Happy New Year's! For 2019, consider this when it comes to that worn out resolution to diet...
Dear Diet Culture,
Things just aren’t working out between us.
You make me feel ashamed when I’ve eaten a “bad” food. You make me feel dirty if I haven’t eaten “clean.” You’ve taken away my personal autonomy to choose what to eat and enjoy eating.
I will no longer allow you to judge my self-worth by my food choices or my body size or shape. You’ve kept me from having the relationship that I truly I desire — peace with food and my body.
While I used to feel guilty for cheating on you, I’ve learned that there’s no cheating when it comes to food. I did not marry kale and go behind its back to rendezvous with chocolate chip cookies.
My self-trust and ability to sense true biological hunger and fullness has eroded. Your restriction and deprivation intensify my cravings and make me feel like I am overeating or a failure when I inevitably desire half-in-half in my morning coffee.
You’ve made me a slave to the scale and its number, deciding for me whether I am going to have a good or bad day. You’ve made me feel dissatisfied with my body unless it fits culture’s “ideal.” And I am angry with you for judging me by my body size and shape assuming that I don’t take care of myself.
I will no longer socially isolate myself in order to control my food more easily. You’ve made me preoccupied with food, especially those dang carbohydrates. I’m breaking up with you because I don’t believe that bread is inherently bad. Especially if it’s a slice of crispy, warm Persephone Bakery bread.
You’ve promised me a better life with a new and improved body, but I know that this awesome life is happening now, not if or when.
I know that you will try to seduce me into staying in this relationship by enticing me with the latest, greatest eating plan in the New Year. I know there’s a better way for me to take care of my health and make peace with food and my body.
You’re just not right for me. I am so over you.
Read Mark's full breakup letter to Diet Culture (and some ideas of how to start anew) in her Radical Acceptance column, which ran in the Dec. 27 News&Guide.