I believe it is our right to have a sane, nurturing, pleasurable relationship with food and our body. If we don’t, which millions of us don’t, and we struggle with disordered eating, emotional eating, binge eating, chronic dieting, digestive issues, hating our bodies…then there is a reason. Often times that reason lies with diet culture, the oppressive belief that we must be uber thin in order to be loved and worthy, that our value is measured by the circumference of our thighs or our BMI. I have friends, who I love dearly, who would rather continue smoking than risk gaining 5-10 pounds. So great is our fear of fat. What do we lose as women when our focus to maintain a smaller size than our body would like overrides our need for true nourishment?
Various traumas also inform and shape our relationship with food and body. I have seen statistics ranging from 40-60% of men and women with eating disorders have suffered some form of sexual abuse. There are also the “clean” eating scare tactics that if a Frito passes our lips we may possibly have taken a year off of our life. That if we follow all of these rules we can somehow escape death. That people in larger bodies are lazy and sit around all day eating buckets of fried chicken and vats of soda. These are myths, lies, untruths…There are so many reasons why someone may struggle in a body they don’t accept or enjoy, why no matter how much they diet the weight won’t budge. I’m tired of the judgement that comes with “clean” eating and diet culture. I’m tired of people making assumptions about other people based on how they look or the size of their backside, thin or fat. I’m tired of the lies and superiority. Most of all I’m tired of all of the amazing people out there missing out on life, holding themselves back because they don’t fit the prescribed mold. So I want to hear your stories, I want to bust through the lies and give voice to something other than diet culture. Food is necessary for life and gives us pleasure so that we want to eat, so that we can live and thrive. Food is culture and community, food can be so much, but it shouldn’t be all there is, it shouldn’t consume us. I want us all to take back our power, get rid of the guilt and shame and tell our stories, our struggles, our healing and put food in its rightful place as a condiment to a life fully lived.
If you’d like to tell me your food story email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.