Diet culture is everywhere.
We are all swimming in it's ocean and to be honest it's almost impossible to escape.
Sadly, not being on a diet does not give you a ticket to freedom.
Just because you are not following a particular diet at any one moment, doesn't mean you re not caught up in diet culture (or haven't been caught up in the past).
I'm not talking about prescribed medical or special diets here but I am referring to 'wellness diets' that are indeed disguised to avoid the 'fad diet' label more of us (thankfully) are aware of.
You know the ones - clean eating, low carb, paleo, gluten free, unsupervised elimination diets etc. etc.
Diet culture is really sneaky. I've worked with numerous women who think they are not dieting, yet when we start exploring their relationship with food it becomes clear they have been pursuing health or wellness in a way that looks pretty much like a diet. They have developed a diet mentality without even realising it.
This is absolutely NOT a criticism of these women. The diet industry and the culture it has created is stealth like. I fell for it for years too!
To help you see it, this is what diet culture looks like:
Diet culture praises thinness. It gives the smaller body a moral plinth, equating thinness with better health and greater worth, leaving you believing your body is broken and it's your own fault because you don’t look like the impossible “ideal.”
Diet culture promotes weight loss in order to attain a higher status. Although almost no one can sustain intentional weight loss for more than a few years, you are encouraged to part with your cash, time and emotional health.
Diet culture vilifies certain ways of eating and elevates others. It appears to make life easier by dichotomising foods into good and bad but actually you are encouraged to micromanage about your eating, leaving you feeling guilty for making certain food choices and making food a much more stressful part of your life.
Diet culture berates those who don't match up with its supposed picture of “health”. This harms the physical and mental health not just people living in bigger bodies but people with disabilities, different gender expressions and race.
- It sucks.
If you're curious if you have a diet mentality, I've got a nifty activity I can share with you. Let's book in a friendly virtual cuppa and I'll go through it with you.