Saturday, January 12, 2019

Say "No" to Diet Culture

How to Have a Bikini Body:
Get a bikini
Put it on your body

I received yet another email touting those beastly "get paid to lose weight" apps. I'm not going to say which WAH blog source it came from, as several of them are on the bandwagon, but I will share with you my response.

While I generally appreciate your newsletters and am happy to receive them, I cannot tell you how sick I am of hearing about these AWFUL weight loss apps. Diet culture benefits no-one but the multi-billion dollar diet industry, and long-term weight loss is achieved by no-one but statistical unicorns. Only approximately five percent of people who diet keep the weight off. Most dieters gain back the weight they lost, and it returns with friends. 
Dieting promotes a starvation response. (
The body doesn't know whether its owner is trying to starve it to an unrealistically low weight to garner compliments or whether a famine has come on. It will react the same way regardless of the reason its nutrition is being curtailed.
See also Minnesota Starvation Experiment.
Yo-yo dieting is not good for the body, and dieting behavior tends to lead to disordered eating behavior in general. Dieting promotes eating disorders.
I do not say this as a person who is naturally thin and therefore doesn't have to "worry about" what they eat. I say it as a person who tried to hate myself thin for 33 years, as a person who still has to deal with the screwed-up relationship I developed with food as a result of our thin-obsessed culture.
Dieting, whether to "earn" money or win compliments is a bad thing.
I much prefer the ideas outlined in Health at Every Size. ( People do not need to be thin to be healthy, and they certainly do not need to be thin to be treated with basic common decency.

I also recommend reviewing these resources.

I understand that conventional thought holds to the idea that pursuing weight loss is a good thing. I believed it was too for many years, starting at age twelve when I became ashamed of my body because I developed hips and thighs and could no longer fit into a size 9 boys' jeans. I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food at that point, which persisted until I was in my mid-forties. I cringe whenever I see things like these weight loss apps. I will never promote them. 
I would hope to see a shift in consciousness regarding dieting during my lifetime, but I'm not unrealistic. This horrible practice is too deeply ingrained into Western society. Still, I will no longer stand by and allow it to do damage without saying something.
I hope you will review the resources I have provided. I wish you well regardless of your size. You do not need to be thin to be worthy of being treated well.


I pledge that I will never promote diet or weight loss oriented products. I believe that diet culture and obsession with thinness are unhealthy and have done untold damage, destroying many lives. I believe that people deserve to be treated with kindness regardless of their size. 
Diets don't work. It's time to stop feeding the multi-billion dollar diet industry.

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