As we head through the Christmas season, we’re bombarded with countless new diets, weight-loss plans and ‘body transformations.’ Ripped bodies are everywhere, and they’re seemingly happy and healthy and whatever product they’re selling at extortionate prices was essential to their success. This is the fitness and weight-loss industry and 99% of what they’re selling us a lie.
If a company requires us to buy their product to get healthy then they’re likely more interested in their own profit than our health. If a ‘body transformation’ participant lost 50 pounds in 28 days then they’re probably either lying or they did it in an unhealthy manner. If a particular weight loss plan puts you on 1200 calories or less per day, with no carbs or no fats or some other hyper-restrictive, arbitrary nonsense, then it’s not sustainable and it’s certainly not healthy.
As you can probably tell, this stuff makes me just a little annoyed. Because the entire industry is only profitable if women (and men too) dislike themselves. We’re fat, ugly, lazy, gluttonous, unworthy. These messages are internalised in a disturbingly prolific way and no matter how feminist or body positive we believe ourselves to be, it is incredibly difficult to erase 50 odd years of social conditioning in self-hatred and dissatisfaction.
We need to stop assigning moral value to food, certain foods are more nutrient dense than others but that does not make them ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ it simply makes them a choice. If you can tolerate gluten then it is not evil, small amounts of sugar within a diet full of vegetables and protein is absolutely fine and carbs can be eaten at any time of the day that works best for you.
There is no need to use exercise as punishment for eating ‘bad’ food and guilt has no place in nutrition. None.
Eating disordered behaviour has almost become the norm, from restriction to binging and the emotional fallout that comes with it and it’s time for it to stop. Eat the food that makes you feel good and perform well. There is no one way that works for everyone so find what works for you and above all, whatever you’re eating, enjoy it.