How to Lose a Diet in 10 Ways: Don’t Listen to Oprah & Other Good Advice
By now you know that diet talk is not my thing. Diets are used by advertisers to get people (mostly women) to obsess about their bodies and then buy useless weight loss products that don’t work because they were designed not to. Diets do not address trauma and instead create a cycle of shaming that does major damage to the spirit, body and mind.
I don’t know about you, but it triggers my history of disordered eating and makes me angry that so much of our precious time and brain space is spent trying to achieve bodies that don’t actually exist in real life. Also you are giving away your hard earned money to line the pockets of advertisers whose jobs are to make you hate yourselves. Not my money, honey!
It’s always important for me to say that I think the decision to lose weight or make changes to your body is a personal decision. However, you should also know that weight loss is not the answer to all your problems. If you are desiring positive changes in your health, please know that health means so many things and that you can have good health in a heavy body. That is a fact!
Health encompasses so much, including mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. Because you can be thin and be mentally ill. So let’s just take a step back and put your keto diet on the shelf for a minute. Ok?
Do your research. One Google search will provide statistics that demonstrate diets don’t work. Whether you call it a cleanse, a lifestyle change, clean eating or anything else, IT IS A DIET. And most diets are about restriction and oversimplifying foods into good foods vs bad foods. What is “bad” for one person is not bad for all. And vice versa. Life should be about freedom, not restriction.
Commit to not engaging in diet talk. This has been transformative for me. I can’t recall how many times I’ve found myself in the company of people who went on and on about their “cheat day” and their points. OMG! Shut up. There is actually other stuff we can talk about. For example, how we plan to collectively create a world for our daughters, sisters, mothers, nieces, students,…. that encourages them to worry less about the size of their thighs and more about taking over the fucking world. Yeah. Sit with that, gurl.
Commit to doing affirmations. They can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. I have several all around my house, including one on my bathroom mirror in lipstick that says “YOU ARE THE SHIT!” Make up your own or find some that resonate with you. Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress (Sherman et al., 2009; Critcher & Dunning, 2015).
Don’t listen to Oprah. At least not about diets. God bless her. She is amazing on multiple levels, but for me she perpetuates and profits from diet culture when she could be doing so much to fight against it. She has been dieting for the better part of 40 years and is still not at peace with her body (neither am I, but I’m not a billionaire with massive world influence). Seriously, the WW commercials drive me bananas! We know chips taste good. We get it. Someone help me, Jesus! I need to pray for her y’all.
Follow anti-diet hashtags. Here are a few to start with. If you have others, please share in the comments! #riotsnotdiet #pizzasisters4lyfe #haes #healthateverysize #losehatenotweight #antidiet #lifebeyonddieting #bravebodylove #edrecovery #intuitiveeating #fatwoc
Curate your social feeds. I know I have mentioned this one many times, but if you spend a lot of time on social media, this is a must! We are not in control of a lot of what we are fed by the media, but this is one area where you are fully in charge. Here are some of my faves: The Body Is Not An Apology; Nalgona Positivity Pride; Glitter in the Dirt; Leah Vernon; Jessamyn Stanley; Lizzo; Body Peace Liberation.
Set health goals instead of weight goals. Your personal health is about so much more than what you weigh. In fact, losing weight may not be healthy for you at all. Be open to new ideas about what health looks like for you. For me it’s about committing to taking supplements (I have a severe Vitamin D deficiency that makes me so exhausted) and finding joyful movement that eases my fibromyalgia and arthritis. And don’t forget about mental health! Often times when we address our mental health, other pathways to health can emerge. Always check with your size friendly doctor before starting big physical changes.
Try intuitive eating. This is a concept that has increased in popularity because it focuses on listening to what your body wants instead of telling you what to eat and not eat. There are many folks who are doing work around this. Check out Krista Murias, Nicole McDermid, and Be Nourished for a start.
Get help if you have an eating disorder. I promise that another diet is not the answer to your eating disorder. Please get the help you need. You don’t have to do it alone. No matter your color, age, gender, size or ability, there is help to be had. Check out NEDA’s page for some ED 101. There are loads of resources for you like this one from Gloria Lucas.
Sending you all the positive vibes!