𝑭𝒐𝒄𝒖𝒔 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅. 🌿🌸🧸🌤🤍
Some facts about the diet industry:⠀ ⠀ 🔴around 42% of adults have tried to lose weight⠀ 🟠44% of Britons set weight loss as their goal for 2020⠀ 🟡19 = the average number of days most people stick to a new diet ⠀ 🟢diets DON’T work. Diets have a 98% failure rate, meaning more money being pumped into the industry 🔵the dieting industry has profits estimated to be $60.9 BILLION, not due to “new customers” but the same customers constantly “failing” then trying something different⠀ 🟣simply eating less than usual or stopping eating altogether is unlikely to result in weight loss. It sends your body into “starvation mode,” slowing your metabolism down to utilise whatever food it has available, and your weight loss will slow too⠀ ⚫no food or drink marketed as a weight loss product will make losing weight inevitable. It isn’t that simple. These foods are actually often heavily processed with ingredients that have questionable safety track records ⠀ ⚪when following a diet plan that involves cutting certain things from your meals, such as sugar or carbs, it’s more than likely you’ll begin to put weight back on once you add those things back into your life 🟤diets capitalise on people’s misunderstanding of diets and misconceptions about weight loss. It just doesn’t work like our brains think it does. We assume weight just “goes away” as soon as we lose it, but that’s not true⠀ ⠀ I know diet culture promises you so much, but just consider what you’ll truly be losing by succumbing to it. Chances are you’ll lose more £££ than weight. 💭
As lockdown restrictions begin to lift, as people start going back to work and we all finally get to see colleagues, friends and relatives we haven’t seen for a while, let me remind you NOT to comment on ANYONE’S body. This pandemic has been a traumatic ride for many, and it’s far from over, meaning people’s bodies may look different to how you remember them looking last, and could also continue to change over the coming months. Maybe some will be smaller, some will be bigger, but if you think someone’s size has changed during lockdown, keep it to yourself. Other people’s bodies aren’t topics for debate or gossip. Just be happy to see the people you love safe and alive. If the last few months have taught us anything, it should be that that’s what matters most. ❤️
Change is so scary. In eating disorder recovery, change is required constantly. Change is NECESSARY. You have to destroy the foundations on which you’ve built your entire life, and REbuild them for a more stable, healthy, safe and happy future.⠀ When making changes, you have to be willing to do so, otherwise they won’t stick. You have to believe in them and, more often than not, force yourself into those uncomfortable situations until they don’t feel unnatural. And with that comes so many “what ifs.”⠀ “What if I gain weight?”⠀ “What if I don’t like that food?”⠀ “What if people don’t understand?”⠀ “What if people think I’m different?”⠀ “What if I relapse?”⠀ “What if I get it wrong?”⠀ ⠀ But there’s a flip side to all of those “what ifs.”⠀ ⠀ “What if I gain weight?” But what if you gain your life back. Your happiness, your ability to move again and feel energised, a new found appreciation for your body and how it keeps you alive?⠀ ⠀ “What if I don’t like that food?” Then you can try something else! There are endless possibilities when it comes to food, and on your journey to discovering what you like, you might just find your new favourite food. If you don’t like something, you don’t ever have to eat it again!⠀ ⠀ “What if people don’t understand?” They won’t always. But what if you find people who, despite not being able to understand, love you unconditionally and who are willing to support you regardless? ⠀ ⠀ “What if people think I’m different?” If you recover from an eating disorder, you SHOULD be different, because the most authentic version of yourself, not your ED, is finally getting to shine through. So what if you finally find the freedom to finally be your true self? And if people distance themselves when you evolve, question the authenticity of those relationships in the first place. ⠀ “What if I relapse?” You will. But what if you learn something from each one? What if each one provides you with the tools to live a stronger life and to manage your everyday triggers? ⠀ “What if I get it wrong?” You’re never doing anything wrong. By choosing recovery, you’re doing so much RIGHT. ⠀ Recovery very often doesn’t feel like the right choice, but it is. ✨
I’ve had six breakdowns this week. I don’t look like this.
