Fitness, Anti-Diet

Can I Have the Desire to Lose Weight and Be Anti-Diet Culture?

      • Can I have the desire to lose weight and be anti-diet culture?

        • I get this question asked often - people struggle with this a lot, and it's not surprising!
        • The body liberation movement does NOT condone Intentional Weight Loss because body liberation is all about advocating for the right to bodily autonomy AND the dismantling of diet culture - especially the destigmatization of fatness.
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        • We all have the right to bodily autonomy and agency over our bodies - and no one should make you feel shame or guilt for whether or not you want to or choose to lose weight, or diet, or workout, or change your body.
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        • I know that the desire to lose weight or be thin is SUPER complex. There are many external and internal forces dictating why you may want to lose weight. 

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  • Only you have the right to make decisions when it comes to your own body! You know your body and your life best. Only you can evaluate the risks and the benefits of engaging in dieting and intentional weight loss and come to a decision that is best for you at a moment in time. 
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  • I have made the decision in my own business to not to push, promote, market or sell “weight loss” any more e.g. giving advice on eating in a calorie deficit for weight loss, marketing my workout programs as something that will help you lose fat, posting before and after photos.
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  • But I won’t “disagree” with someone’s desire or decision to diet, or “advocate” against people having body goals. Because that just brings us back to policing people’s bodies - which is exactly what we are trying to get away from under diet culture!
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  • I get that it can be really hard navigating all of this when we live in a society that rewards weight loss and thinness, and equates weight/weight loss with health. 
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  • I know that I am in a very privileged body, but I still had (and sometimes still have!) desires to change my body, to look a certain way. I can only speak to my own experience, but for me what made a difference was becoming aware of the high failure rate of diets and the potential harm that dieting can cause (which helped me stop obsessing about what foods to eat, how much to eat, I stopped counting calories and macros), becoming more informed about body liberation activism (so I could recognize the social constructs about fatness and fat bodies, and identify the ways in which I was perpetrating diet culture), and listening to and learning from marginalized people about issues like body politics and thin privilege.
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  • Would love to know your thoughts about this! Where you are in your own journey, and what’s helped you navigate these muddy waters?

Love, Maddy xx