Diet Culture. What is it?? And why are we Dun Dun DUN’ing??
Diet Culture is insidious. It’s everywhere. It’s baked right in. And it’s harmful.
We’re going to tackle Diet Culture this season, but we’re going to start by defining it. Or trying to. So give it a listen and chat with us on social media:
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Diet Culture! (Dun Dun Dun!) – Season 3 Episode 1
We’re going to tackle Diet Culture this season, but we’re going to start by defining it. Or trying to.
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Diet culture doesn’t have an official definition like most things that we talk about. It doesn’t have this official definition, but one of the threads that kind of kept pulling out for me was that it’s a focus on being thin above being healthy. And I think that is like the behaviors and the way we structure our value system that results from that priority.
- We’re going to be talking about it through our lens and how that impacts us as women and our experiences.
- It’s like every Reese’s peanut butter cup, you have to do like 15 jumping jacks to work it off and it is the idea of a justification or like punishing yourself with a workout for what you ate is a part of diet culture. If you really think about it, this entire thing is driven by shame. And there’s just this idea that you can kind of shame yourself into being “better”, and it really doesn’t work.
- It also puts this morality into it. Again with foods being good and bad and people being good and bad for eating them. And it becomes incredibly punitive, which is not really known to bring any success. So, that morality of food is also a piece of diet culture that we see.
- Let’s also just talk about how it’s a huge industry like people are making tremendous amounts of money over other people not feeling good enough, right? The last time I looked it up, it was $71 billion a year for diet and weight loss. And they don’t want to lose that money, so they are going to continue pumping the machine of shaming people into either buying their products or depriving themselves.
- Something I do and something that we all do is complimenting others on their size, their shape, their weight loss like something like that. I saw that and I was a little bit taken aback because I’m like what do you mean? I can’t tell somebody, hey you look like you’ve been working out?. But it’s kind of jarring when you realize how harmful that can be because that’s just solidifying the goal posts for a lot of people.
- It’s okay to compliment someone, but instead of saying, oh my gosh, you lost so much weight, maybe we could consider saying, oh my gosh, you look so happy and you’re glowing.
- When the focus is: you’re smaller, you’re skinnier, you’re lighter, you’re less. That is the part of diet culture that I think that we all need to start to become more aware of and start to shift.
- This generation has an opportunity to start to change it, but I think there are behaviors that are ingrained in us. I think of how I talk to my kids about eating healthy and, you know, we’re very intentional that we eat protein because it helps us be strong and healthy like we don’t use the word fat ever in our household. We don’t use the word big like you’re growing big and strong and that’s what we need you to do, and that’s awesome, but I wonder sometimes what they see in me and my habits that I do, and because I haven’t broken all of the habits around diet culture.
- I would challenge all of our listeners if this is something where you have a lot of a-ha moments or things that you really haven’t considered before, spend the next week just observing how you think of your value in terms of your size, how you relate to other people’s value in terms of their size. Because let’s be honest, we’ve all compared ourselves to other people and thought like she’s better than me because she’s thinner or I’m better than her because she’s thinner. Step back and observe it for a week and just sit with it.
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SEE MORE PODCAST EPISODES:
Have you heard the saying that in order to change the future, you must understand the past? Well, Kelsey and Heather are diving into the history of dieting and how diet culture became a THING. And it’s SUUUUPER interesting!
Not to be total Grinches, but the holidays are a great example of how diet culture ruins everything. Ever been to a party and binged on food, only to feel guilty for weeks after? Or maybe you turned down your favorite foods but obsessed over them the entire time. Heather and Kelsey unpack this idea and offer suggestions to navigate food choices without guilt or shame.
Diet Culture. What is it?? And why are we Dun Dun DUN’ing?? Diet Culture is insidious. It’s everywhere. It’s baked right in. And it’s harmful. We’re going to tackle Diet Culture this season, but we’re going to start by defining it. Or trying to.