10 Tips to Combat Diet Culture - Right from Home!
Hi friends. It is really crazy that at times the weeks and days seem to be flying by and at other times they seem to be moving incredibly slow - so I can empathize if you are feeling either way and hope you are holding up as best as possible.
I wanted to start out by asking if you feel accomplished creating lists? I sure do. Even if items on the list don’t get completed, there is something satisfying about making a list of any kind. So for today’s post I am implementing a list that was super satisfying to compile and I hope will be really helpful for all who are here today! Additionally, in the name of connection I reached out to some other amazing non-diet dietitians to share ideas to make it as comprehensive as possible, so please check out Instagrams below and give them a follow! Thank you, friends!
This is a list of ways that you can combat diet culture from the safety of your home. Just because we are spending more time in our households does not mean that we can’t continue to fight the good fight, so here we go…
Take inventory of what kinds of accounts you’re following on social media. This can be on all channels (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, just to name a few). If you are following accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, your body, your food choices, they gotta go! Hit the unfollow button. If it is a friend, colleague or family member and deleting them may create tension, see if there is an option to simply unfollow or mute their posts.
“Detox” (used facetiously as we all know how that word is taken in the anti-diet world) your Pinterest/cookbooks/paper clippings of diet-culture driven recipes. What is the point of hanging onto recipes you have no interest in and that make you feel bad about what you truly prefer to cook and eat? (Nod to a recent Instagram post that I drew some inspiration from this post for - let’s stop using the term “carb lover” like it’s a bad thing!).
Or in the name of cooking, try a recipe you may have not made in awhile while operating from more of a diet-culture view or what you like to eat or cook or order a favorite dish take-out that you might’ve written off in the past.
Set boundaries with media. This includes social media, television, movies, magazines. It can be a great way to pass the time, but it’s important to notice if a certain show, actor, magazine story, etc. is triggering.
Tackle some anti-diet to-read books on your list. Don’t have a list yet? This post from Tiffany Roe, MA, CMHC (@heytiffanyroe) is a great resource as well as https://haescommunity.com/find/
Engage in more journaling. Ask your therapist or dietitian if they have any prompts; some great ideas include fat phobia, food, body image, gratitude, or even just increased mindfulness of feelings and thoughts on any given day.
Challenging fat-phobia. Some ways to do so can be simply looking at images of people in larger bodies (whether it be Instagram accounts or making a Pinterest board). Or by as above, completing something like a journaling prompt.
Listen to stories of those in larger bodies. An individual’s lived experience can tell you so much more about weight stigmatization than any research article can. Christy Harrison’s Food Psych podcast can be a great place to get started.
Spring clean your closets of any garments you may be hanging onto to achieve a desired body or that used to fit your body, but no longer does. Even just having these items in your closet can be really negative and damaging to your current body image. And remember, it is quite normal to feel as though you need a mourning or grieving period for the body you never attained or a body you used to have.
Continue to work with your therapist or dietitian virtually even if it is uncomfortable. If that is all that your provider is offering now in an effort to socially distance and keep themselves and you safe, please still do so. I know it can be challenging and feel awkward/weird/whatever, but it is still imperative to maintain your progress and recovery oriented goals.
Ahh so there we have it folks, 10 ways to fight against diet culture from the safety of your own home! I want to again say thank you to the RDs who helped me with this list and please check out their Instagram pages linked below - we are better when we work together! And a gentle reminder just posted on my Instagram this weekend - from the wonderful Brené Brown, “What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human”. We’re all humans and we’re all trying to do the best that we can. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself.
Thank you to these lovely ladies who helped me so much with this post:
Courtney Bellino MS, RD, LDN on Instagram @feedandflourish.rd
Gina Izbicki RD, LDN on Instagram @gina_izbicki
Molly Rockford RD, CDN on Instagram @may.we.all_nutrition
Crystal Savoy MS, RD, LDN on Instagram @crystalsavoyrd