When you don’t believe that the body that you live in is good enough, that toxicity infiltrates throughout every aspect of your life.
Your love life can reflect this belief.
Your social life can reflect this belief.
Your career or job choice can reflect this belief.
Your closet can reflect this belief.
Your self-care most definitely reflects this belief.
You may be depriving your body of what it needs, and exercising for mathematical/formulaic purposes. Or, you might be punishing yourself by eating to a point where you are uncomfortable. And/or, you could be denying yourself the joyful movement that you desire, because of what people will think of you when you when you enter that gym, that dance floor, that community pool, etc.
We have been brainwashed by diet culture our entire lives. Why? So that we spend our money, and focus our attention on what is wrong with us. But guess what?! Our bodies are not a problem to be fixed! Our bodies know what they need, when, and how much. Our bodies have a genetic blue print that determine the size/weight range that they need to be. AND, if your body is larger than what society deems acceptable, that does NOT necessarily mean that it is unhealthy. There happens to be decades of scientific research that indicate otherwise.
My husband has remained pretty steadily in a large body our whole relationship. I have weight-cycled like a maniac, trying to get as small as possible during our relationship. There is scientific research that shows that he is better off than me health-wise in this regard. Why? Because he has remained at a larger size consistently over the years, while I was dramatically weight cycling/yo-yo dieting. It turns out that weight-cycling (what almost all dieters experience) is more harmful than consistently staying at a higher weight.
I remember the desperation before I embarked on my last diet. I was so disgusted with my weight and myself (because of diet culture and weight stigma). Being the hard core and excellent student that I am, I jumped in with full gusto! I’m here to conquer this problem! I’ll show everyone how strong I am!
Except…it resulted in isolation, misery, painful hunger, mood swings, and lost opportunities for fun and connection.
I am in a larger body than I was when I embarked on that “life-changing diet”, with that “life-changing” company. However, it didn’t change my life in the way they wanted my life to be changed. They wanted me to continue to believe that my body could be even smaller, one pound at a time, one workout at a time, one dollar at a time…before and after pictures galore! I bought in like the diet culture victim that I was - reasonably so! It wasn’t my fault - it’s not anybody’s fault. I’ve been soaking in every diet culture message since I was in elementary school. What this company didn’t expect I’m sure, is that the rock bottom it would lead me to, would result in me finding Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size.
Oh diet company, if you could look at me now!!! I bought 3 bathing suits for this summer! One is even a bikini - OH MY! I am larger than I was when I started your soul-sucking meal plan because, well…prolonged deprivation! Now my body and mind are healing.
Wanna know what’s even more exciting diet company?! I just got rid of all of the clothes that you promised me I could fit into again one day! Because…guess what?! When you follow people who lose weight intentionally through diets/meal plans/food rules for more than five years…at least 93% of them gain the weight back! Some of them even more than the weight they lost! Oh what a fun and lucrative business plan for you!
Except…you’ve lost one customer. I went out and bought clothes and bathing suits that I feel great in - at my current size! I’ve unfollowed everybody that promotes your harmful message, while realizing I used to be one of them. I just gave my closet a major makeover, so that I no longer see my former “tester” clothes.
I accept that my clothing size may or may not change, once my mind and body have fully healed from you.
As much as I’m sure this irks you to the bone diet industry: I’ve learned to love myself, and to have compassion for myself as I am. Why? Because of all that I’ve endured as a result of you, and because I want to Live More.
Tiffany was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She lives with her husband, kids, and chocolate lab. Her favorite vacations so far (beyond camping in the family motorhome), have been to Kauai, Key West, New York City, and Sayulita. She looks forward to expanding that list!
A heartfelt thanks to Julie G Photography.