The Diet You Didn't Even Know You're On
Ever been on a diet?...
In 2017 a national survey of 1,033 Australian adults found that 46% had actively tried to lose weight in the past year.
That’s a good thing, right? Sounds like they’ve made a healthy choice to improve their quality of life.
What if I told you that at least 20% of women who are underweight, actually think that they are overweight and are dieting with a weight loss goal.
What if I told you that..
Women within the healthy weight range are three times more likely than men to believe they are overweight..
10% of teenagers girls within the healthy weight range think they are overweight?
Does that still sound healthy?
Sadly, these statistics don’t shock me. As a fitness professional, I interact with many clients on a daily basis, both male and female, who are using unhealthy eating and exercise measures to achieve their aesthetic goals.
They don’t even realise they are doing it, that is the reality of the harmful effects that diet culture can have.
Diet culture is the widely accepted belief system that equates thinness to health and elevated social status. It tells us that if you don’t have the “ideal” body type, you are somehow… less.
We are surrounded by diet culture in the media we consume, the products and services we use, the social interactions we have, and even the beliefs we are conditioned with as children. It is literally imbedded all around us and we are subconsciously consuming it all day, every day.
Even if you aren’t following an official diet, you are most likely adopting a mindset and behaviours that have been at least partly conditioned by diet culture.
It is the little voice in your head secretly judging yourself or anyone else for “letting yourself go” when you’ve gained weight or missed a few sessions at the gym.
The one who tells you that you’re not trying hard enough, as you scroll through social media admiring lean, toned bodies and feeling guilt or anxiety about the food you’ve eaten that day.
It’s the automatic assumption that you need to adjust your food intake as summer approaches, so that you can be “bikini ready”.
It’s assessing the foods you eat as “good” and “bad” rather than simply different, with varying nutritional profiles.
It’s the diet you didn’t even know you were on, and it’s pretty fucked up that we’ve been programmed to think like this, to be honest.
The horrible truth is, the health and fitness industry thrive on diet culture.
They want to create problems so that they can then provide us with solutions. Even if you do meet the ideal body standards they present us with,
You’ll never eat quite “clean” enough..
You”ll never train quite hard enough..
There will always be something that you could and should be doing better…
Because how do you sell a diet to someone who is actually happy with themselves the way they are?
NEWSFLASH: Your body is NOT a problem to be fixed, and it’s time to change the conversation.
How? Start by changing the language you use, not just with yourself but with other women. Stop celebrating weight loss and criticising weight gain. Instead, compliment women on their creativity, their sense of humour, their determination and their strength of character.
Collectively, we have the power to create change. Let’s help each other to realise, and raise our next generation to know, that there are infinite ways in which you matter, that we are all enough exactly as we are, that we are worthy of love and that we can be successful, and contribute to the world and that none of that has anything to do with how much we weigh.