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Diet Culture Drop-Out

Veronica Roth said, ‘This body had carried me through a hard life. It looked exactly the way it was supposed to.’.

I’ve struggled all my life with my body and the way it looks. I think a lot of us have. That struggle has peaked and troughed, and for some of you it might have brought you to a really bad place. Thankfully I’ve never been in the worst place I could be with it, but this past year has brought me to an unhealthy weight and mindset. I am lucky enough to have parents who came and rescued me before things escalated and I’ve slowly been building myself back up these past few months. But I’ve been unable to fully let go and accept that in order to be healthy both physically and mentally, I need to eat more, and that means I have to accept that I will put on weight.

No body is perfect. But what the hell is perfection anyway? We all have rolls and bits of fat in places we don’t want them. We have squishy bits and cellulite and stretch marks and loose skin. I have tiny boobs and thighs that touch. When I put weight on, it never goes to the desired places – boobs and bum – but instead chooses to settle on my tummy and thighs. But with the weight that I will gain, I will also gain a clearer head. I will gain more energy and strength. I will gain the ability to run for longer and become more flexible during my yoga practise.

Do you know what’s more important than looking stick thin? Writing a book and getting it published. Finishing my degree with a first. Getting a place on the master’s program I want to be on.

My body has carried me through so much. Through thirty years of life. I’m not trying to dwell in misery, I’m trying to make a point. Things have been difficult. My heart has survived multiple breaks, my womb has healed itself through two operations, my liver has recovered itself from over ten years of alcohol and drug abuse, my lungs have kept breathing despite all these things, and my brain keeps whirring on in spite of having to endure incessant intrusive thoughts. My body has endured physical violence and plenty other things that I don’t need to list. How incredible is all that? Do you see what I’m getting at? Our bodies have enough to deal with without adding something as inconsequential as weight to the equation.

We punish and destroy our bodies, inside and out, in order to maintain this diet industry myth that we should look a certain way. Well, I’m dropping out. I’m not taking part in it anymore. I’m eating the cake, I’m taking a day off running if it’s raining, I’m saying goodbye to guilt, and I'm letting my body do what it needs to in order to heal me physically and mentally.

F*** you, diet industry. I’m out.

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