Why I’m Walking Away from the Diet Industry

I’ve been dieting since I was 14 years old. I’ve constantly looked at myself with scrutiny, denying myself clothes, food, experiences and happiness; all because I was worried about my body and the way it jiggles. In the past year alone I’ve dropped and gained 12 lbs, seen a personal trainer each week and pushed myself to limits that made me sick. But why should I do that? Okay, so my body isn’t what others want it to be, and to an extent, it isn’t where I want it to be either, but I’ve been doing some thinking over the past week, and I’ve come to some hefty conclusions.

My body has been through some shit. Self-harm, bingeing, purging, excess, illness, and mental health issues. My body has overcome everything I’ve ever put it through, and I still stand in the mirror and actively choose to hate it on the daily. Why would I do that? This body has been there for me again and again, it’s suffered through disease, skin problems, autoimmune problems, and it still fights for me every damn day.

So I like pizza, cheese and bread, so what? I also like vegetables, jogging, swimming and fruit. Despite what society tells me, I am not something to be ashamed of, and I won’t be ashamed any longer. I still want to be healthy, and I’ll always pursue that, but not because I want to lose weight, but because I want to feel strong, to feel healthy. I’m not going to push myself to extremes anymore, but I am going to explore my fitness and enjoy the process.

I don’t want to diet anymore, I don’t want to deny myself things that I think I don’t deserve because I’m fat. Because yeah, I’m chunky, but does that stop my boyfriend from loving me? My friends from going out with me? My family from being there for me? Absolutely not. My body has no effect on these things, and I won’t let myself think about it that way again.

That being said, I don’t want to fall down the path of binge eating either. I know it only leads to purging, and I won’t do that to myself anymore either. I think that my eating from now on will fall somewhere in the middle. Somewhere between the binge and the purge – getting there might be hard, but you know, I’m quite excited to have my control back. I won’t be controlled by eating plans, diets, fasting, smoothies, syns, shakes or tablets any more.

For so long I clung on to Slimming World, forced myself to see that “it’s just a lifestyle change” and that it’s good for me. When I think about it more, how often do Slimming World foods include sweeteners, fry light, light spread and light cheese? It’s a plan that’s based on cutting fat from our diets, fats that we really need for healthy skin and joints. We need a mix of nutrition in our diets – and I’d rather focus on what my body needs to survive, and not what diet companies tell me it needs to look better.

I have dry skin, stretch marks, loose skin, cellulite, saggy breasts, my stomach is a little loaf of bread and I’m going to start working on embracing these things. Reading Body Positive Power by Body Posi Panda has really opened my eyes to accepting myself, and hopefully, I can go down the path of loving my body.

I wanted to write this as a note to myself more than anything, to re-read when I’m feeling low about myself. Because I know it will happen. I’ll reach a point where I’ll want to diet or try a new trend, and its times like that when I’ll need to reread this. If you’re fed up of dieting, waiting for something to change, or you’re on the verge of getting back into bad eating habits, I really recommend reading Body Posi Panda’s book – it’s such a good read and I can’t recommend it enough.


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