How To Start Opting Out Of Diet Culture
by Meridith Noble
We’ve all grown up in a culture that promotes female thinness above pretty much all else. I know numerous people who were put on their first diets as young children. Perhaps you can relate.
The body positive and fat positive movements are all about giving the middle finger to these messages ingrained in us. You might be interested in joining in, but not quite know where to start. Here are some ideas.
- Stop obeying external rules about what to eat (aka: dieting, making lifestyle changes) and learn to listen to your body.
This is called intuitive eating. Your body is wise, and can actually tell you when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat. I know it might not seem this way now, but you can actually trust it. (Read the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch for details.)
- Stop guilt tripping yourself to go to the gym.
Shame and guilt are not productive motivators. Know what is? Enjoyment. And guess what? Your body enjoys moving when it gets to call the shots! What kinds of movement do you truly enjoy or have fun doing? Consider ditching the “shoulds” around movement and simply asking your body what kind of movement it wants today. “Rest” is a valid answer, but you might also hear it say, “dance partayyy!” or “hula-hooping!” or “going for a swim!”.
- Give yourself permission to wear what you want.
All across the world, plus-size ladies are choosing fashion options that allow them to truly express themselves and feel comfortable. The clothing you choose doesn’t really camouflage your size—and your size isn’t anything to be ashamed of anyway! The next time you go shopping, try something more daring than you’re used to.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Food and body peace await you, and they are so, so sweet.