I sat down last night to write this Blogmas post – originally about different Netflix Holiday movies I wanted to see, but hadn’t had the chance – but it wasn’t what was really n my mind, or my heart. I’ve been preoccupied with with diet culture and what it means in terms of the surrounding holidays.
Diet culture is something I’ve struggled with since before middle school. I’ve hesitant to share my thoughts, but in the end I realized I don’t have a lot of readers . . . so why not?
What is diet culture?
Diet culture is when we focus so much on beauty ideals and societal standards that our health and wellness becomes unimportant. It’s turned out so many women and men dependent on disordered eating habits and behaviors and many more in a full blown relationship with an eating disorder.
Diet culture is a society that focuses on and values weight, shape, and size over health and well-being
Diet culture is pervasive and can, and often, looks like behaviors you wouldn’t suspect, like the following ::
- anxiety or guilt around food
- ignoring hunger cues
- working out to compensate for food or out of guilt
- needing to justify your food and eating habits
- obsessing over your macros
- and more
Diet culture is sometimes hard to spot because it can look like just another chat over lunch with your mom or aunts. It’s all consuming. It’s filling your insta feed with picture perfect, photoshopped bodies. It’s counting how many times you chew so you don’t eat too fast or too much.
Diet Culture & Me
Getting swept away in this consumed my adolescence and has left me struggling to get a grip on my health and my relationship with food. It’s been hard, complicated, and filled with set backs.
My first experience with diet culture and not being good enough (that I remember) came as early as 2nd grade and it continued to be a prominent issue in my life, culminating with me abusing diet pills, “skinny teas”, eating well below the minimum suggested calories, and over exercising. Like many women and men in my position, I wasn’t thin enough to raise concern or to get my habits noticed.
With Cody’s help and support I have been working on my relationship with food and through the supportive, real side of Instagram I found my health coach and the program that helped me get more comfortable shedding the food guilt.
There’s a ton of diet culture misconceptions concerning my health coach and our company, but that’s an entirely different post.
Diet Culture & The Holidays
Which brings me to the most difficult time of the year – the holidays. It’s hard to be surrounded by food that is often triggering with people that have no qualms about pushing food into your hands again and again.
It’s hard to be put into these situations and it’s even harder to impress upon your family and friends that this isn’t helpful.
So please, if a friend or loved one says no or doesn’t want to indulge, don’t force the issue. If their behavior raises alarm bells for you and is more than them wanting to pass over more food, talk to them away from the holidays, parties, and pressures.
I don’t really know the point of this post, but it was weighing heavy on my heart.
Thank you for reading.