I have worked at a small boutique fitness studio for the past 4.5 years. While I love the community and the clients, in the past couple years (really in recent months) I have felt disconnected with the way health and fitness is cultivated there. I feel that I am contributing to a huge issue in our society today.
As we grow up, we learn from the people around us. We pick up what we are exposed to in media, schools and in our communities. We learn the way that society wants us to look to be “attractive” and “beautiful.” We learn that there are ways that we can reach a thin, toned body and society will show us how. Through fad diets, trendy workout styles or machines, and more we are fed all this information throughout of lives. With all of this, we develop a belief system.
More people are becoming aware that the information that they may have consumed growing up had messaging that was more for financial gain rather based on scientific facts and health promotion.
This is why diet culture is a term that is growing with more popularity as awareness of the harmful patterns of thinking surround it emerges.
PS: you do not have to actively be on a “diet” to be partaking in the culture of dieting. Read below.
Here are some examples of phrases, thinking, products and actions that are fed by Diet Culture or further promote it:
- Using the scale frequently and obsessing over being a certain weight. Feeling worthy or happy WHEN (and only when) that goal weight is met.
- Cheat days and cheat meals
- Calorie counting and food portioning
- Labeling foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. For example ‘good calories’ vs. ‘empty calories’
- “In just one week, you can lose 5-7 pounds with our program!”
- “Want a flat tummy? Drink this detox shake!”
- ‘Skinny Tea’
- “You lost weight, you look great!” “You are so skinny, how did you do it?”
- “If you want to lose weight never eat past 7 pm”
Here’s the thing:
People fall into market claims that they will lose weight and feel sexier in 7 days with a special shake, because the marketers know today’s consumers are conditioned for INSTANT GRATIFICATION.
“We’ve become so addicted to instant gratification that we’re blind to the impact it has on our lives.”― Frank Sonnenberg
In tomorrow’s post I will walk you through a couple of methods that will help heal your relationship with your body and food. You will be empowered to redefine your own version of ‘healthy’ and envision how that looks to YOU, specifically.