If I had a dime for every overly filtered image of celery juice I’ve seen in the past month, I could afford the vacation that I so desperately deserve. Oh, and not just regular celery juice, I’m talking about that celery juice that promises weight loss, mental clarity, instantaneous social status, and world peace. And don’t worry, it’s not just celery juice that can fulfill all of your desires, every single 30-day fix, cleanse, and journey to wellness that’s being advertised nowadays can too give you the life you have always imagined.
Anyone with me yet? No… Anyone?
Okay, so the bull shit stops here. If you’re reading this, I’d bet that you’re already acutely aware of the insidious nature of the diet industry. I’m not going to sit here and run my mouth about the obvious ways in which we are being brainwashed to believe that thin equals good and skinny equals worthy. Instead, I am going to run my mouth about the less glaring, but frighteningly more corrupt ways in which diet industry consumers (AKA ALL OF US) are being tricked into believing a false truth.
Let’s start with wellness. Seemingly harmless, agreeably much less oppressive and damaging than a diet… Right? Wrong. And before y’all start getting all attack-y, just bear with me. I am a firm believer in the “all foods fit” philosophy and anything that begins to ascribe morality to my food choices is an immediate no-go. Food is food. Eating quinoa doesn’t make you more “whole” nor does eating a cupcake make you “naughty.”
And before I continue running my big mouth (which I 110% will be doing), I’ll say I am not a dietitian, nor will I ever claim to be. I am merely a gal in recovery from her own eating disorder living in a world that is profits off my insecurities. But I am also a therapist who has a handful of registered dietitian friends who would gladly back up every word typed above and below this disclaimer.
So, where was I? Oh right! “Wellness.” *Insert eye roll here*
Riddle me this. How is it that all of the foods avoided by wellness supporters are also the foods that tend to be filled with delicious delicious calories? I mean, my hat is off to the wellness industry’s PR team because they have really done a number on us. Literally. Google the word “wellness.” You will be flooded with images of apples and skinny white women doing yoga on the beach. They have convinced us to restrict cheeseburgers and cheesecake because we’re trying to avoid cancer and inflammation. And even better, they have given us this sneaky language that keeps us from having to truly admit that we don’t want to become fat because of said cheeseburger and cheesecake.
Me? Afraid of weight gain? Never! I just am trying to clear up my complexion and live my best life!
*Insert another eye roll here*
Our bodies are so damn smart it’s ridiculous. If we would just get out of our heads and into our bellies, we could hear what our bods want. Intuitive eating is f**king hard. It takes a lot of practice and support, but let me tell you, I love that my body is able to tell me when it wants a kale salad and when it wants a tub of chocolate frosting. When I first started to test the waters of intuitive eating I felt incredibly out of control. THIS IS NORMAL. When I erased every food rule and ounce of shame I had and just ate legitimately whatever I wanted, I sure as hell spent nearly a week in the McDonald’s drive-thru. But that’s what my body wanted. I had spent decades depriving myself of such yumminess and so of course once I surrendered to my body, I ate a BigMac…or 3. But sure as the sun rises, it wasn’t long until I was craving a damn vegetable.
So, what I’m trying to say is actually quite simple- stop trying to outsmart your body. You do not need a 30-day fix or a cleanse to make you “feel your best.” What you need is some self-care and appreciation for the skin you’re in. Food is not morality. Food keeps you alive. But your attitude and willingness to just love yourself despite every effort society has put forth to convince you otherwise, is what gives you life. Let your body do its thing so that you can go do all of the things that make you, YOU!
And stop posting pictures of celery juice. Please and thank you.
Written and contributed by Megan Rose.