Diet Culture: It’s Invasive, Seductive, and quite frankly has to go-Stop-Hating-Your-Body

Diet Culture has to go-Stop hating your bodyAfter dinner every night in treatment we would have to complete a check out, part of this included picking an inspirational quote or affirmation from a jar and reading it out loud to the group. “Love the skin you’re in”, “My body is not the enemy”, “I will learn to love my body”, we all get the point, am I right?

Not only was this exercise mildly sappy and annoying, it doesn’t align at all with how I felt, or now feel about my body. I think some power exists behind this idea that right now, culturally, it is extremely difficult to love our bodies, and that we have way more working against us than we will ever have working for us. In a society inundated with diet everything, we are wildly outnumbered.

We live in a culture that perpetuates this idea that we need to somehow simultaneously love our bodies, while also working our assess off to change our bodies to meet the demands of diet culture. And honestly, it’s kind of fucked up.

Right now, culturally, it is extremely difficult to love our bodies, and that we have way more working against us than we will ever have working for us.

We live in a culture that perpetuates this idea that we need to somehow simultaneously love our bodies, while also working our assess off to change our bodies to meet the demands of diet culture.

From-the-Couch-Of-Diet-Culture-has-to-goCase in point, the days I stand in front of the mirror and don’t feel like a wreck, are the days I’ve way over did it on exercise and deprived myself of actual sustenance. I am hard pressed to truly love my body without having subscribed to diet culture that day, and while that’s super hard for me to swallow, I doubt I’m the only one. We cannot say we love our bodies if we are constantly trying to change and manipulate our bodies at the same time.

For those of you less familiar, diet culture is this idea that not only does the “perfect” body exist, but there’s a whole lot of shit (exercise programs, clean eating, and on and on) that will help you achieve said perfect body. There are really blatant examples such as calorie driven weight loss programs, assigning foods as “good” or “naughty” (“I’m so naughty for eating this ice cream), to the less obvious behaviors that nowadays get masked as “wellness” or “balance” when they are anything such. I chased after “wellness” and “balance” and was met face to face with Orthorexia. Diet culture does not just exist as some entity we can easily ignore, it is unfortunately increasingly invasive and sadly bought into.

We cannot say we love our bodies if we are constantly trying to change and manipulate our bodies at the same time.

And…

I will be completely transparent and say that I do subscribe to diet culture, I have for a long time and it’s a really vicious cycle, for everyone, particularly those fighting an eating disorder. Do I want out? Yes. Is it way easier said than done? Yes. But I have made a commitment to myself to at least try and put some space between myself and all of it. I write about it because it is important to me, and it creates this sense of accountability, I appreciate that.

Because how in the world am I to say, I love my body when I actively choose multiple pathways to manipulate it into something that…

  1. It was never meant to be and…
  2. That will never be sustainable. Diet culture is not sustainable, and there’s no freedom to be found in it. I genuinely believe that in order to move more into a space of accepting my body I have to reject the desire, urge, compulsion to try and change it.

Diet culture is not sustainable, and there’s no freedom to be found in it. I genuinely believe that in order to move more into a space of accepting my body I have to reject the desire, urge, compulsion to try and change it.

 

Image Credit (featured image): Iliana Mihaleva / bigstockphoto.com