There have been many times when I’ve been talking about body positivity/intuitive eating/killing the diet industry and have been ricocheted back with comments such as, “But you’re not fat so this isn’t an issue for you” or “You’re only saying that you can eat whatever you want when you want because you’re skinny”.
Comments like this highlight the misconception that health is directly linked to your size i.e. the bigger you are, the more unhealthy you are and vice versa. Well boy THIS IS FAKE NEWS. Just because I am not what many would consider fat, does not mean that a) I am healthier/fitter than someone larger than me, and that b) I do not still suffer with anorexia and body image issues.
I have recently finished reading ‘Body Positive Power: How to Stop Dieting , Make Peace With Your Body and Live” by the incredible Megan Jayne Crabbe aka. @bodyposipanda and honestly the book explains and sums up everything I want to scream and shout about so perfectly. She talks about how the diet industry has brainwashed us into thinking that these fad diets are “lifestyle changes” and that an obsessive and demonising relationship with food is normal. She explains what the body positive movement is actually all about and outlines research studies that reveal the lies we are fed by the media and diet related products. There is of course mention of intuitive eating (listening to your body and giving it what it wants when it wants) and clarification that any form of food restriction to influence our weight is a diet. Period. Oh it is also reiterated many time throughout the book the key point that DIETS DO NOT WORK. I REPEAT, DIETS DO NOT WORK.
Talking about diet or eating disorder recovery is still something I find hard to talk about, especially when the receiver is not willing to open up their mind and step into the shoes of someone who was at deaths door because of diets and restriction. However as infuriating/anxiety provoking/frustrating it is to have these conversations, I do feel like this is something I should be talking about being one of the lucky ones to have survived. I owe it to all the girls and boys who were subjected to the toxic diet culture and never got to see the other side.
So if there is one thing you take away from reading this post, please let it be that body image and food issues can affect anyone and everyone, regardless of their size. What truly matters is the person’s mental health and this cannot be reflected by a physical body.
To all the boys and girls out there struggling with their body image and constantly trying to battle the negative thoughts that your mind is feeding you: I see you. And I’m so proud of you.