Dear diet industry,
We need to break up. It’s not me, it’s you. Your vile actions have made me feel like I’ve been at fault for the past twenty years. Like I’ve been born into a body that doesn’t deserve the equivalent of a thinner one. You’ve deceived me into spending years of my life thinking I needed to change, and you made so much money off of me attempting to do so.
It started with my chubby seven year old self. I remember so clearly that I looked in the mirror, tugged at the chub on my belly, and thought to myself “this is going to be me for the rest of my life, I’m always going to be fat”. I didn’t think this in a negative manner, it was a very “matter of fact” moment. I should have listened to little Srna back then, but instead I started dieting by age nine. By dieting what I mean is that I wouldn’t eat for a whole day, and then would proceed to binge all the food I could stuff into my little belly at night. I was nine, and that’s f***ed up.
For the next 10 years every doctor I went to, for any sort of medical reason, prescribed me a diet. My parents were so encouraging and cooked my bland meals for me so that I could maybe somehow succeed and be thin like I was supposed to. Why was I supposed to be thin? Was I sick? Nope. I was just obviously supposed to be thin because I had been fed the same “thin is beautiful” spiel over and over. The end of every restrictive diet brought on an even bigger period of binging. The more I tried to lose weight, the more I gained back.
I was so miserable at times, that one time in college I even ordered weight loss pills off of the internet. Fast forward to two weeks later and my hair falling out in clumps, I threw those away and continued to seek another diet. I was really just looking for any possible way I could lose weight.
After college I discovered ketosis, which made me drop weight like a madwoman. I lost 75lbs and looked thinner than I ever had before in my life. I was on keto for a year – a year of no friends, no carbs, no socializing, and getting joy solely out of weighing myself and seeing the numbers drop. I started taking and posting pictures of myself on social media. “Look at me world, I finally cracked the code – I am losing weight”, I would think. In this year, my parents spent an absurd amount of money on diet foods and nutritionists. Anything for health, they’d say. But really, it was “anything to look good”, and I fueled that fire daily. Even at my thinnest though, I felt like I had so much more to lose and I felt as if I didn’t sacrifice my life to a diet I would be throwing it all away. Never to be good enough when I was SO CLOSE. Keto is the most restrictive diet I had ever found, and it made me feel so good that I was FANTASTIC at restricting. Restricting is so hard, and I knew that the only way I could fully do it was in what seemed like solitary confinement. Spring rolled around and I decided to drop keto and enjoy the lovely Belgium with some of the most incredible friends. After not eating carbs for over a year, you best bet that I had a taste (or 100) of everything that I had been missing.
Let me bring you a year ahead, diet industry – I have gained 30 of those 75lbs back and I am HAPPY. I now realize that all of this time I have kept gaining because I have kept dieting. I am now learning to embrace my body for what it is, and to accept it for all it becomes. You may think to yourself, aren’t you scared of getting really fat again? My answer to you is a very honest no. If I do gain weight, that’s alright because I have so much more to offer the world than missing social events because there will be carbs or alcohol there. Does this mean I’m going to stop taking care of my body? Absolutely not!!! I freaking love my body, and I’ve been relearning my approach to food. Healthy food is delicious, and so is pizza. If I want to have pizza, I will get my phone and order it, and that’s totally okay. I have to say though, now that I have stopped restricting food, and now that no foods are on my naughty list anymore, I’m able to have such a healthier relationship with ALL food. My diet is more varied and balanced than ever. I’ll have my pasta, and an extra helping of broccoli because I love that stuff. I’ll eat my morning avocado toast, have my coffee with soy creamer, and enjoy having a glass or wine with friends. I’ll stretch, do yoga, ride my bike, and do all the activities my heart desires – not to lose weight, but to be active and strong.
And my body? Well, I actually learned to love my body a while back, but for some reason I felt like I had to hop on the next diet fad as soon as I heard about it. I have a fantastic husband that also loves and appreciates my body, and that in itself has taught me to embrace my curvy stature even more.
This is my official break up letter, diet industry.
Never yours again,
P.S. Now that I’m out of that letter and can actually address all of my readers instead of the diet industry, I just want you to know that it’s okay. It’s all going to be okay. I come from a part of the world where weight is the most discussed topic in day-to-day life, and I’m sure if this blog post makes it there it will be the greatest taboo ever. I embrace this fact, and I encourage more of you to embrace the body positivity movement. Your body is enough the way that it is, and you don’t have to wait until you lose those last 5, 10, 30, or 50 lbs or kilos. You have so much more to offer to the world than feeding into the diet and binge cycle that has been terrifyingly normalized.
I’mma take my curves and go, and I hope you do the same.