I've equated my self-worth and happiness to a number on the scale more times than I'd like to admit. I've tried the "skinny" teas, the three-day cleanses, and all of the restrictive diets out there. You name it – I've probably tried it. It's safe to say I've wasted too much time and money on diet-related products that do more harm than good. I was stuck in a constant cycle of diet, lose weight, gain it back, diet, lose weight, gain it back, diet... I think you get the point.
Throughout this never-ending cycle, I was led to believe that carbs were "so bad for you," and that running on a treadmill for hours on end was the only way I'd lose weight. I hate to bash treadmills, but I am not their biggest fan. I knew I couldn't stick to a diet and workout routine that I dreaded. The good news is; I didn't have to, and neither do you.
Once I ditched my old way of thinking, I realized that what would make me happiest was simply taking care of my health – mentally, physically, and spiritually. That meant eating more nutrient-dense foods, but never straying away from the foods I once deemed "unhealthy." It meant practicing various forms of self-care and training in a way that made me feel empowered. I finally knew that my body deserved nothing less than my love and nurturing. Now, my lifestyle fulfills me, and I feel stronger than ever.
I am one of the many victims of diet culture; I fell directly into its trap. Diet culture tells us to focus on being "skinny" or having "the perfect body," rather than our overall health and well-being. It's so deeply entrenched in society that it almost feels normal. Take the new wave of toxic diet culture, brought to you by TikTok, for example. If you just search "#whatieatinaday," you'll find an alarming number of people sharing their extremely restrictive diets. It's hardly surprising that most children start dieting between the ages of 8 and 10 years old. Read that again!
Don't just take it from me, though. There are studies upon studies showing that diets and dramatic caloric deficits quite literally suck. A study of 192 participants showed that three years after concluding a weight loss program, only 12% had kept off at least 75% of the weight they'd lost, while 40% had gained back more weight than they had originally lost. Some researchers estimate that 80% of people who quickly lost at least 10% of their body weight will gradually regain it and end up being either the same weight or higher weight than they were before they went on a diet. In other words, dieting is a counterproductive waste of time. And we haven't even discussed its link to eating disorders, adverse psychological effects, metabolic damage, hormonal imbalances, and more. That's a story for another time, my friends.
So, why do we keep fueling the money-hungry, multi-billion-dollar dieting industry? Why aren't we actively calling out diet culture? It's time to block this toxic b*tch! You don't need her. Instead, you deserve a sustainable, healthy lifestyle that works for you and YOUR body.