TRUE LIFE // WHAT DIET CULTURE DID TO MY MENTAL HEALTH + your anonymous stories
This is a touchy subject, I’m well aware. But a couple of weeks ago, after the release of the WW children’s app (which I strongly disagree with) - I asked you all on Instagram to tell me your diet culture stories.
Let me make this clear: This isn’t about whether or not it’s okay to lose weight. It’s about how you’re doing it, and if that is in a healthy way or in a, well … lack of a better description, disordered eating type of way.
Listen. Food should not be assigned moral qualities and that is what Weight Watchers, Atkins, all of these fad diets teach. I strongly believe that these programs encouraged eating disorders and weight cycling in a lot of women who were exposed to it, including myself. Reminder: Eating disorders aren’t always textbook. Obsessively counting points is not the way to fuel your body. Did some of these diets work every time I tried them? Sure. I lost a good 10-30 pounds each time I did it (I was 14 when I first signed up for Weight Watchers, and 12 when I had my first Slim Fast shake… all by my own choice). But if I didn’t lose any weight each week. especially on Weight Watchers with the weekly checkins… I felt worthless.
Diet culture taught me was that I wasn’t good enough if I wasn’t losing weight.
And so, I went on for the rest of my high school and college days believing my self worth was dependent on my the number on the scale. These fatphobic tendencies have flooded our society through the media, film and tv. Diet culture has got to stop.
Regarding the WW app for kids…Why would we EVER think this is okay to teach our kids this these days? I’m sorry, and I know a lot of you wrote me in support of this app but I am not and will never be okay with it.
We should have learned by now that weight cycling and demonizing food does not work. Why don’t we teach our kids about picking colorful plates, and what healthy foods can do for our bodies? I have learned a lot from following these two IG accounts for kids:
Below, I’ve decided to anonymously share all of the stories that were sent in about diet culture, most of them are about Weight Watchers. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
This week I am planning on sharing my own disordered eating journey which involves WW, and several other diet plans… so stay tuned for that. But tonight, I wanted to stay focused on YOUR stories.