It’s the new decade and, unfortunately, humanity continues to be sold diet culture and weight loss as a remedy for all that ails us.
By now, however, a new theme has emerged. The collective wisdom the many who have ditched dieting has taken on a voice. Many of us are loudly saying, “No more. We know diet culture has harmed us.” We hear it in the growing tidal wave of size acceptance blogs and Instagram accounts and Facebook pages and newspaper and magazine articles that show up in our social media feeds.
This year I had the feeling that the anti-diet message had hit a critical tipping point when I sat beside someone on a plane recently who, after seeing the newsletter I had been writing, asked if I was involved in the body positivity movement, and we had a fantastic conversation about how diets were awful and harmful and how learning to accept our sizes and eat normally were more fulfilling and life-affirming than trying to lose weight. Literal strangers are bonding everywhere over their rejection of diet culture!
One of the most prominent voices in this movement in the last few years has been Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, host of the podcast Food Psych and author of the excellent new book Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating. We were excited to have her on the Dietitians Unplugged podcast to kick off the new year and decade and talk about how diet culture has got to go.
I’m such a Christy fan, and have been grateful to know her, starting with guesting on her podcast way back in 2015 (when I was still so green with podcasts). When we met at the BEDA 2016 conference, she was just as warm, friendly, funny and caring as you could imagine. On top of that, she’s a great writer and so knowledgable, and to me, her book reads like a drama or a thriller, it’s just that damn entertaining (and as I am someone who demands to be entertained by my reading, that’s saying a lot).
And…I got to be in the book! I discussed my time in the NWCR and experience with dieting, and it was a total thrill to be included alongside actual recognizable people in the index (yay Ijeoma Oluo and Amy Pershing; meh Gwyneth Paltrow). There are so many other wonderful HAES colleagues I’m excited to share pages with in this book – it’s a total honor.
We can make harmful diet culture and fat-phobia things of the past. Read the book, listen to the podcast, spread the word. Live your awesome diet-free life in full view of everyone. It takes WORK to change the culture, and we are no strangers to work.
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