I’ll say it- diet culture is preying on vulnerabilities to make money. Seeking nutrition advice from a company that has ulterior motives and prioritizes their capital gain over your health is costly. To our minds, bodies, and wallets. Influences of diet culture shows up in ways that far span our relationship with our bodies, food, exercise, and the scale. When people tell you you’re not good enough for being the way you are and need “insert this diet product or exercise machine, here”… how does that make you feel?
I must note, eating disorders are not all about food or weight. Despite stereotypes, individuals experiencing eating disorders do not all look, act, or think the same. As is true with humanity in general, every person is unique with their own unique experiences for how they see the world and develop ways of coping. This post also applies to individuals that have been impacted by diet culture in ways that may not have manifested as an eating disorder, but have had detrimental consequences none-the-same.
When Diet Culture is Everywhere
The abundance of the propaganda is hard to ignore. The influence is so normalized in today’s world. It may be hard to appreciate just how detrimental all the emphasis on weight loss and exercise may have. And does it actually help you develop the relationship with yourself? And with movement in a way that evokes an internal drive to live healthily?
For me, diet culture led to patterns that drove me to ultimately get stuck in its sabotaging ways. Contrasting views on which foods are healthy vs unhealthy led me to become so overwhelmed I avoided all food for fear of getting it wrong. Constant talk about needing to move more made me deathly afraid to be sedentary. My life revolved around not eating and working out. A path that would lead me to miss quality opportunities to make memories with friends and nourish relationships. Further- Stuck with the perpetual mindset that I must always be striving to “lose weight,” I lost so many valuable years of my life and… I lost me. Relate?
Well, I am done, diet culture.
This abusive relationship is over. No longer will I allow your propaganda to prey on my insecurities and to make me feel like showing up “smaller” will help me to accomplish my ginormous dreams. And you know what? I’m going to warn all my friends about you. Matter of fact… I just did.
(Disclaimer: The above story is Jillian’s own experience and opinions. Jillian’s views should not be seen as medical advice. Though Dr. Rigert is a doctor, she is not YOUR doctor and her opinion or experiences are her own and do not represent the views of her employer. Please seek out individual support for your unique needs by a licensed medical professional.)