The lies diet culture taught me that I no longer believe

We all have our fair share of unlearning to do...especially when it comes to the way we've been taught to value (and de-value) our fellow humans based on their bodies.

I've spent the last few years doing a lot of uncomfortable, rage-inducing work to discover that almost everything I've learned is a lie.

These lies are told (and sold) almost everywhere in our culture, especially in health and wellness spaces.

When I started writing this, I had a LONG list of lies…but because I didn’t want this to be a 20-page blog post, I narrowed it down to the ones that have had the biggest impact on me.

Here goes:

  1. The constant pursuit of weight loss is a worthwhile, lifelong endeavor. Unfortunately, diet culture has done a good job of convincing us that it's a personal choice and that spending our time, money and emotional energy on becoming a smaller version of ourselves is baked into our DNA.
    It's not.

  2. Being "healthy" is a moral obligation. I seriously disagree. Why should we have to pursue a certain standard of health to have our humanity respected? I'm still waiting for a good answer to that question.

  3. Weight loss is the path to empowerment. Nope, it sure isn't. Dieting will not help us get free. Not now, not ever.

  4. Young, thin, White able bodies are the ideal that I should use as my motivation and inspiration. NOPE. There isn't a body wrap, protein shake, or meal plan in the world that will transform me into a 5'9" 120-pound white woman.

These toxic messages, and the images needed to reinforce them, can result in significant self-denial and invalidation. And while it has been liberating to finally see through the lies, the discovery process hasn’t been all good.

Rage, confusion, and grief have also come up many times. I guess that's to be expected when you realized that you've been duped. 

These messages don't go away without work. 

Writing is one of the ways that I’ve been able to understand just how profoundly the body hierarchy affects us all.

It’s been like medicine for me.

I believe that writing allows us to tap into something deep inside that gets drowned out by external noise. 

Writing allows you to hear your own voice and uncover the truth about yourself.