As a mother, a mental health advocate and former victim of pink slim fast, I cannot be more thrilled that we have shed light on “diet culture,” and the harmful effects of a society obsessed with our shape, our size and the number on the scale.
But as a physician, I am equally concerned about the counterculture that vilifies the desire to lose weight. The messaging has now shifted to something like,
📣 “Hey, we hate diet culture, so eat that piece of cake, you have had a hard day, you deserve it!”
And you know what, if you want that cake, go ahead and eat it. But is that the messaging we want to hear? Is that what we would teach our children?
That they should seek external sources
for comfort and soothing?
Because lets face it, whether it is cake 🍰,
or wine 🍷,
or cigarettes 🚬,
or sex 👩❤️👨,
or shopping 💰,
external sources of comfort only make things worse.
Because they DO NOT scratch the itch. Which is why we go back for more 🍰, 🍷, 🚬, 👩❤️👨, 💰, and more and more.
So, how about this? Eat because you are hungry, not
because you are having a bad day or are experiencing
difficult emotions. Because you know what, you CAN handle difficult emotions and maybe what you really need for comfort, to is call your bestie 👭?
I will also say this.
I understand that “weight loss” is triggering for many. Truth be told, society is not only to blame, so is the medical profession. Unfortunately, we as doctors have mis-managed (and continue to mismanage) this conversations for decades, and have harmed many.
But, we are mistaken if we confuse a desire to lose weight with diet culture because the very things that are good for our weight are good for our bodies and good for our minds. So, if you have gained weight in the past 2 years, (like the nearly 50% of Americans who have), or have struggled with maintaining a healthy weight and are now interested in taking back your health, there is nothing shameful or vain or diet-culture-ey about trying. And if you just can’t get past the words “weight loss,” well then, don’t try to lose weight. Get good sleep, move your body, feel your feelings and eat like you give a d*@! about yourself. And… and if you happen to lose weight while you’re at it. Well, bonus points?
If you are looking for a new way to look at your weight, your body, your relationship with food and most importantly, your relationship with yourself, check out Hungry for More, I promise it will be transformative.