If you google the word “dieting” there are 35,800,000 results that pop up and a definition from
Wikipedia that states, “Dieting is the practice of eating food in a regulated and supervised fashion to decrease, maintain or increase body weight. In other words, it is conscious control or restriction of the diet.”
The word that sticks out to me: control.
In a world obsessed with control and, specifically, controlling our bodies, how does one escape from what seems so “normalized” in our culture? The answer is: we can’t. Often times I hear, “Everyone else in the world is on a diet, why can’t I be?” This is a strong and true argument, however, as advocates for recovery and having a healthy relationship with our bodies and food, we have to challenge the “culture norms” of control and obsessive dieting.
When we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, we can see that there are a lot of people that struggle with respecting and nourishing their bodies. In recovery, we have to be the leaders in supporting the idea of taking care of our whole selves (physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally) and reject the social norms of obsessing over food and weight.
We all have been in those awkward conversations with someone who can’t stop talking about their diet and/or excessive exercise routines. Figuring out what to say can be challenging. Here are a couple statements you can use when coming into contact with someone who can’t stop talking about their diet:
- “I’m not a big believer in dieting, I just focus on getting nourishment from all food groups.”
- “I’m not a huge fan of dieting because for me, I don’t like to spend that much time thinking about controlling what I eat. I like to try to focus on listening to my hunger.”
- “I don’t do well with leaving out food groups. My body doesn’t function well on a diet and it doesn’t feel healthy to me.”
- “There are more important things to think about than obsessing about food.”
We have to be advocates for recovery and agents for change. That means standing up for body acceptance and food as nourishment, not as a way to control.