Diet talk is everywhere
From well-meaning friends to complete strangers. Everyone seems to have an opinion about what you else should eat.
It's really none of their business and can be really annoying.
But it's also unhelpful. Harmful even, especially if you're trying to heal your relationship with food.
Here are some reminders you might find helpful over the next few weeks.
You are allowed to NOT diet, when everyone else is.
And you are allowed to have a different opinion and disagree with people who food or body shame.
You don't have to explain your own journey or why you find this subject difficult, but here are some retorts you could use to try to steer the conversation away plus some tips on managing situations when you don't feel comfortable explaining yourself.
- “You are so much more interesting than this conversation. What else have you been doing lately?”
- “Please don’t talk about diets (or counting calories, syns or points) with me, I don't find it helpful at all.”
- “Can we talk about something else? Commenting on the weather is an easier get out.
- “This isn’t an appropriate subject whilst we're eating is it?"
- “I want to spend my time with you talking about more important things.”
- “This topic is hard for a lot of people, so I try not to talk about it.”
- “I don’t make rules about food.”
- “I don’t get involved in food or body shaming.”
- “No more diet talk please.” (Repeat as necessary) and accompany with a steely look if needed
- Laugh as if they made a joke.
- “I’m not interested in having this conversation.”
- “I don’t talk about diets or weight loss.”
- “I support you, but I don’t need to hear about your diet.”
- “Life’s too short to get so anxious over one meal.”
- "I’ve been working really hard at accepting my body, and then you say that. Let’s talk about something else.”
- Start a diet talk jar — like a swear jar — so everyone puts in £1 for every time they express hatred of their own body or participate in diet talk.
- Walk away if your request is not respected
- “How many diets have you been on? How many led to the long-term results you were hoping for?”
- “What’s wrong with being fat?”
- “I don’t really want to hear everything you’re doing to avoid looking like me.”
You are allowed to feel compassionate towards dieters, who are likely to be struggling underneath.
You are also allowed to sit quietly (breathe) and disagree with them in your own mind, with the understanding that their beliefs don't have to be yours too.
You do not need to convert others to your way of thinking to validate your own experience.
Their approval is also not needed for you to be yourself.
I hope this helps