On the plus side (see what I did there?) I love irony. 😉
As Maya Angleou said, “When we know better, we do better.” As a teen, I bought the belief that being thin was important and dieting, food restriction and exercise to compensate for what I ate were what I should do to “control” my weight. That was part of the culture. Little did I know it was setting me up for a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and ignorance about the science around body shape and size.
It wasn’t until I learned through painful personal loss about how the quest for thinness and a certain body shape can lead to deadly eating disorders. And that the quest for thinness if most often what jump starts these deadly illnesses.
Being a science nerd, I’ve geeked out on the science and have found the research fascinating on weight and health. Thankfully it has led me to learn that diets are bs and just like flowers, we all come in different sizes, shapes, colors, genders, ages and stages. And the research around Intuitive Eating holds that we can become competent and intuitive eaters who don’t fear food, but instead trust our bodies. What a gift from Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch!
Today I’m taking a page from Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s playbook and continuing to fight for what I know is right. #WeightStigmaAwarenessWeek is this week AND ironically weight stigma is being centered at a business seminar I was attending. I wrote to the event organizers to let them know I would not be attending the rest of the event due to their choice to have a guest presenter who promotes; weight loss, weight stigma and pseudo-science about sugar and fad diets.
The organizers are wonderful people whom I adore, who sadly are caught in the culture of lifetime dieting and weight bias. And, I can’t contribute to that. I will educate. I will speak to what I know is weight stigma that hurts people and contributes to life threatening eating disorders.
If you’re confused, curious or want to learn more about how we’ve all been sold harm filled messages, check out what the research has to say in this well researched article which interviews experts in the field. Here is a quote from this article highlights how long we’ve known that diets don’t work, “The landmark starvation studies conducted by the physiologist Ancel Keys in the late 1940s and early 1950s describe how restriction can lead to these can’t-get-enough behaviors. “Dieting, not addiction, is the ‘gateway’ for altered reward pathways and feeling out of control with food,” Tribole says.”
I will keep fighting for people of any size, shape, age, color, gender identity or diagnosis to have equal rights. I want to thank Chevese Turner for founding the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) and igniting the eating disorders field to see that people of all sizes, shapes, ages, colors, gender identities and diagnoses need to be recognized.