Right now I am seeing more ads on weight loss, nutrition and fitness than I have all year (perhaps, in some part because I click on them out of curiosity #algorithms).
And, I am also seeing so many friends, colleagues and influencers speaking out against diet culture right now (keep it up, y’all!). So I am here to chime in too.
F*ck diet culture. Seriously.
Diet culture sells us on the idea that we need to change or fix our bodies to live well.
But this mindset makes our bodies wrong in some way. Makes our bodies a target. AKA vulnerable in the non-Brene-Brown kind of way.
And in response our nervous systems are like, “Oh sh*t, danger up ahead!”
When we don’t feel safe, our bodies radio the brain and say, “Activate: stress mode.”
And the brain is like, “I got you boo” and then launches a cascade of processes involving hormones and muscle responses priming us for action or shutting us down. Whichever option seems most viable…the body is rather opinionated in its own way.
And honestly, we have way more important stuff (#australianbushfires) to be in a state of stress over than diet culture’s main target: how our bodies look. But that’s a whole different conversation.
When stressed, what flies out the window?
Feeling calm, grounded, centered.
Curiosity and creativity.
All the stuff that fosters a meaningful and creative life. In other words, a life YOU create and love.
Now, perhaps you have some health related goals coming in to the new year. That’s ok. You’re allowed to have them.
And, what I would want most for you is for those goals to genuinely come more from a place of embodying, nurturing and enjoying the body you have than from a place of believing there’s anything wrong with you.
And if you are in the throes of body shame right now, know that a) you are SO not alone, b) none of this started with you – this is a societal thing not a personal failing and c) I’m sending compassion your way. It’s a tough space to be in and I hope you get the support you need to disentangle from those harmful messages.
Diet culture is a liar.
How your body looks is not an indicator of your capacity for living well.
How you inhabit your body is.
In the next Rebel to Rebel Letter, I will be talking more about how you can lovingly inhabit your body (even alongside any health goals you’ve created). Use the form on this page to sign up.
Got a question related to throwing a middle finger to diet culture and inhabiting your wonderful body? Use this form over here.