eat more than a man, it’s okay. You don’t need to judge me or tell me to watch out and not gain weight for the wedding.
Hunger levels shift. Wow. What a crazy concept. It isn’t necessary to point out that I ate an entire appetizer, meal, and three desserts by myself. I like carrot cake, okay!?
All these things that are the norm to say – to ask someone if they want to lose weight, to judge someone’s plate or cup, to comment on someone’s “problem areas” (hate that verbiage), to compare someone’s body to their old body or someone else, etc. Why is this acceptable?? Why do we stand for this?
Is it because of social media? Where there are apps, poses, camera lenses, and more that help alter the way someone’s body looks?
I don’t see a point to it. In fact, I see destruction, I see hurting someone’s confidence, and I see gross judgment.
You know yourself. You know your thoughts. You know how negative and disheartening your thoughts can be. So, like, why would you plant seeds of doubt or worry in the mind of others?
You know what else we hear a lot, and I have 110% said it, too? “I need to work out to lose some weight.”
Workout to honor your body, have fun, and feel good! If you hate running, don’t do it. If you love doing a ten-minute dance routine, do that! Working out should not be about punishing your body but celebrating all its abilities!
God did a fantastic job creating you. Have fun and celebrate you! Dance to Hannah Montana, jump rope to NSYNC, bike to a makeup vlogger, or run to a true crime podcast.
Do what makes you happy.
As a wise woman once said, “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” Just shake it off!
No one wants to have a bad character, and no one wants to be viewed as a Barb. Don’t be a Barb. Mind your business. Know that weight fluxgates. Know that bodies are different. Know that if someone is comfortable in their skin, that is all that matters. Period.
This area is gray, and it is different for everyone.
Some people can participate in diet culture and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I, along with many, am not one of those people.
The diet industry is a million-dollar industry with many participants weighing more than before in following years.
There are various different diet techniques – counting calories, macro, Keto, etc.
Honestly, I see health benefits to these. I know someone who is rocking counting calories, like you go, girl! But if I were the one counting calories, I’d obsess. Once, I had to count calories for a nutrition class, and it altered the way I ate all week, the way I felt, and my security in my body. This just isn’t something that is right for me. Instead, I choose to abide by intuitive eating. To learn more, check out this amazing 10-step blog on intuitive eating.
Basically, intuitive eating goes against diet culture and encourages individuals to honor their hunger and leave restrictive behavior behind.
Keto and macro have benefits, but I don’t encourage them for me. And, I probably wouldn’t encourage them for you.
There are some people who can balance it well; however, more people obsess and spiral. If you’re a person who can handle dieting, then go for it (if you absolutely must). If you are someone whose self-conscious, then do not do it. Just be comfortable with the way you look and feel, and you’re gold!
Honestly, I could go on and on and on and on! About how we shouldn’t push unhealthy clothing trends, Tik Tok trends, normalize body-shaming language, judge people’s plates, etc. There’s just so. much. to unpack.
Give me a book, and it’ll be filled with statistics, resources, opinions, etc. But what it boils down to is that I strongly believe diet culture is toxic and harmful 95% of the time, and people are way too judgmental about people’s bodies and food choices.
Are you one of those people? If you are, why? Look into yourself and ask why it matters – maybe do some digging or research.
There is so much that is impacting America – language, norms, advertisements, menus, etc. You’d be shocked to see what can be triggering. Look into it, though. You know someone whose struggled with ED – even if you don’t realize it.
Eating disorders are so real. Body dysmorphia is so real. Food fear is so real.
Someone in your life struggling. That is so real.
Be kind, be compassionate, be unjudging.
If you’re struggling, don’t pay attention to your BMI, do not step on a scale, and live a life that makes you comfortable.
To learn even more about intuitive eating, which is highly recommended for ED survivors, read: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/what-does-intuitive-eating-mean
To learn how to break-up with diet culture, read: https://www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com/breaking-up-with-diet-culture/
To learn more about body-shaming (both subtle and aggressive), read: https://www.magnolia-creek.com/eating-disorder-recovery-blog/what-is-body-shaming/
To learn more about unhealthy food obsession, please read: https://nudenutritionrd.com/how-to-stop-food-obsession/
On Instagram, follow dieticians: @no.food.rules + @loandlemons + @thenutritiontea