05.14.19 // Why We Love Diet Culture

I don’t want to hear about your diet

I was about to go on a huge rant about how I didn’t understand diet culture. About how I didn’t get why people went on for hours about how they're cutting out carbs, how gluten is bad for you, how eating after 8 makes you morally corrupt.

And then I realized - I understand it completely. I was absolutely in that world and am working every single day to get out of it.

Dieting gives you this false sense of control in an uncertain world. You think you’re a better person because you have the “will power” most people don’t. You’re healthy. Until you’re not.

The perception of health we chase through diets is one that’s made from a culture where one size is the only size of health, where looking a certain way equals happiness, and where success is measured by your weight (or lack thereof).

That feeling of control is only temporary - until you see someone doing better than you.

Until you hear of a more radical diet. A “healthier” trend. Kale is out and celery is in, you messed up.

Someone, somewhere, will always be doing better and your rules will only get stricter.

The health diet culture teaches us is one where punishment is abundant and self-care is for the weak. It’s isolating yourself and avoiding group meals, trips out with friends, potluck dinners, lazy days on the couch. It’s taking away the pleasures you have in life because you’re consumed by thoughts of what to eat, how to eat it, where to eat it, if I can eat it - all day every day.

It’s not health. It’s living in a world so protected that you convince yourself you won’t get hurt. But, along the way, you lose the ability to feel anything, because you’re so focused on the diet. And yes, you can still get hurt.

Diet culture is, at its core, something that will never be enough.

When I hear people talking about their diets, about their weight, about getting ready for beach season, about what they wish they could eat and how they had a cheat day; it makes me so mad.

I’m mad that we think that the way to live a healthy life is through punishment and guilt. I get mad because there are millions of people trying to unlearn that idea of diet culture, but it’s brought up everywhere we go. Most of all it makes me sad. I’ve been battling my eating disorder for 5 years and these last couple of months have been the biggest improvement towards full health in years; I’m so much happier now, and I hate thinking that someone else is willingly putting themselves through something that I’ve been trying to escape for years.

Please remember - ice cream doesn’t make you a bad person. And health is more than just green juices and CrossFit.

And of course - Fuck diet culture.


All art work by @sasa_elebea, check out her amazing work on IG !

Kate Farrell