Diet Culture – The Relationship I Didn’t Know I Was In

I’ve never been on a diet. Never had a diet plan. Never felt the urge to diet. Or have I?

I’ve pretty much always been quite slim, but with some shifts up and down, depending on how dedicated of a workout routine I had. I never thought of myself as part of the diet culture. The thought didn’t even cross my mind. I just saw myself as a healthy (most of the time) person who enjoyed taking care of my own body.

I had no idea how wrong I was. Looking back now, I find it terrifying to know just how much. It turns out that diet culture and I have been in a relationship since before I was a teenager, and I had to turn 31 before I even knew about it!

Click on the cover if you want to know more about the book💖

I started listening to Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe (bodyposipanda on Instagram) on Audible, and that’s when everything changed. I was on my way to work (lost in the audiobook while staring out the bus window) and then Megan started talking about the young age when girls (and a lot of boys as well) start to feel conscious and insecure about their bodies. She talked about the shame that we feel whenever we binge, and the restraints we put on ourselves to stay or reach a certain body weight or body type, and all of a sudden I felt sick to my stomach. I had goosebumps all over my body, and not in a good way!

I was sitting there, traveling back in time, and watching myself pinch and poke at my own body. I heard myself making excuses to other people (and to myself) for how I was no longer as fit as I used to be, but I was getting back into shape soon. I remembered the shame that I’ve felt, more times than I can even count, for the indulges of sweets and cakes when I was convinced that I should have eaten something else.

I felt nauseous thinking about how mean I’ve been to myself. How much I’ve mentally beat myself up because of a toxic culture, and I didn’t even know that I was doing it.

I’ve been on a self-love journey for some years now, and even though I’ve learned to appreciate me, my body and what it can do, I had no idea that I was putting so much strain and negativity on myself because of the media and the culture that I’ve grown up with. I thought I had a healthy relationship with my own body, and in many ways I do, and at the same time, I don’t.

It was such a shock, and it hit me like a punch to my soft, beautiful tummy. Why am I being so cruel to myself, when I don’t need to? When the only ones who are profiting on that kind of mental beatdown and cruelty is an industry that’s fueled with lies, power, money, and other people’s pain and insecurities?

I have followed Megan’s Instagram for a long, long time, and I’ve been rooting for her and the whole body positivity movement! But little did I know that I would end up completely baffled, and eternally grateful for being able to learn from her. To hear about her experiences, her knowledge, her pain, and her triumphs. I had no idea that a person that I’ve never met would be able to change the way I see myself and my body.

Megan, you are a force of beauty and nature, and this post is a declaration of love for the positive and true energy that you put out into this world!

I’ve cried a fair amount of tears while listening to Body Positive Power, but I’ve also learned to see myself in a new way❤️It’s a body positive journey, it’s hard, but it is also wonderful at the same time.

This was a wake-up call that I didn’t even know I needed! And I’ve never been more ready to break up and out of the toxic relationship with the diet culture that I had no idea that I was in❤️

Body Positivity is a movement needed NOW, more than ever, and I’m happy to say that I am a part of it! I will shout it to the world with my words, my voice and my art! The shame and mental beating have come to an end, and a whole new level of self-love and discovery has begun!

Thank you Megan, and thank you to the whole community of beautiful body positive people out there❤️My body and I am eternally grateful for all that you do, and all that you share!