Diet culture: how to ditch it and why

The word diet seems to be on the tip of everyones tongues; especially at this time of year as we approach the longer-hotter days and when the overwhelming trash tv shows such as love island adorn our screens with these toned, slim and tanned bodies fighting for attention from their ‘ken doll’ counterparts. Unpopular opinion I know, but any show that supports their need for drama over an individuals health isn’t high in my regard.

Body dysmorphia is understandably an issue that will effect the many not the few. Everyone male and female will at some point in their lives suffer with body related hang ups. Whether that be their weight or how toned they look or wanting to modify their bodies in some way, we all go through it, we all have those thoughts; we are all HUMAN.

Myself included ( a 27 year old, blonde female) whose weight has always fluctuated but never been to the extreme of either end of the scale; I still find myself looking in the mirror and challenging the thoughts behind what I see.

I have in the past been part of diet groups such as slimming world and had the short term success that comes with changing the way you eat so drastically. I am here is to tell you why I decided to ditch that world and create my own, more beautiful and loving world; where self love and self compassion is at the forefront of all my thoughts and decisions.

I no longer wanted to be part of a culture where the things I ate were seen as inherently good or bad, where certain foods were classed as ‘syns’ yes pronounced sins… you do the math for what effect that can have on someones relationship with their body and diet.

I wanted to tap into a world where the decisions I made for my body were from a place of love and respect for what she needs today not what I thought she should be like. I now have the ability to adopt food freedom and choose as and when I eat certain foods dependant on whether or not I want this food and how it makes me feel, not look.

I exercise when I want to and for how long I want, if i want that doughnut or crisps I will have it. If I want a salad I’ll have it. I no longer have these feelings of failure if I eat something i ‘shouldn’t ‘ I merely just smile and recognise I have adopted food freedom and it’s okay to have what I want and when I want it.

I am like many people, still working on the psychological aspect of a lifetimes worth of diet culture, I still weigh myself regularly and have started to track my calories. However I continue to do these things as I know they are not a trigger for my thoughts. I am able to actively track my calories to have a rough idea of my caloric intake on an average day so I can make better decisions that will benefit my body, there’s no shame in doing that. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to weight management and our health, we all have different bodies with varying needs for survival. What I do however urge you to do, is to act from a place of love for your own body, do what’s right for her, not what’s right for instagram or love island. Do not restrict yourself and learn to love what is already yours, for only your body will you have for eternity, and that is worth all the love in the world.

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