Raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimized by diet culture! Keep your hands high in the air if you have ever felt even the slightest bit of envy of those who are buying into the toxic, yet alluring, schemes that are popular diets. Is your hand still raised? Because mine is.
I am the first and loudest to rattle off a list of reasons as to why diets suck. But, I will also be the first to admit that I am often jealous of those around me who “can diet.” I mean, I could diet. But choosing to indulge in diet behaviors would undoubtedly be the catalyst of a relapse. I have worked too hard to maintain my recovery to just let it slip away for a quick fix at weight loss. But it is SO. DAMN. TEMPTING.
I am not ashamed of admitting that temptation because if I am going to continue overcoming such desires, I need to stare them straight in the eye. Especially after the New Year, I can’t go more than 5 minutes without scrolling past someone’s “progress post” or picture of a putridly green celery smoothie. With each passing day that I choose to stay in recovery, the easier it gets to ignore the urge of weight loss resolution B.S. But every so often the familiar voice of my ED whispers “Just try it. Everyone else gets to do it. Why can’t you?”
Well, because I have more in my life to lose than just a few pounds. I would lose my objectivity as a counselor and any semblance of sanity I manage to muster up on any given day. My eating disorder dictated every single move I made for nearly half of my life; I was a slave to this beast that I thought was the answer to all of my problems and the one thing I thought I found safety in. I will be hard pressed to go back to living a life in shackles for the sake of getting a quick fix diet in. The idea of being able to just “try” a diet for a few pounds is wildly seductive. But as enticing as it may be, it is equally unrealistic. It is like asking an alcoholic to just have a beer or taking a gambler to a casino with a full wallet and expecting them to only spend $20. It just doesn’t work for me.
So, yes. To all of you New Year’s resolution dieters, rock on. It won’t work. For the love of all that is good and holy, IT WON’T WORK! Diets are not sustaintable, but you know what is? Living your life and making food choices in balance, variety, and moderation! And to all of my ED fighters out there, resist the urge to fall prey the onslaught of dieting that surrounds us. Reach out for support. Hop off social media (after liking and sharing this post of course!) Remember your values and why you began this whole recovery thing to begin with. This too will pass, it always does.
Written and contributed by Megan Rose.