“Sometimes falling down is part of the process. That uncomfortableness is where change happens. Where we evolve. Where we turn that weakness into strength. This struggle that you're going through is a part of the process. And you will make it through.” 🦋
Here’s a selfie from back in February I didn’t post. It’s rather crazy looking back to that time and comparing how things have changed. Not only had I been to one concert and I was planning the many I had coming up this year, but my eating disorder recovery was almost stable, and I’d made so much progress. I was trying to eat three meals a day, I actually made time for breakfast and I was committed to getting better. 🙁 Now, things don’t quite look like that. I can’t say things would be perfect now had Coronavirus not happened, but it has definitely set me back. I mean, thanks Corona for coming along and doing a better job of ruining my life than I was! 🤣⠀ ⠀ Most days in isolation have felt very bleak, and my motivation for recovery has been pretty much non-existent. Lockdown has hit a lot of ED sufferers really hard, and it’s so sad and infuriating how little support and sympathy we’ve had. Not from our personal therapists (mine has been bloody amazing) or charities, but from traditional media and on social media, who’ve spent the last few months pushing us to believe we need to be eating less in quarantine, feeling guilty for gaining weight and that our post-lockdown body is the 2020 equivalent of a “beach body” and we need to start working out more to tone up and slim down as restrictions begin to lift. I swear almost every day I’ve read either a newspaper headline or a tweet relating to a “lockdown diet” and offering advice on how to get thin before you’re seen in public again. 🙄⠀ We still have a LONG way to go before awareness of the severity of eating disorders is universal and before everyone understands the harm enforcing diet culture can do. 🤷🏻♀️⠀ ⠀ Personally, I’m completely in awe of everyone who has or has had an eating disorder but has remained alive throughout this pandemic. Recovery is hard enough as it is, but with a global health crisis on top of battling your own everyday triggers, things haven’t been easy. Give yourself credit for how you’ve been managing - even if you’ve slipped backwards or given up a few times. None of us could have predicted this situation, but we are all still here and we live to fight another day. ✊🌻
Remember braiding your hair before going to bed as a child so it would be wavy the next morning? Some of us just never grew out of that phase. 🌼
If we want to truly tackle diet culture, if we want freedom from the societal forces pressuring us to be thin and striving for eating disorders, our activism has to be intersectional. 🚨⠀ ⠀⠀ Diet culture is connected with white supremacy. It goes hand in hand with racism. The first dieting tool was invented by a white man and from it stemmed a desire for people to control other individual’s food intake and weight, believing themselves to be superior. ⠀⠀ And dieting is used as a great way to distract us from getting to the root of our world’s problems. When we are obsessing over exercise, counting calories, fixating on the size of our bodies and putting all our energy into losing weight, we AREN’T focusing on what really matters. We’re distracted from wanting to dismantle the discriminatory structures in our society. We don’t physically have the time or energy to question the political structures of our countries or properly commit to dismantling institutionalised oppression. “𝐀 𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐱𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐚𝐧 𝐨𝐛𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐲, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐚𝐧 𝐨𝐛𝐬𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞. 𝐃𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐩𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐞𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧’𝐬 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲,” Naomi Wolf said so perfectly. 📣⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Diet culture is constantly feeding us this idea that thinness and whiteness are superior, and anything else is unacceptable, not beautiful or worthy of respect. But if we want recovery from relentless dieting for OURSELVES, we also have to fight for the most marginalised communities among us. The entire body positive movement was started BY black women and doesn’t exist only for thin white women to wear bikinis.⠀⠀ Otherwise, the cogs in the machine will never stop turning. White supremacy and diet culture will continue to harm us all and force unrealistic body ideals on us. ⠀⠀ ⠀ Not every body is thin and white, not every body can be or should be, and as suffocating as it is living in a world where that narrative is pushed constantly, we have to use our power, and privilege, to deconstruct and rewrite it.