In recent years I have become more aware of how deeply ingrained we are in #DietCulture in fact until a few years ago I didn’t even know what the term meant and I certainly didn’t see anything wrong with how I spoke to myself about my body and food habits or the conversations I had with friends and family.
A while ago I met a person in the queue at the shop. Someone who I haven’t seen for probably about a year and who I know well enough to joke with.
After exchanging the normal pleasantries weather, current life etc. they said to me
“You’ve lost weight”.
I don’t weigh myself however I know from my clothes I haven’t, in fact if anything from the last time they saw me I have possibly put some on (that’s a story for another day) either way I have been more or less the same shape and size for about 10 years.
Anyway back to the question and my response I replied with “yeah I have been really unwell and am getting back to health” there was an awkward moment of silence until I said no I haven’t been I’m joking and I’m also making a point (we know each other well enough for this to be ok)
I went on to explain my point and why I had reacted the way I did.
I know none of this was conscious. Diet culture and fat shaming rarely are. They are so deeply ingrained in our belief systems that we don’t even know we do it. (I have been and certainly can still be guilty of it. I am working on doing better and letting go of old beliefs system that aren’t healthy for me or any of us.
When we comment on someone’s weight as a compliment in the first minutes of meeting someone we are saying I have noticed your weight. What would they say or think If I had put weight on.
Or we are using it as small talk to make conversation
When we speak with someone we haven’t seen for a while we don’t know the bigger picture I could have developed an eating disorder, I could have been very ill, the list of possibilities go on and on.
Had I actually lost weight these might have been the reasons. The fact that I haven’t makes it all the more questionable.
Let’s look past the physical.
I would love a world where we are free of diet culture and fat shaming.
Where someone’s outward appearance is not the first thing we notice or focus on.
Where we all view ourselves with self-love and acceptance. The most important and longest-lasting relationship we will ever have is the one we have with ourselves.