Diet talk is everywhere
From well-meaning friends to complete strangers. Everyone seems to have an opinion about what diet you should do.
And bearing in mind the festive food is already here, it's only going to get worse!
It gets rather boring after a while.
Like a stuck record.
But it's particularly unhelpful, even harmful if you're trying hard to move away from diet culture.
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 (some of which are tried and tested by members of my Anti-Diet community on Facebook) and 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 cal counting, 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’m so sorry you feel that way about yourself.”
- “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 on a diet from diets.”
- “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 this feels like a setback. 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.
- Change the subject to anything, even the weather.
- Walk away if your request is not respected
- [I love this one] stick your fingers in your ears and run around shouting la la la la la there's a crazy person!
- We will all be skinny in our coffins, I'm going to carry on eating what I enjoy (whilst licking your lips and rubbing your tummy)
- “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 can of course feel compassionate towards dieters, who are likely to be struggling underneath.
You are also allowed to sit quietly 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 not dieting to validate your own experience.
Their approval is also not needed for you to be yourself.
I hope this helps